A relaxing morning

People drop into your life, people drop out of it. Some appear just when you need them and it feels like you’ve known them for years. A kind word, a helping hand, a smile – it all goes a long way when you have mental health issues (and I still hate that phrase!)

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The Thrill of Strandhill


As part of my Wild Atlantic Wayfarer project in partnership with LookWest and the Hawk’s Well Theatre, I’ve been checking out things to do in the North West of Ireland. You can’t come to Sligo without visiting Strandhill, a thriving seaside village just 5 miles from Sligo town. There is a great sense of community here and always something to see and do, whatever the weather.


I started off my day in Strandhill with a walk over to Killaspugbrone Church, where it’s said that St. Patrick lost a tooth. It’s a lovely walk with stunning views of Knocknarea and Benbulben. There is a longer looped walk but as I’m suffering with an Achilles tendon problem I just stuck to the short walk.

Voya Seaweed Bath

After my walk it was time to relax and what better way than a seaweed bath in Voya. The seaweed is locally harvested and makes your skin feel so soft. As always I fell asleep! I woke up refreshed and ready to face the world again. If you are wondering what happens to the seaweed after your bath it’s reused as garden fertiliser – I’ve seen the size of Mick Walton’s vegetables and I can say it works a treat!!


All that relaxing had worked up an appetite so I popped next door to Shells for brunch. Shells is a beautiful cafe and bakery, over-looking the sea. You know you are going to enjoy whatever you have to eat here. I went for one of the daily specials which was cinnamon toast, topped with bacon, maple syrup, caramalised banana and walnuts – it shouldn’t have worked but it did and it was delicious. I’m hungry again just typing this!

Strandhill Surf School

After a little walk to let my food go down it was time to pay a visit to Paul at Strandhill Surf School and try my hand at surfing. Paul was really friendly and welcoming and put me in a group with our instructor Sean and off we went into the waves. Poor old Sean spent half the time dragging me round on my surf board, where I wallowed like some kind of giant slug! I did try to surf and for a millisecond even got to my feet – which was a major miracle! If there was a pause button between the waves so I could get organised I might actually manage it! I think it’s safe to say I will never be a surfer dude!

Strandhill Surf School

After struggling out of my wetsuit I was hungry again so it was time to pay a visit to Trá Bán which is a fantastic steak and seafood restaurant. Trá Bán serves locally sourced Irish food which you can enjoy while you look out on the waves crashing against the rocks.

Early Bird Menu

I had the early bird menu which is served from 5-7pm. I chose a mini lamb pie to start which just melted in my mouth, it was so delicious. For my main course I had chicken stuffed with mixed peppers, aubergine and onion and served on a bed of pesto mash with a cream shallot sauce, it was so filling but of course there is always a little bit of room for dessert!  I went for the chocolate chilli brownie which was a warm chocolate brownie with a little kick of chilli, served with warm chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. All in all it was a fabulous meal and I’m very impressed to see they also have a healthy kids meal at a very reasonable price so it’s the perfect location for a family meal.

Strandhill sunset

So that was my ‘Thrill of Strandhill’ there is much more you can take part in and you can check it out here. Sincere thanks to Anthony from Tra Ban for organising this wonderful day for me and to Voya, Shells and Strandhill Surf School. It was a day to remember.

Sligo and seaweed

1-IMG_0683Thanks so much for the kind words about the Sligo-Secrets site. I’m still plodding on with it, it’s going to take me months to get it sorted!! I’ve had great feedback about it all and even got a write-up on St. Angela’s College website.  Life outside the website carries on as normal, taxi driving the kids around…but it gets me out and about. The photo above is Sligo town taken from Gallows Hill.

1-IMG_0552Last week I headed to Strandhill. Andy got me a Voya voucher for Christmas so I went for a seaweed bath.

1-IMG_7771It was lovely and relaxing, I took my book with me and just chilled out 🙂 The seaweed makes your skin so lovely and soft, I’d love to have a seaweed bath at least once a week.

1-IMG_7772Afterwards it was lovely to walk along the beach and watch the one lone surfer out there.



Seaweed, Sun and Strandhill

Well you’d never have thought it was November! It was a beautiful morning here in Sligo. I had a couple of hours to myself so I went to Strandhill.

First stop was Shells Cafe for breakfast….I had a lovely cherry scone, it was fresh out of the oven and delicious. After a quick walk along the beach I went into Voya for a seaweed bath.

It was lovely and relaxing. You have your own room with a shower and steam unit in it and also a deep bath full of seaweed with as much hot water as you need.

The only thing I didn’t like was sitting on a shell 😉

You get an hour in the seaweed bath, the only sounds you hear are the sounds of the waves which are piped into the rooms. My skin and hair felt really soft when I had finished.

It was a lovely way to spend a morning 🙂


Seaweed baths, Strandhill and Skating

Voya seaweed bathsWell the kids had a dental check up this morning. It took us 40 minutes to get to the hospital due to traffic. I wonder what bright spark decided to put three lots of traffic lights together. Then there’s the nightmare of trying to get parked at the hospital. They really should get rid of the grassy areas and make more parking spaces because people just park on the grass and turn it into mud anyway. The check up went OK, until some fella came in thinking he was at Markievicz House and started effing and blinding when he realised he wasn’t…he threw his bag across the room and finally stormed out…scary.

Then I took the kids to McDonalds, because our shoes were wet we skated to the counter. I was quite proud of my effort at the Bolero…the only thing missing was Philip Schofield…oh and the judges…but I’m sure if they were they I’d have got 6’s from them all 😀

I took the kids to school and went to Strandhill for a seaweed bath. It was lovely. You have your own room with the bath and seaweed in. The water is lovely and hot. There is also a stream cubicle and shower in the room as well. As you are relaxing you can hear the sounds of waves and seagulls. The seaweed makes your skin really soft as well. The website is here: http://www.voya.ie/ if you are ever in Sligo treat yourself to a bath.