Whitehead is a pretty seaside village on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland and is fairly self sufficient in terms of businesses and services for daily needs, including shops, schools churches and recreation.
It lies almost midway between the bustling town of Carrickfergus with its mediaeval castle and historic harbour and the busy port of Larne. Located at the base of Muldersleigh Hill, at the entrance to Belfast Lough, on the Irish Sea, it lies in a small bay between the limestone cliffs of Whitehead and the black volcanic cliff of Blackhead, with the Blackhead lighthouse on top, marking the entrance to Belfast Lough.
A Victorian Railway village with a well preserved Conservation area, including the Railway Station, Whitehead contains about 1800 households with over 4,000 people and is home to RPSI and CAYC (Railway Preservation Society of Ireland and the County Antrim Yacht Club), as well as being the starting point for the popular seaside walk past Sunshine House and around Blackhead Lighthouse.
Whitehead is about 20 miles from Belfast. On the opposite coast of Belfast Lough, to Whitehead, the Copeland Islands, Bangor and part of the County Down coastline, are clearly visible. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Isle of Man and Scotland.
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Yarn Folk Wool Fest NI 2018 will be held on 4th August 2018, this year, in 6 locations around Whitehead, County Antrim. There will be demonstrations and workshops, with limited availability, so for those who feel “we are knitters”, or knitters or crocheters of any type, whether for fun or neo natal knitters or hobby crocheters, or even those who just want to know the difference between knitting and crocheting, it’s a book early thing, if you want to catch the workshop of your choice. It is on the same day as Whitehead Summer Festival, so there will be lots to see and do for everyone in Whitehead on that day.
The Woollen Woods takes place on Saturday 16th June 2018 in Jubilee Wood, Whitehead, County Antrim. This year’s theme is Alice in Wonderland and there will be family activities taking place as well as the woolly creations to see. You can see more information on the Woollen Woods 2018 here.
Update on the Blackhead Path from Mid & East Antrim Borough Council
A preferred design for the front part of the path (near the car park) has now been developed by our engineers and in initial meetings with NIEA Marine Licencing Division, those plans have been looked upon positively. Council have now appointed an independent Quantity Surveyor who will cost up this work. This information will have to then feed into our Economic Appraisal, which is currently being developed. Due to the level of expenditure, a full Economic Appraisal will be necessary to comply with Council procedures and the NI Auditor requirements. It is our aim to have this Economic Appraisal presented to Council by the start of July to get the final approval from Elected Members to proceed with the best option.
In the meantime, there are immediate concerns in relation to the continual slippage of the front part of the path, and the impact that this will have on residents who live on the path and who use the path on a regular basis. There was a further meeting on the 10 May with the residents affected, to discuss the timescales and scope for the work. We require to put in place immediate arrangements to ensure that the path is not being used for any vehicular access in an effort to minimise further risk of collapse and to preserve the path for pedestrian use as long as possible, hopefully until work can commence.
At this time Council do not envisage the path being closed immediately for pedestrian use, however, that may change. In the short term, vehicular access to the path will be restricted.
I want to assure you of our continued desire to resolve to this long standing problem. Council fully recognises the benefit this path brings to both the economy and community; not only to local people, but to others who regularly visit the path. However, we need to ensure the Health and Safety of users and ensure that any works proposed meet environmental considerations, including marine licencing requirements.
Should Council approval be gained in July it is our projected timescales that work would commence onsite in October 2018 and that the work to all sections of the path (including the part by the lighthouse) would be completed by July 2019. All of this of course is subject to final Council and regulatory approval on the way forward.