Want a BIG day out?  Don’t miss Whitehead!

If you visit Whitehead you have to see the Blackhead Path.  Open all the time, it runs along the shore, northwards from the end of the Promenade.  Fit people have the option to go up and around the cliffs to see sea caves, spectacular views and go right by Blackhead Lightkeepers' Houses, a lighthouse – you can even stay there for your holiday!  You can return down another cliff path from there, or step up onto a road that takes you back past Whitehead Golf Club Restaurant.  

If all that walking is likely to induce hunger or thirst, note that there are many benches or even small beaches to stop for a snack or a picnic.  Coastal Coffee (Maud's Ice Cream) do all sorts of takeaway food, drinks and ice cream, while The Old Tea House Whitehead will also put their famous desserts into a takeaway box for you.

For a vast, unspoiled beach go a few miles north to Brown's Bay, an amazing place.

Lighthouse + steam trains = Whitehead!

The next world-class attraction in the town is the Whitehead Excursion Station, home of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.  Check the link to their web site for days when steam trains are running, or when guided tours of the sheds happen.  At times you can call in and ask for an impromptu tour, and sometimes the volunteers working there can make time for you.

For toilets try any restaurant, the Community Centre on Balmoral Avenue, or Whitehead Public Library.  There’s a 10p a time toilet standing near the spacious Blackhead car park.  

For great live music go to The Marine Bar, just up Marine Lane off Marine Parade (= The Promenade).  On Thursday nights a bunch of traditional musicians gather in there for a shindig.  Great stuff. 

For some local art, fine art, and crafts visit The Bank House (which also has a cash point outside).  Some striking paintings can be seen at the weekend in The Gallery Whitehead, where the artist herself is your host and guide.  Two doors away is The Old Tea House Whitehead, with another selection of pictures by different artists.  That restaurant has the most amazing interior, and exterior, dating from 1908.  It really is a genuine Edwardian building that maintains its character – nowhere you can eat comes close. 

The Old Tea House

If you’ve got small children you may prefer to dine on the other side of King’s Road.  Coffee and Cream have a picnic area with stuff for kids to enjoy.  At night the place to go for a great meal is the Bentra Grill, with amazing views across to Larne Lough.  If you come in a caravan, the electric & water bollard is in the car park next door, at the entrance for both Bentra Municipal Golf Club and Diamond Jubilee Wood, which is a great place to take a walk.

There’s a great family-run petrol station, Raw Brae Service Station up the hill, at 2 Larne Road.  Within the town there’s a wealth of unique village shops, like the excellent McMaster’s butchers, the wonderful Victoriana flower shop on Balmoral Avenue, a new 2nd hand book store next door, a vegetable shop here and a small newsagent there.  Your best bet for a one-stop shop is Wright Spar on Edward Road for food, drink, batteries, a newspaper, and a cash point.  Clustered conveniently around the train station are two Chinese takeaways, a fish and chip shop, and the Whitecliff Inn.

Sailing?  County Antrim Yacht club has attracted people here for 111 years.  Bigger boats can moor in  White Harbour.  Fishing?  Many come to the town and try their luck on the promenade, pier or at the cliffs under the lighthouse.  Terns and cormorants with the same idea delight bird watchers.  Peregrines are nesting in Beach Road Nature Reserve.  Boat tours take people to see puffins along The Gobbins cliffs.  Locals see dolphins jumping from the ocean just offshore several times a year.  There are tennis courts, two golf courses, a bowling green , and two football fields.  There’s too much to see!  Pick 2 or 3 favourite things to try, then come on down and enjoy your day here.  

If you need days to explore, you can stay in a glorious art nouveau house on Donegall Avenue, Seascape Country HouseBlackhead Lightkeepers' Houses, or Hillcrest Bed and Breakfast.

The town will give you a very warm welcome.