Whitehead, Northern Ireland


A picturesque town by Belfast Lough that opens into the Irish Sea, Whitehead, Northern Ireland sits on the shores of a small bay. The village is historically known as a beach town that drew crowds in the Edwardian and Victorian eras. Today, Whitehead is known as the only place in Northern Ireland where a Jubilee Wood was planted in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and her Diamond Jubilee.

Whitehead is named for the Whitehead limestone cliffs that contrast with the nearby Blackhead volcanic cliffs. Located between the towns of Larne and Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland’s east coast and County Antrim, the town has an unusual feature. No roadways through the town have a name that ends with the word, “street.” Consequently, Whitehead is known as a no street town.

Blackhead lighthouse on the coast of Northern Ireland near BelfastIn this part of the country as in all of the British Isles, the climate is maritime and the temperatures are moderate. Summers usually have temperatures around 18 degrees Celsius. Winters see average temperatures around 6 degrees. Many days are cloudy, and rain does fall frequently to keep the countryside vibrant and green.

Besides being popular as a beach resort in the past and present, Whitehead served its country during World War I by constructing an aerodrome that housed two aircraft. Then more recently in 2005-2006, town’s Brighter Whitehead organization put hundreds of flowers in the ground and won for the town the silver in the Britain in Bloom event. In 2012, Whitehead with the help from the town of Carrickfergus planted the Jubilee Wood with 6 million trees.

Seeing the new trees in the Jubilee Wood is inspiring, and return visits over the years will show they have grown. However, other attractions are also available in the seaside town of Whitehead. The Blackhead Trail is absolutely an amazing pathway with lovely scenes and historic sites of the quarry area including workers cottages. The trail is free to the public and so is parking. The waterfront and local harbors as well as the public library and The Gallery Whitehead are also fabulous spots to visit.

Whitehead is a pleasant village to visit. The population is less than 4,000. Still, the town is welcoming. Hints of the Victorian and Edwardian age seem to linger, and stunning views of the harbor and islands are free.


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