|Population||3,802 (2011 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Whitehead is a small seaside town on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, lying almost midway between the towns of Carrickfergus and Larne. It lies within the civil parish of Templecorran, the historic barony of Belfast Lower, from Irish an Cionn Bán 'the white head').and is part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Before the Plantation of Ulster its name was recorded as both Whitehead and Kinbaine (
Located at the base of Muldersleigh Hill, Whitehead 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 the Belfast Lough. Whitehead is about 20 miles (32 km) from Belfast. On the opposite coast of Belfast Lough, the Copeland Islands, Bangor and part of the County Down coastline, are clearly visible.
It had a population of 3,802 in the 2011 Census.Whitehead is notable in that there are no roadways with the suffix "Street" in their name, giving rise to the nickname 'The Town With No Streets'.
In late Victorian and Edwardian times, Whitehead was a popular seaside holiday destination developed by and visitors flocked from Belfast and the surrounding area each year. Whitehead is a Victorian railway village with a well preserved conservation area, including the railway station. It is home to the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland,County Antrim Yacht Club and the Council owned Bentra Golf Course, as well as being the starting point for the popular Gobbins Path. The town also was home to an aerodrome during the First World War which housed two airships.
A pioneering Irish railway engineer called Berkeley Deane Wise took this tourism endeavour to the next level, creating innovative new paid-for attractions that would encourage visitors to use the railway company's services. Just south of Gobbins Path, Wise helped transform the tiny hamlet of Whitehead into a premier holiday resort. He designed and built a bandstand, ladies and gents bathing boxes, a ‘children’s corner’, a slipway and a pavilion with 500 seats.
Whitehead received a silver at the Britain in Bloom awards in 2005 & 2006 and a bronze in 2007 with the local Brighter Whitehead group planting many of the flowers. In 2012 Northern Ireland's only Jubilee Wood was planted at Whitehead to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Blackhead Path was built by the Victorians in 1892, partly funded by the railway company, to attract day trippers and holiday makers to Whitehead which was at the time a growing tourist destination and resort. Wise also built a new path Blackhead Path along the coast from Whitehead to the lighthouse at Blackhead, overlooking the town, in 1892. To reach the lighthouse he added several bridges and a tunnel. Wise soon had ambitious plans for a much more elaborate path built on sheer cliffs a few miles to the north: The Gobbins Path was about to be born. This free accessible path is a seaside walk past Sunshine House, around Blackhead Lighthouse and along the Irish Sea cliffs of Islandmagee.
In 2018 the pathway was closed due to health & safety issues and a possibility of severe landslip.The Mid and East Antrim Council started a full renovation of the whole path in 2019. The path was reopened in July 2020. It was partly closed again 2021 after a landslip.
One primary school exists within the town - Whitehead Primary School. Another school, Lourdes Primary School, operated until June 2011.
Whitehead High School, an all-girls secondary school, was present until its closure in 1986. It is now the site of a nursing home.
For more information see The Troubles in Whitehead, County Antrim, which includes a list of incidents in Whitehead during the Troubles resulting in two or more fatalities. The UDA South East Antrim Brigade lists Whitehead as a base of operations.
Whitehead railway station is on the Larne Harbour to Belfast Central and Belfast Great Victoria Street line. Located on the Northern Ireland Railways network being part of the Belfast Suburban Rail as well as the home of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.
Whitehead had a population of 3,802 people at the 2011 Census,an increase of 2.7% on the 2001 Census figure of 3,702.
County Antrim is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,046 square kilometres (1,176 sq mi) and has a population of about 618,000. County Antrim has a population density of 203 people per square kilometre or 526 people per square mile. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland, as well as part of the historic province of Ulster.
Carrickfergus is a large town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It sits on the north shore of Belfast Lough, 11 miles (18 km) from Belfast. The town had a population of 27,998 at the 2011 Census. It is County Antrim's oldest town and one of the oldest towns in Ireland as a whole. Carrickfergus was the administrative centre for Carrickfergus Borough Council, before this was amalgamated into the Mid and East Antrim District Council in 2015, and forms part of the Belfast Metropolitan Area. It is also a townland of 65 acres, a civil parish and a barony.
Ballycastle is a small seaside town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is on the north-easternmost coastal tip of Ireland, in the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The harbour hosts the ferry to Rathlin Island, which can be seen from the coast. The Ould Lammas Fair is held each year in Ballycastle on the last Monday and Tuesday of August. Ballycastle is the home of the Corrymeela Community.
Newcastle is a small seaside resort town in County Down, Northern Ireland, which had a population of 7,672 at the 2011 Census. It lies by the Irish Sea at the foot of Slieve Donard, the highest of the Mourne Mountains. Newcastle is known for its sandy beach, forests and mountains. The town lies within the Newry, Mourne and Down District.
Larne is a town on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, with a population of 18,755 at the 2011 Census. It is a major passenger and freight roll-on roll-off port. Larne is administered by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Together with parts of the neighbouring districts of Antrim and Newtownabbey and Causeway Coast and Glens, it forms the East Antrim constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly. The civil parish is in the historic barony of Glenarm Upper.
Portstewart is a small town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It had a population of 8,003 people in the 2011 Census. It is a seaside resort neighbouring Portrush. Its harbour and scenic coastal paths form an Atlantic promenade leading to a two-miles beach, popular with holidaymakers in summer and surfers year-round.
The Northern Counties Committee (NCC) was a railway that served Northern Ireland. It was built to Irish gauge but later acquired a number of 914 mm narrow gauge lines. It had its origins in the Belfast and Ballymena Railway that opened to traffic on 11 April 1848.
Newtownabbey is a large settlement north of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Sometimes considered to be a suburb of Belfast, it is separated from the rest of the city by Cavehill and Fortwilliam golf course. At the 2011 Census, Metropolitan Newtownabbey Settlement had a population of 65,646, making it the third largest settlement in Northern Ireland. It is part of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Antrim is a town and civil parish in County Antrim in the northeast of Northern Ireland, on the banks of the Six Mile Water, on the north shore of Lough Neagh. It had a population of 23,375 people in the 2011 Census. It is the county town of County Antrim and was the administrative centre of Antrim Borough Council. It is 22 miles (35 km) northwest of Belfast by rail.
Islandmagee is a peninsula and civil parish on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, located between the towns of Larne and Whitehead. It is part of the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area and is a sparsely populated rural community with a long history since the mesolithic period. In the early medieval period it was known as Semne, a petty-kingdom within Ulaid.
Belfast Lough is a large, intertidal sea inlet on the east coast of Northern Ireland. At its head is the city and port of Belfast, which sits at the mouth of the River Lagan. The lough opens into the North Channel and connects Belfast to the Irish Sea.
The A2 is a major road in Northern Ireland, a considerable length of which is often referred to the Antrim Coast Road because much of it follows the scenic coastline of County Antrim; other parts of the road follow the coasts in Counties Down and Londonderry.
Portballintrae is a small seaside village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is four miles east of Portrush and two miles west of the Giant's Causeway. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 734 people, a decline of 10% compared to 1991. It lies within the Causeway Coast and Glens District Council area.
Randalstown is a townland and small town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, between Antrim and Toome. It has a very prominent disused railway viaduct and lies beside Lough Neagh and the Shane's Castle estate. The town is bypassed by the M22 motorway with junctions at both the eastern and western ends of the town. It had a population of 5,126 people in the 2011 Census.
TheGobbins is a cliff-face path at Islandmagee, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on the Causeway Coastal Route. It runs across bridges, past caves and through a tunnel, along The Gobbins cliffs. The cliffs are recognised for their rich birdlife, important geology and notable species.
Causeway Coast and Glens is a local government district covering most of the northern part of Northern Ireland. It was created on 1 April 2015 by merging the Borough of Ballymoney, the Borough of Coleraine, the Borough of Limavady and the District of Moyle. The local authority is Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
Berkeley Deane Wise was an Irish civil engineer who made a significant impact on the development of railways and tourism, particularly in Northern Ireland.
The first election to Mid and East Antrim District Council, part of the Northern Ireland local elections on 22 May 2014, returned 40 members to the newly-formed council via Single Transferable Vote. The Democratic Unionist Party were the largest party in both first-preference votes and seats.
Blackhead Lighthouse is a listed lighthouse built at the turn of the 20th century, near Whitehead in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It marks the very northern end of Belfast Lough where it opens out into the North Channel that separates Northern Ireland and Scotland. The active lighthouse is managed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, where it is named as the Blackhead Antrim Lighthouse to distinguish it from the more modern Blackhead lighthouse in County Clare.