So as this blog moves into a new direction (more on that on Wednesday) to feature culture, travel, dress/social history and lifestyle blogs, I’d thought I’d get the ball rolling with a blog post on Islandmagee and Whitehead. Islandmagee is an inland peninsula surrounded by water on three sides and is thirty minutes from Belfast.
Whitehead is a former Victorian seaside resort with the most amazing houses, seriously guys I’d give anything to own one of the beautiful three-storied houses in Whitehead. The door below comes from a house beside The Old Tea House (great place to eat; featured in my vlog below). Every year the door seems to be painted a different colour; last year hot pink, this year lemon yellow.
Whitehead is a beautiful, tranquil village that offers amazing views over Belfast Lough and on a clear day Bonnie Scotland! There are also many places to walk including the Lighthouse Path (I don’t know its proper name; I’ve always called it this) that leads you to Whitehead Lighthouse. There are also many amazing places to eat; particularly the above mentioned place, as well as other cafe’s and takeaways.
Whitehead is also home to loads of craft shops for those of us who are crafty minded, or just like really nice things. This is definitely me, I really like really nice things, particularly for myself!
This bike is entirely covered in crocheted or knitted wool. It was outside the local craft shop situated in an old bank turned craft and tea room. There was also a crocheted skeleton, as featured in my vlog below! We had a our lunch and walked around Whitehead, followed by a pitstop in aforesaid craft shop before getting on our bikes (haha) for a walk on the ‘Lighthouse Path’.
Tick Tock, I’m late for a very important date for a walk on the Lighthouse Path! So without further ado we made our way to the ‘Lighthouse Path’ that is just past the coloured Victorian seafront houses in Whitehead. This path offers spectacular views over Belfast, Belfast Lough and Carrickfergus. Additionally, its also a wonderful alternative day out from the normal crowded tourist spots dotted around the Antrim Coast.
View from the Lighthouse Path looking towards Belfast Lough, Whitehead and County Down. The path was originally a path leading to a natural harbour for fishermen based at the mouth of Belfast Lough. Overtime the path deteriorated until the local council re-paved it and opened it to the public. We walked towards Whitehead Lighthouse, taking in the views from the path and admiring the scenery. As you can see below I was enjoying myself, albeit being very warm in my jeans!
I would note that the path to the Lighthouse has been blocked off by the local council but there is away around the locked gates. I would advise only those fit enough to follow the path towards the Lighthouse as its very steep and there are several gates to climb over. However, the view is worth it as you can see County Down, the Mourne Mountains, County Anrtim and Belfast.
The rock formations on the path past the closed gates are amazing. According to my partner’s father there used to be smugglers who used the caves to hide their bounty! I definitely think that the photo above with the metal girders between the rocks could have been a smuggler’s cave, what do you think? As you can see the Lighthouse is pretty spectacular and is worth the steep climb up the steps just to see the view.
So after all this hiking you probably want something refreshing and cold? Well this is where the Rinkha ice cream shop comes in handy. The Rinkha is ten minutes from Whitehead by car and used to be a former dance hall. The ice cream is made to a secret family gelato recipe and is hands down the best Ice Cream I’ve had outside of my favourite country aka Italy. I take my ice cream pretty seriously so you know this is a great recommendation! You can see the ice cream we bought in the YouTube vlog below.
After all that walking and eating and more eating, you probably want to chill out somewhere. Islandmagee offers fabulous beaches and spectacular views. As you can see I had my fill of ice cream and walking (on a previous visit) and had a snooze on the beach at Brown’s Bay. My other half and I chilled out here for a couple of hours on the bank holiday at the end of May. It’s probably easy to say this was one of my favourite days out this year! I looked fabulous in my massive sunhat and 1950s yellow chiffon and tulle dress.
Islandmagee also offers some of the most amazing walks in the East Antrim area and I’d highly recommend here if you want somewhere of the beaten track if you’re a tourist. To get to Islandmagee and Whitehead, just follow the directions from Belfast for Carrickfergus, then Larne. Whitehead is ten minutes after Carrickfergus, Islandmagee fifteen (they’re both well signposted). Hope you enjoyed my blog post! And don’t forget as always to subscribe to YouTube and follow me on Instagram and Twitter! How for now! (If you’re a ’90s kid you’d totally get that).
All photography (c) Rachel Christina Sayers & Ross Davidson 2016.