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Whitehead, County Antrim facts for kids

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Marine Parade, Whitehead - - 264264.jpg
The shorefront
Whitehead is located in Northern Ireland
Population 3,802 (2011 Census)
  • Mid and East Antrim
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT38
Dialling code 028
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
  • East Antrim
NI Assembly
  • East Antrim
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°45′26″N 5°42′14″W / 54.757223°N 5.703964°W / 54.757223; -5.703964

Whitehead is a small seaside village 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, and is part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Before the Plantation of Ulster its name was recorded as both Whitehead and Kinbaine (from Irish an Cionn Bán, meaning 'the white head').

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 sometimes known as 'The Town With No Streets', as there are no roadways with the suffix "Street" in their name.


In late Victorian and Edwardian times, Whitehead was a popular seaside holiday destination and visitors flocked from Belfast and the surrounding area each year. The town also was home to an aerodrome during the First World War which housed two airships. 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 seaside walk past Sunshine House, around Blackhead Lighthouse and along the Irish Sea cliffs of Islandmagee. Whitehead is about 20 miles from Belfast. On the opposite coast of Belfast Lough, the Copeland Islands, Bangor and part of the County Down coastline, are clearly visible. Whitehead received a silver at the Britain in Bloom awards in 2005 and 2006, and a bronze in 2007. The town's Brighter Whitehead group planted 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.


  • Neighbours actress Jackie Woodburne lived in Whitehead before her family emigrated to Australia.
  • Sting (Gordon Sumner) lived with ex-wife Frances Tomelty in Whitehead during the mid-1970s. The wooden house on the coastal path that they lived in was originally a temperance hotel and has recently been replaced with a new building.
  • Keith Gillespie (Northern Ireland footballer) went to Whitehead Primary School.

Conservation and Energy Saving

Transition Town Whitehead want to make Whitehead an example of a great place to live, a great place to work, a great place for visitors and to have a glowing reputation, not only in Northern Ireland but beyond. They would like Whitehead to be a town where local businesses would sell more locally produced food, where the local people could restore land and have local residents pay less for light and heat.

Transition Town Whitehead are currently one of the six groups competing in the Power NI BIG Energy Saving Challenge, which is an exciting community based energy saving project in which six communities from across Northern Ireland compete over a year to win £20,000 worth of funding.

2001 Census

Whitehead is classified as an intermediate settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 2,250 and 4,500 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 3,702 people living in Whitehead. Of these:

  • 20.3% were aged under 16 years and 24.1% were aged 60 and over
  • 15.4% were from a Catholic background and 76.8% were from a Protestant background
  • 2.7% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service


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.

Of these:

  • 17.8% were aged under 16 years and 22.2% were aged 65 and over
  • 17.5% were from a Catholic background and 69.2% were from a Protestant or other Christian background
  • 4.2% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.


Sports clubs in Whitehead include a golf club, running club and bowling club. The latter, a lawn bowls club, were 6-time winners of NIBA Division 1, including in 2015.

The local association football club, Whitehead Eagles FC, play in the Northern Amateur Football League.

County Antrim Yacht Club, based near Whitehead, offers dinghy sailing and RYA courses.


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.

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