Re-opened in July following a multi million pound restoration project, the Blackhead Path starts at the yacht club in the picturesque village of Whitehead and follows the coast to the lighthouse at Blackhead, an ancient volcanic plug. The lighthouse itself is listed, built as it was at the turn of the 20th century. It’s situated at the very northern end of Belfast Lough where it opens out into the North Channel that separates Northern Ireland and Scotland.
It’s a beautiful walk, offering stunning views out to sea, the path lined with greenery and wildflowers and the locals always seem keen to wish you a good morning as you walk by. Ahead of you, the lighthouse looms in the distance, occasionally shrouded by a descending mist.
Relatively flat at the outset, the route changes character as you wind your way round the base of the headland, feeling the sea spray on your face as the water crashes in beneath you to the recesses of the caves beyond. On a blustery day, it certainly makes for a memorable and exhilarating experience.
On the approach to the lighthouse
From there, it’s a pretty steep flight of steps until you reach the lighthouse which is owned by the Commissioner for Irish Lights, (the general lighthouse authority for all of Ireland, its adjacent seas and islands).
Having reached the lighthouse, the views down Belfast Lough taking in Whitehead village are spectacular and well worth the climb.
On the day we visited, one of the summer storms was just getting going and feeling windswept and rather battered, we made our descent via another path back down to the relative calm of the shore. We completed our circuit within about 30 minutes or so, so the walk isn’t too long and you can venture into Whitehead afterwards for a coffee and a sit down !
Hope everyone is staying safe and well
Have a lovely Sunday,