NEARBYATTRACTIONS

We've put together a list of nearby attractions within The Gobbins area. We are confident that you, your family and friends will have a memorable time with us. Thank you for visiting and enjoy!

From the Gobbins team.

STEAM TRAINS IRELAND

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) was formed in 1964 to preserve in working order steam locomotives and other rolling stock built for the Irish railway system, from 1850 to the present day.

RPSI is Ireland’s only remaining mainline steam engineering depot. Whitehead Excursion Station is where all the locomotives and carriages in the RPSI’s Northern Ireland collection are stored. It is where all locomotive maintenance and overhaul is carried out. The station consists of a station building (housing a shop open on their Summer Steam days), a platform, a short running line for public demonstrations and to allow the shunting of their stock. Beyond the station are the sheds housing the engineering equipment and stores necessary to maintain Ireland’s mainline steam train fleet.

The RPSI maintains a museum at Whitehead and operates steam-hauled excursions over the present day Irish railway network for families and enthusiasts. On “Summer Steam” open days, they steam a locomotive and the public and enthusiasts are welcome to come along and have a short ride by steam train within their site for a nominal charge. Their 1951-built dining car is on hand for teas and refreshments, and a Souvenir Shop is open. The full site is usually open and guided tours run throughout the afternoon.

The Society is a not-for-profit charity managed by volunteers. All funds from ticket sales, shop sales, membership fees or donations go directly to keeping Ireland’s steam railway heritage operating for future generations.

Opening Times

Please Visit www.steamtrainsireland.com for upcoming events

Cost

For tickets and enquiries contact: Belfast Welcome Centre, 47 Donegall Place, Belfast, BT1 5AD. Tel: (028) 9024 6609 e: welcomecentre@belfastvisitor.com

Address

Castleview Road, Whitehead BT38 9NA

Contact Details

Tel: (028) 9337 3968 www.steamtrainsireland.com rpsitrains@hotmail.com

WHITEHEAD HERITAGE AND WELLBEING WALKING TRAIL

Before its development back in the 17th and 18th century, Whitehead was a small village called Chichester and the ruins of the Castle Chichester, built by Sir Moses Hill can still be seen in Chester Avenue. Whitehead and province’s railway network are inextricably linked and the town is appropriately today the base for the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland. The view across Whitehead’s promenade and multi-coloured seafront will give you a sense of the real character and nature of this town. Whitehead is a pristine late-Victorian and Edwardian seaside resort, a place that has invited generations of visitors to stay, relax and enjoy its sights.

This walking trail will help you discover and enjoy Whitehead’s many attractions, as well as some of its hidden gems (you’ll get some healthy, low impact walking exercise in the process!) From historic monuments to bracing seaside strolls; Christian heritage to a Great War airfield; a quiet nature reserve to mighty steam engines, there’s much to enjoy in this compact, friendly town.
Like all the best things in life, the sights of interest in Whitehead require a little time and effort to reach. So be prepared for the weather – and wear a good pair of comfortable shoes!

The town developed as a crucial rail link to Larne and Belfast and encouraged many people to live in the area, a haven from the bustle of the city. In the late 1900s it grew into one of the province’s most popular resorts.

Attractions of interest along the route include:
1. Blackhead Path, with steps up to Blackhead Lighthouse;
2. Whitehead Bandstand, Promenade and Lido;
3. County Antrim Yacht Club
4. Coastguard Station and Boathouse
5. White Harbour & Nature Reserve
6. Churches and architecture
7. Whitehead Railway Station
8. Castle Chichester
9. Diamond Jubilee Wood
10. Whitehead Aerodrome

Opening Times

All year

Cost

Free

Address

The walk begins at Black Head Car Park, Whitehead  

Contact Details

Carrickfergus Tourist Information Centre & Museum 11 Antrim Street Carrickfergus County Antrim BT38 7DG Tel:030012450000 e: visitorinfo@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
ANDREW JACKSON COTTAGE AND US RANGERS CENTRE

ANDREW JACKSON COTTAGE AND US RANGERS CENTRE

The Andrew Jackson Cottage highlights Carrickfergus’ strong American and Ulster-Scots connections as well as telling the story of Andrew Jackson, 7th president of the USA, whose parents emigrated to America from Carrickfergus in 1765. Located less than a mile from Carrickfergus town centre off the Larne Road, this single story building has been restored to its original state.

Beside the Jackson Cottage is an exhibition dedicated to the US Rangers, the elite American army regiment. Formed in 1942, the US Rangers were based in Carrickfergus during World War II. The exhibition has an enthralling collection of uniforms, photographs, documents and other material detailing this famed combat unit.

Opening Times

Thursday–Saturday 11.00am-3.00pm Sunday 1.00-4.00pm Can also be opened by appointment through Carrickfergus Visitor Information Centre

Cost

FREE ADMISSION

Address

Visitor Information Centre 11 Antrim Street Carrickfergus BT38 7DG
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The Gobbins path will be open for the summer season, Council Confirms.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has announced that the internationally-unique coastal path at The Gobbins will re-open at the end of June, just in time for peak visitor season.

The Gobbins closed unexpectedly last year, when extreme weather conditions caused higher levels of rock fall along the path. Council brought forward its programme of planned maintenance in the interests of visitor and staff safety, which it says are paramount.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim , Councillor Audrey Wales MBE outlined what has been happening in Islandmagee over recent months: “We were very disappointed last year to miss our first peak season due to the unavoidable closure. Our visitor figures had already well exceeded our targets for the period and out feedback worldwide had been, and continues to be, extremely positive.

“The Gobbins is an outstanding natural and sometimes unpredictable attraction and the only guided adventure walk of its kind in Europe. Over recent months we have been working to dislodge loose rock through scaling and the majority of that work is complete. We have been looking at options for the areas around the ends of the bridges, to ensure that they aren’t damaged during the scaling process and we will now move to complete that element of the maintenance work.

“Council had budgeted around £2 million for its maintenance work, which included work to restore the access path following Storm Frank in 2015. We have spent about a quarter of the budget to date, so the next phase to get The Gobbins open represents a significant investment in growing local economy in Mid and East Antrim through creation of sustainable jobs and tourism. Mid and East Antrim has a fantastic range of tourist attractions, from Carrickfergus Castle to Slemish mountain and we have been committed, together with our partners in Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland, to promoting all our assets on a world stage.

“The Gobbins is so special within Europe. It sits within an area of Special Scientific Interest on account of its wildlife and habitats. It is one of the only mainland sites in Ireland where puffins nest and as such we will always be restricted by the bird nesting season. We will be unable to open a small section at the end of the 2 km path in time for June because of the environmental sensitivities within this area and the associated Planning restrictions, but we will work on those areas during the off-peak season later in the year. Seasonal opening will be a feature of The Gobbins going forward and will be necessary in order for Council to carry out its annual cliff maintenance work off-peak.

“We’re very excited to have a re-opening date confirmed. Booking lines will be open again early in May and we look forward to bringing people back to The Gobbins and to Mid and East Antrim for an exhilarating and exciting raw experience with nature” she said.

 

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