Yarnfolk Festival of Wool Part 3

The third part of our visit to Yarnfolk Festival of Wool in Whitehead. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I was looking forward to visiting Lighthouse Yarns. I used to enjoy going to Lighthouse Yarns when it was in St Georges Market and had always intended visiting the new shop when it opened in Whitehead. It is a lovely cosy shop full of yarn, notions and gifts. I’m looking forward to a return visit when it isn’t quite so busy, which it was on festival day, with a busy workshop going on and full of festival visitors.

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017

Lighthouse Yarns is situated in The Bank House which also has a gift shop and a cafe. We decided to have lunch in the cafe, just as the heavy rain started outside, and were lucky to get a table as all the diners who had been eating at the outdoor tables started moving indoors with their lunches. Our first choice was the Tomato and Basil soup but it was all gone so we tried the Cauliflower and Cheddar soup instead and it was truly delicious. It came with a yummy wedge of brown bread. Maya opted for a passion fruit smoothie to go with it!

After lunch we finished our shopping (mmm… really it was ‘I’) and then decided to walk down to the Victorian railway station. The earliest part of the station was opened in 1877 although there has been some thoughtful restoration. We crossed the railway lines at the pedestrian crossing and then walked towards the Blackhead Path.

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017

As we walked along the higher path we had a lovely view of the main footpath that hugged the rocky beach. We stopped to look at a shelter that had been beautifully decorated as our path joined the main path. I would have loved to have walked all the way to the Lighthouse, but I knew that it would involve a steep path up to the top of the cliff where the Lighthouse stood, and at the moment I know my capabilities. When we were nearly there I stopped and sat on a rock and looked out to sea, when a nearby bench was vacated, I moved to it.

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017

In the meantime, Neil and Maya, continued towards the lighthouse. Apparently, they took the first path they came to which involved a winding steep path up the cliff that brought them above the lighthouse. When the arrived at Blackhead Lighthouse, there was a sign saying private property, so they were only able to walk around the boundary fence. But they felt it was worthwhile. The octagonal Blackhead Lighthouse was designed by William Douglas and opened in 1902.

They came back down the cliff by an easier route that brought them past the Schoolmasters Bed Chamber. Thomas McCartney, a teacher from the Glens of Antrim, lived in this cave from 1804. He taught a ‘hedge school’ for local children. Then they scrambled over rocks on the beach to get around a gate where they found a sign on the other side of the gate warning walkers that they passed this point at their own risk! They were safely onto the Blackhead Path. In the meantime, I’d been quietly meditating on the rippling waves.

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017

We walked back towards Whitehead through the carpark and along the promenade towards the seafront. The buildings here are beautifully painted and create a colourful seaside ambience. Whitehead was a popular holiday destination in Victorian times, and having visited it, I can see why! We will definitely return to this pretty Victorian seaside resort for another visit someday soon.

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