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Greenisland

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Overview





Greenisland is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, on the northern shores of Belfast Lough and approximately a mile and a half to the southwest of Carrickfergus Harbour. It provides an out-of-the-way anchorage location that could be an anchoring alternative to Carrickfergus Harbour and Marina.

Greenisland is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, on the northern shores of Belfast Lough and approximately a mile and a half to the southwest of Carrickfergus Harbour. It provides an out-of-the-way anchorage location that could be an anchoring alternative to Carrickfergus Harbour and Marina.

Deep within Belfast Lough, the anchorage provides good protection from northwest through north to northeast. However, the anchorage is entirely exposed from east through south to southwest. Whilst subject to very little westerly fetch, winds from this direction tend to be accelerated as they funnel down the valley into the Lough. The anchorage itself is unmarked but with few off-lying dangers in the area, daylight access is straightforward at any stage of the tide.
Please note

Green Island is located within the area controlled by the Port of Belfast in which all vessels must report and operate under power, with sails down, taking care not to impede commercial traffic.




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Keyfacts for Greenisland
Facilities
Mini-supermarket or supermarket availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this locationNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
November 30th 2022

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Mini-supermarket or supermarket availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this locationNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 41.530' N, 005° 50.910' W

This is 400 metres south of Green Island in approximately three metres.

What is the initial fix?

The following Belfast Harbour Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 41.710' N, 005° 46.225' W
The initial fix is the position of Fairway Light buoy, L Fl 10s, situated between Carrickfergus and Grey Point.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in northeast Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location and approaches to the lough can be found in the Bangor Harbour Click to view havenentry.

  • Contact 'Belfast Harbour Radio' and make them aware of your intentions.

  • Track into the Fairway Light buoy through Belfast Lough's open navigable area that is free of dangers.

  • Enter the channel and turn off to starboard at the No. 3 green marker and head for the area offshore of the islet. Or come along the north shore from Carrickfergus keeping half a mile offshore.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Greenisland for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Newtownabbey - 1.1 nautical miles SW
  2. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 1.7 nautical miles NE
  3. Cultra - 2.1 nautical miles SSE
  4. Helen’s Bay - 4.1 nautical miles ESE
  5. Belfast Harbour - 5.7 nautical miles SSW
  6. Whitehead - 6.1 nautical miles NE
  7. Bangor Harbour & Marina - 6.3 nautical miles ESE
  8. Ballyholme Bay - 7 nautical miles E
  9. Groomsport - 8.1 nautical miles E
  10. Magheramorne Point - 8.1 nautical miles NNE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Newtownabbey - 1.1 miles SW
  2. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 1.7 miles NE
  3. Cultra - 2.1 miles SSE
  4. Helen’s Bay - 4.1 miles ESE
  5. Belfast Harbour - 5.7 miles SSW
  6. Whitehead - 6.1 miles NE
  7. Bangor Harbour & Marina - 6.3 miles ESE
  8. Ballyholme Bay - 7 miles E
  9. Groomsport - 8.1 miles E
  10. Magheramorne Point - 8.1 miles NNE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Green Island, with the village of Greenisland and the Knockagh Escarpment behind
Image: Michael Harpur


Greenisland is a village situated off the northern shoreline of Belfast Lough 1½ miles inside Carrickfergus Harbour. The village stretches from the foot of Carn Hill to the north shores of Belfast Lough. It is a popular residential location owing to its attractive setting on the Lough Shore and its proximity to Belfast. Immediately offshore is the low rocky islet of Green Island which has given its name to the surrounding area. Although the locality is known as Greenisland, the island is charted Green Island.

Green Island and the small round castellated tower as seen from the east
Image: Pastor Sam CC BY 3.0


South of the island is an anchorage with a public access landing available at The Gut slipway if not on the immediate shoreline.


How to get in?
Green Island with the north shore of Belfast Lough in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Set on the Lough's northern shores the Lough's approach directions for Bangor Harbour Click to view haven may be used for approaches to the area.

Belfast Fairway Light Buoy
Image: © Alan Geddes
Greenisland is located within the Port of Belfast where all boat movements are controlled and managed. This area covers the entire head of the lough within a charted line drawn from Carrickfergus to Grey Point. Boats operating in the Port of Belfast area must do so under power with sails down taking care not to impede commercial traffic.

All vessels are required to report to, VHF Ch. 12 / 16 [Belfast Harbour Radio] or by telephone at Landline+44 (0)2890 553504, well in advance of arrival and advise them of intentions.

The following Belfast Harbour Radio contacts are prerequisites for all craft lough proceeding west of a charted line drawn from Carrickfergus to Grey Point:

  • 1. Two hours prior to arrival at the Fairway Buoy or entry point.

  • 2. Fifteen minutes prior to arrival at the Fairway Buoy or entry point.

  • 3. When arriving at the berth.

Vessels must maintain a listening watch on VHF Ch. 12 whilst within the harbour limits. The maximum speed in the harbour area, south of the Number 12 beacon, is 6 knots.

The Belfast Harbour Initial Fix is the position of Belfast Fairway Light Buoy, L Fl 10s, situated in the middle of the lough between Carrickfergus and Grey Point on the opposite shore. The initial fix sets up an approach via the dredged channel. This is the preferred route and the one that the harbour authorities encourage visiting vessels to use.
Please note

However, vessels approaching Greenisland along the northern shore may proceed this way provided advance permission is sought and agreed to by Belfast Harbour Radio. Standing off a distance of a ½ mile off the shoreline from Carrickfergus clears all dangers.



Ferry exiting via the Victoria Channel
Image: Tourism NI


Initial fix location From the initial fix, steer to pass between the No. 1 Green buoy, starboard hand marker, Fl2 G (sync) and the No. 2 Red buoy, port hand marker Fl2 R 2s (sync) 2.5 miles west by southwest. The No.1 and No.2 mark the entrance to the Belfast Lough Victoria Channel that leads in through the head of the lough and through the harbour’s extensive port walls on both sides. Turn off to starboard at the No. 3 green marker and head for the area offshore of the islet.
Please note

The Victoria Channel is a 'narrow channel' meaning Rule 9 of the Collision Regulations applies, so keep to the right and do not impede large ships under any circumstances.



The small round castellated tower
Image: Pastor Sam CC BY 3.0
Alternatively, with Belfast Harbour Radio's permission, take a westward path from the Fairway Light buoy along the southern side of the Carrickfergus Bank, for approximately 3 miles to come south of Green Island.

Green Island, is a small grass-covered 3 meters high islet situated 150 metres offshore that will be clearly visible at all states of the tide. A good marker is a small round castellated tower structure situated on the shoreline 400 metres to the northeast of the island on the opposite point of Jointure Bay. Its base coves at high tide and dries to a rocky footing. Likewise, during the season, it is most likely that local vessels will be anchored offshore here. Be careful when approaching the area as an isolated drying patch lies on the 2-metre contour about 300 metres east by southeast of the island.


Green Island and Jointure Bay as seen from seaward
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Once Green Island has been identified find a position 400 metres to the south of it and anchor in 2 to 3 metres over good sand holding. Keep well clear of the protected shellfish beds in the surrounding area where anchoring is prohibited.


The slips on the west side of the point do not have road access
Image: Michael Harpur


There are a couple of old slipways on the shore to the northwest of the islet. But the access to the road above has been closed off by the private properties along the shore. Likewise, the coastal bight north of the island is called Jointure Bay but this is owned by NI Water who have gated it off - reportedly the council and NI Water are discussing potential options for public access. So the lovely sandy south-facing Jointure Bay at low water is the domain of the boater or the local property owner.

The Gut about a ½ mile westward
Image: Google


The closest public access point from the shore is called The Gut off of the small town a ½ mile to the west. Alternatively, Trooperslane Beach near Carrick, or all the way down to Shorelands near Jordanstown. Those two points are nearly two miles apart.


Why visit here?
Greenisland is named after its grassy islet that stands out a short distance from the shore here.


Green Island gave the locallity its name
Image: Michael Harpur


In the 1600s, the West Division of Carrickfergus was established to allocate lands for agricultural purposes west of the town that extended to Greenisland. The area then grew out of the collection of small townlands with strong connections to Carrickfergus. However, Belfast’s rapid growth at the end of the 18th century created a wealthy merchant class for which the Shore Road became a popular destination to construct summer lodges and bathing houses.


The Knockagh Monument stands prominent on the escarpment
Image: Michael Harpur


Bassett’s directory of 1888 notes that it was 'devoted entirely too handsome residences occupied for the greater part by gentlemen engaged in commercial and professional pursuits in Belfast'. As such, the main concentration of houses and amenities commenced on Shore Road with bathing lodges appearing alongside. Stonepoint was constructed in 1860, and Ravenhill, now transformed into Ravenhill Nursing Home that stands directly west of the islet, dates back to 1820. These provided summer lough-side recreation for the newly wealthy industrial classes.

The Knockagh Monument
Image: Joel via CC BY 4.0
In 1845 new impetus was added to the development by the coming of the railway. The Belfast to Ballymena line provided one of the first transport links to the village from both Belfast and Carrickfergus. The line was diverted via a turntable at Greenisland because of the early engine's inability to take on the steep gradient at Whiteabbey. The intersection was initially known as Carrickfergus junction however this was changed to Greenisland in 1893 with the construction of a new station. Thus, the station and its surrounding area were finally given the official name of Greenisland.

These improvements in transport connections and the growth in prosperity led to the development of more semi-detached and terraced houses in the area immediately surrounding the railway station. The increase in local population required improved access to facilities and so churches and schools began to open in the area. The 9-hole golf course was originally opened in 1894 and the overlooking Knockagh Monument, located on top of Carn Hill, was commenced in 1922 in memorial of the people of County Antrim lost during the 1st World War.

Although the foundations of the basalt obelisk monument were laid four years after the war had ended, it was not completed until 1936 in the lead into the Second World War. It was later rededicated in remembrance to those from the County who died in the Second World War when the figures 1939-1945 were added to the inscription. Greenisland continued to grow after the war when large predominantly working-class housing estates were built during the 1950s and 60s. These accommodated factory workers for the local Courtaulds and the large ICI factories in the vicinity as well as for the Carrickfergus and Belfast commuters. The area is therefore an unusual mix of historic and 20th-century built developments.


The protected beach at the head of Jointure Bay is a joy on a summers day
Image: Michael Harpur



Today the village stretches from the shore of Belfast Lough to the foot of Knockagh and is a popular residential location due to its proximity to Belfast and its attractive lough shore setting. The Knockagh Monument is today the most notable landmark of the surrounding area. Those who come here should take the opportunity to climb up to the monument. Standing 278 metres above and overlooking the village, it is the most imposing physical feature on the north side of Belfast Lough. The summit rewards the visitor with panoramic views from Carrickfergus to Belfast and across Belfast Lough, with Scotland and the Mourne Mountains in evidence on clear days.


Dawn view from the Knockagh Monument over the Lough and out to Scotland
Image: Jamie Beckinsale via CC BY 4.0


For the cruising boater, Greenisland offers a convenient anchoring option just over a mile from Carrickfergus. Close to nearby Newtownabbey it also offers good rail connections to the city with plenty immediately ashore to make it worthwhile to launch the dingy. However, on a sunny day, the beach at the head of Jointure Bay is a joy that is the reserve of the boater.


What facilities are available?
The secluded anchorage off Green Island has no facilities. The nearby semi-rural town of Greenisland has a number of shops to cater for its settlement of 5,000 people. These include grocery shops and newsagents, a petrol filling station, a butcher's shop, a bakery, a chemist, an off-licence, a café, and a number of takeaway food outlets plus a hotel and restaurant.

It lies 14 km (9 miles) north-east of Belfast and 5 km (3 miles) south-west of Carrickfergus. A railway station provides direct rail links to both the Belfast and Larne directions, from around 5am until 11pm. Most Ulsterbus, Belfast and Carrickfergus to Whitehead bus services, take a ten minute detour into the Greenisland estate before continuing to their destination. These provide the village with frequent transport links in each direction.


Any security concerns?
Never an incident known to have happened to a vessel anchored off Green Island.


With thanks to:
Michael Fitzsimons, Groomsport Harbour Master.



About Greenisland

Greenisland is named after its grassy islet that stands out a short distance from the shore here.


Green Island gave the locallity its name
Image: Michael Harpur


In the 1600s, the West Division of Carrickfergus was established to allocate lands for agricultural purposes west of the town that extended to Greenisland. The area then grew out of the collection of small townlands with strong connections to Carrickfergus. However, Belfast’s rapid growth at the end of the 18th century created a wealthy merchant class for which the Shore Road became a popular destination to construct summer lodges and bathing houses.


The Knockagh Monument stands prominent on the escarpment
Image: Michael Harpur


Bassett’s directory of 1888 notes that it was 'devoted entirely too handsome residences occupied for the greater part by gentlemen engaged in commercial and professional pursuits in Belfast'. As such, the main concentration of houses and amenities commenced on Shore Road with bathing lodges appearing alongside. Stonepoint was constructed in 1860, and Ravenhill, now transformed into Ravenhill Nursing Home that stands directly west of the islet, dates back to 1820. These provided summer lough-side recreation for the newly wealthy industrial classes.

The Knockagh Monument
Image: Joel via CC BY 4.0
In 1845 new impetus was added to the development by the coming of the railway. The Belfast to Ballymena line provided one of the first transport links to the village from both Belfast and Carrickfergus. The line was diverted via a turntable at Greenisland because of the early engine's inability to take on the steep gradient at Whiteabbey. The intersection was initially known as Carrickfergus junction however this was changed to Greenisland in 1893 with the construction of a new station. Thus, the station and its surrounding area were finally given the official name of Greenisland.

These improvements in transport connections and the growth in prosperity led to the development of more semi-detached and terraced houses in the area immediately surrounding the railway station. The increase in local population required improved access to facilities and so churches and schools began to open in the area. The 9-hole golf course was originally opened in 1894 and the overlooking Knockagh Monument, located on top of Carn Hill, was commenced in 1922 in memorial of the people of County Antrim lost during the 1st World War.

Although the foundations of the basalt obelisk monument were laid four years after the war had ended, it was not completed until 1936 in the lead into the Second World War. It was later rededicated in remembrance to those from the County who died in the Second World War when the figures 1939-1945 were added to the inscription. Greenisland continued to grow after the war when large predominantly working-class housing estates were built during the 1950s and 60s. These accommodated factory workers for the local Courtaulds and the large ICI factories in the vicinity as well as for the Carrickfergus and Belfast commuters. The area is therefore an unusual mix of historic and 20th-century built developments.


The protected beach at the head of Jointure Bay is a joy on a summers day
Image: Michael Harpur



Today the village stretches from the shore of Belfast Lough to the foot of Knockagh and is a popular residential location due to its proximity to Belfast and its attractive lough shore setting. The Knockagh Monument is today the most notable landmark of the surrounding area. Those who come here should take the opportunity to climb up to the monument. Standing 278 metres above and overlooking the village, it is the most imposing physical feature on the north side of Belfast Lough. The summit rewards the visitor with panoramic views from Carrickfergus to Belfast and across Belfast Lough, with Scotland and the Mourne Mountains in evidence on clear days.


Dawn view from the Knockagh Monument over the Lough and out to Scotland
Image: Jamie Beckinsale via CC BY 4.0


For the cruising boater, Greenisland offers a convenient anchoring option just over a mile from Carrickfergus. Close to nearby Newtownabbey it also offers good rail connections to the city with plenty immediately ashore to make it worthwhile to launch the dingy. However, on a sunny day, the beach at the head of Jointure Bay is a joy that is the reserve of the boater.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Newtownabbey - 0.7 miles SW
Belfast Harbour - 3.5 miles SSW
Cultra - 1.3 miles SSE
Helen’s Bay - 2.5 miles ESE
Bangor Harbour & Marina - 3.9 miles ESE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 1 miles NE
Whitehead - 3.8 miles NE
Portmuck - 6.4 miles NNE
Brown’s Bay - 6.3 miles NNE
Ferris Bay - 6.1 miles NNE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Greenisland.

































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