Exterior of Carrickfergus Castle. Boats can be seen in the water surrounding the castle.
20 January 2020

A guide to living in Newtownabbey


Are you considering a move to Newtownabbey? are here to help. Whether you are taking in the beautiful scenery at Hazelbank Park or shopping until you drop at the Abbey Centre, there are plenty of things to see and do in Newtownabbey. have created a guide to living in Newtownabbey which showcases the top eateries, local attractions and more!

Living in Newtownabbey

Considered a suburb of Belfast, Newtownabbey is comprised of the formation of seven villages; Carnmoney, Glengormley, Jordanstown, Monkstown, Whiteabbey, Whitehouse and Whitewell, separated from the rest of the city by Cavehill and Fortwilliam Golf Course.

Offering a unique mix of rural and urban life, its prime position borders the shores of Belfast Lough, reaching north from the city of Belfast towards the Glens of Antrim. Its semi-rural location gives residents the highly sought advantage of the charm of the countryside while residing close to Belfast’s cosmopolitan lifestyle.

While Newtownabbey is largely a residential area, it boasts many engineering and computer industries. An array of independent retailers are scattered throughout, while the popular Abbey Centre is home to an abundance of much-loved high street names. Family activities are varied thanks to the Valley Leisure Centre, Glengormley Movie House Cinema, Sportsbowl and public parks, while theatregoers easily have their needs met at The Theatre at the Mill.

With a focus on supporting the local community, coffee shops and restaurants are plentiful, with new additions frequently added.

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Who is Newtownabbey ideal for?

Public transport into Belfast City Centre is frequent, affording residents the advantage of a unique combination of rural yet urban living and is also ideal for working commuters. With an increased demand for housing, new developments are ample, while families are easily catered for, thanks to semi-detached and detached homes.

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Where to eat in Newtownabbey?

  • Sleepy Hollow: Located in quaint surroundings, Sleepy Hollow offers a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience. An emphasis is placed on serving fresh, locally sourced food, with a unique combination of flavours to form modern, Irish cuisine.
  • The Khayber: With a highly sought place on The Belfast Telegraph’s list of Top 10 Restaurants, The Khayber in Glengormley consistently receives rave reviews. Providing the ultimate authentic Indian cooking experience, enjoy a perfect fusion of flavours for a meal like no other.
  • Blooms Tea Rooms: Proving casual dining should never be boring, Blooms Tea Rooms in Ballyclare combines home-cooked dishes with friendly service, while modern décor and a relaxed atmosphere easily ensure customers feel at home.
  • Knags Bar & Grill: Located at the heart of Glengormley, Knags Bar & Grill offers exciting menus, which utilise locally sourced seasonal ingredients. In addition to the main menu, diners can choose between daily specials, with an extensive drinks menu to complement.
  • Sozo: Situated on the Shore Road, Sozo was established with a festival vibe in mind. Enjoy fresh, delicious food and drink in a quirky, urban environment, for a good, fun-filled foodie experience.
  • The Taaj Restaurant: Head chef, Nirmal Rana and his team have established an excellent reputation for showcasing traditional contemporary Indian food at its best. Receiving a prestigious Irish Restaurant Awards nomination within just a few months of opening is a testament to the high standard of food and service.
  • Linen & Latte: Offering coffee, lifestyle and food under one roof, Linen & Latte is a unique concept which is proving a hit with locals. The family-run café ensures the warmest of welcomes and serves home-cooked dishes, which always delight.
  • Corr’s Corner Bar & Grill: Serving an extensive and varied menu all day, every day, the restaurant aims to please all diners, through its menu of classic dishes and daily specials.
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What to do in Newtownabbey?

  • Belfast Zoo: The 55-acre site is home to more than 130 species. With a passion for education, learning and discovery, the zoo aims to provide a memorable experience, educating visitors about its animals and nature in general.
  • Abbey Centre: Abbey Centre is an impressive retail outlet that features Northern Ireland’s largest Next, Primark, New Look, Topshop, Jack & Jones and Superdrug.
  • Jordanstown Loughshore Park: Located in Newtownabbey on the shores of Belfast Lough, enjoy panoramic views from Belfast to Bangor at the first stop along the stunning Causeway Coastal Route. The park also boasts an excellent modern play area for children, while energetic adults will enjoy the outdoor gym.
  • Sentry Hill Historic House: The 19th century farmhouse has long been associated with the McKinney family. The extensive collection of artefacts gives a rare insight into the working lives, social activities, beliefs and values of rural families in Ulster during the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Theatre at the Mill: Set in the beautifully restored Mossley Mill in Newtownabbey, Theatre at the Mill connects the latest modern facilities to the area’s historic past, thanks to a wide programme of musicals, dance, drama, comedy, concerts, family shows and workshops.
  • Lagan and Lough Cycle Way: The mostly traffic-free cycle and walk routes begin at Loughshore Park in Jordanstown, affording picturesque views across Belfast Lough, as well as cityscape views with the Belfast Hills as the backdrop.
  • Hazelbank Park: Widely recognised as one of Newtownabbey’s most scenic parks, visitors are rewarded with fantastic views of Belfast, Carrickfergus and County Down, as they meander its beautiful paths.
  • Valley Leisure Centre: With a swimming pool, gym, regular classes and pitches, the Valley Leisure Centre is the number one fitness facility for locals, easily meeting their needs, regardless of ability.
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Schools in Newtownabbey

  • Hazelwood Integrated College: Located on the Whitewell Road, Hazelwood Integrated College is dedicated to promoting social, cultural and religious integration through the pursuit of educational excellence. They offer a wide range of extra curricular activities, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Choir and Film Club.
  • Glengormley High School: Glengormley High School are proud to do things ‘The Glengormley Way’ – 1. For all pupils to arrive and leave school happy 2. for all students and staff to be ready, respectful and safe 3. for all parents and carers to partner with the school in the education of the child.
  • Belfast High School: Belfast High School is a co-educational, non-denominational grammar school. With a happy and caring community, this school helps support pupils achieve their full potential through the classroom curriculum and extracurricular activities.
  • Abbey Community College: Abbey Community College is a mixed, non-denominational secondary school in Newtownabbey. The college’s motto is ‘Believe, Achieve, Succeed’ which is at the heart of all they do.
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