Cruise Passengers landing in Bermuda will mostly look to go shopping and generally sight-see around the islands – and within a day you can see quite a bit of the island and get a feel for life here.
Those people coming to Bermuda for a holiday – will mostly stay in Hamilton, Warwick or St George and head to the beaches to swim, sunbake or snorkel. There is great diving off-shore, including a number of wrecks – and it is easy to organise a day out diving from most hotels, a visitor centre or in Hamilton from a Dive Organiser. See www.bermudascuba.com – located at the Fairmont Southampton Resort near Hamilton. You can of course simply use a mask and fins to go snorkelling on the reefs that lie just off-shore many of the beaches and there are many beaches to choose from, with only the more popular beaches having life guards.
The closest beach to the Royal Navy Docklands is Snorkel Park Beach.
Southampton and Warwick Parish:
Horseshoe Bay is the most popular of the beaches in Bermuda and from May to September there are lifeguards on duty.
Warwick Long Bay – is also on the southside with a long sandy beach and just off-shore the reefs for snorkelling.
Chapline Bay – is also close by and a much smaller beach.
Church Bay – a nice sandy beach with good snorkelling too.
Paget Parish – southside:
Elbow Beach – this is a private beach of the Elbow Beach Resort with beach chairs, the pool and beach all here.
St George's Parish:
Tobacco Bay – a popular beach in St Georges with pink sandy beach and snorkelling
Sandys Parish – closer to the Royal Navy Docklands:
Somerset Long Bay – faces west and the water may be subject to currents. Quieter than other beaches.
Hamilton Parish – Northside
Shelly Beach – soft pink sand and calm water. A popular but not overcrowded beach.
Smith's Parish – south side:
John Smiths Bay – a long beach with great pink sand, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months. This is close to the 64 acres of wetlands – called Spittle Pond.
While the Bermuda islands are not very big, it takes just an hour plus or so to travel the distance from east to west, your best beach choice really depends on where you are staying – so check out the different accommodation options, what they offer in terms of facilities including water sports and go from there.
This is the biggest town and Capital City of Bermuda with a population of just about 4000 people
Here you will find –
- Shopping on Front Street, Reid Street and Queen Street - all close together near the Ferry Terminal – restaurants, galleries and specialty shops. The Visitor Centre is on Front Street.
- Washington Mall and food court – 20 Queen Street.
- The Bermuda Botanical Gardens with great tropical gardens to see.
- Hamilton Port – catch a Ferry or take a cruise from here.
- Fort Hamilton – see Forts section above.
- Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity – built in 1869.
- A lot of colonial style buildings – making it good to just wander.
- Historic buildings – City Hall and Arts Centre, Sessions House and National Gallery.
- Government House and its 210 acres of grounds – though rarely opened to the public is located at 11 Langdon Hill on North Shore Road near Black Watch Well.
- Queen Elizabeth Park is in the centre of town.
- Admiralty House Park – on Spanish Point Road. Nice park and cliffs beside the water.
- Cinemas – Liberty Theatre at 49 Union Plaza and Specialty Theatre at 30 Queen Street.
- The Crystal Caves – where there is an underground pool of water some 50 feet deep, surrounded by stalactites hanging downwards with their reflections in the water. There is a walkway for visitors to walk through the caves making them easy to explore. The caves are located at 8 Crystal Caves Rd in Hamilton Parish.
- Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo – 40 North Shore Road, Flatts Village. This is a large aquarium and small zoo where you can see sharks, barracudas as well as tiny sea urchins, crabs and crustaceans. Also here is a replica of the 'Bathyspere' diving bell used by Dr Charles William Beebe and Otis Barton to descend into the ocean depths in 1934 to a depth of 3028 feet (.57 miles/0.92 kilometres) off the coast of Bermuda. The Bathysphere was made of cast iron steel – 1 ½ feet thick and 8 inch diameter windows with 3 inch thick glass and built at a cost of $12,000. The two men were inside, with the Bathysphere suspended from the ship above that also supplied air and light to the men below. Their dive was the first ever to reach such depths in the ocean.
- Nature – when you look at Bermuda you see of islands covered by trees and certainly there are many parks and also the great walking trail along the old Railway tracks. The houses with their white and pastel colours seem to blend with the landscape and the higher up you go on the hillsides in most cases the better the views.
- Spittal Pond – is a nature reserve covering around 60 acres of grounds with walkways to you through beautiful coastal scenery with wildflowers in season, water birds and nature. Here you will also see Spanish Rock where there is the year 1543 carved in the rock. Perhaps the Spanish landed here before the British arrived?
- Verdmont Museum House – Near Collector's Hill and Sayle Road in Flatts Village (very picturesque). This house was built in 1710 making it one of the oldest houses in Bermuda. It is open most days of the year and managed by the Bermuda National Trust. The National Trust manages around 70 properties across Bermuda, including Waterville in Paget, their museum in St George's and Nature Reserves – Paget Marsh, Somerset Long Bay and Vesey Nature Reserve in Southampton. Contact phone number is (441) 236 6483.
- Old St George's – this is the oldest town in Bermuda dating back to 1612 and well worth the time to visit where you can learn more about the great stories and history of the town, visit museums here, see mighty Fort St Catherine, shop for souvenirs and just wander and enjoy the ambience of this historic town.
Bermuda is without doubt a beautiful destination to take a holiday in. It can be expensive, given it is a hotspot for tourism with most foodstuffs imported, but it is well worth the time to plan a holiday here.
Enjoy a little taste of Britain right here in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. Time for 'Fish and Chips' and a 'Pint of Bitter', or maybe some Bermuda Rum Cake.
I hope you have a great time in Bermuda.