24th November 2017: Bermuda. Known for its glorious pink sand beaches, preserved colonial architecture and rich British and maritime heritage, the island certainly packs an impressive wealth of sights into its 21 miles. With flights to the island only available through British Airways from London, Bermuda is arguably one of the most exclusive locations in the world. Some of our travel specialists were lucky enough to sample the wonders Bermuda has to offer for themselves. Find out what places they'd recommend to make the most of your time on the island.
Day 1 - St George
By Tracey, Portishead Manager
My first impression of Bermuda; absolutely beautiful. Made up of several parishes interconnected by causeways or small bridges, you instantly notice just how spotlessly clean the island is and how friendly the locals are. Proud of their British heritage many of those I spoke to are keen to tell you more about the rich heritage of their country.
Considering the size of the island, there are plenty of things to see and do and I was about to sample just a handful. With a water taxi transfer from our hotel, we visited the historical town of St George which until 1815, was the capital of Bermuda. St George is attractive, all of its buildings are low-rise and painted in pastel colours.
Many of its cottages and merchant houses date back to the 18th century which really gives you a great impression of what life was like here centuries ago and, a visit to St George’s World Heritage Centre is a great place to visit to find out how Bermuda’s history has shaped the island into what it is today.
Exploring St George
During our time here, we found the best way to explore St George was to simply wander. Take a stroll down a side street or nearby alley and you’ll quickly stumble across some stunning and interesting locations. We found the Old Rectory, one of the oldest houses in Bermuda, St Peter’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in continuous use outside the British Isles and dates back to the 16th century. Inside this magnificent building you’ll see signed pictures of the Queen, Princess Diana and Prince Charles who have all visited.
King’s Square is situated in the heart of the town and is where many people choose to see its re-enactments at the stocks, pillory and ducking stools which were historically used to punish the town gossips.
From St George's you can also pick up a glass bottomed boat and visit the nearby beautiful secluded beaches. While here, many choose to feed the fish or go on the lookout for turtles – which we were lucky enough to see! This area is so peaceful, you’re allowed the time to just to wander and explore. Nobody bothers you and there are no local vendors trying to sell you goods.
Buy a ticket to use the buses/ferries around the Island. The transportation system is amazing and great value for money.
Day 2 – Hamilton
By Olivia, Bath Travel Specialist
After our morning looking at some of the island's most beautiful hotels, we met Ed Christopher, the town crier. Dressed in his official town crier uniform, Ed led us round the streets of Hamilton stopping regularly to point out sites of interest, one of these sites was Queen Elizabeth Park.
Refurbished for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in the 1880’s the park is a beautiful location to relax or take a stroll amongst its attractive flower gardens. Next we visited The Cathedral of The Most Holy Trinity. Primarily constructed from Bermuda limestone, the cathedral was designed in the Early English style by James Cranston of Oxford in 1844 before its completion in 1869.
Just outside the centre of Hamilton is the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. The institute aims to give its visitors an advanced understanding of the ocean and to encourage protection of the marine environment.
I found the institute very interesting and informative and particularly liked the impressive shell collection and the shipwreck gallery which showcases items found from shipwrecks just off the shores of Bermuda.
Day 3 – History and Beaches
By Kate, Cirencester Travel Specialist
Our final day began with a visit to the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse which is said to have some of the best view of the island; they weren’t wrong! Dating back to 1846, Gibbs Hills Lighthouse is made from cast iron and is the second oldest lighthouse in the world. Walking up its 185 steps was worth it as you’re rewarded with its breath taking ocean views.
The second historical visit of the day was a trip to the Royal Navy Dockyard which dates back to the 1800’s. During its peak, it was one of the largest British naval facilities outside the United Kingdom and served as the main base of HM Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between American independence and the Cold War.
Nearby, you have the try the local craft market and the Rum Cake Factory. No visit to Bermuda would be complete without sampling the local rum. My personal favourite? A dark and stormy made with ginger beer and dark rum – very refreshing! Lastly, just a short bus journey from the Grotto Bay Beach Resort (where we stayed) and we were in Hamilton for our connecting bus to Warwick Long Bay.
If you’re looking for the most stunning beach walk on the island I recommend starting here. Small coves linked by sand dunes, you’ll make your way along gorgeous sands before arriving at the breath taking Horseshoe Bay, famous for its pink sand.