The English Harbour settlement blends British colonial history with quintessential West Indies beaches. This town spreads around a sheltered natural harbor at Antigua’s southernmost tip, where for almost 200 years it served as a base for the British Navy. Visit English Harbour to tour the restored Georgian dockyard, ruined forts and hilltop lookouts. Bask in the glorious sunshine at the laid-back beaches decorating the coastline.
Immerse yourself in colonial heritage at Nelson’s Dockyard, the former naval marina on the harbor’s western shores. Admire the one-time storehouses, restored to their 18th-century appearance and now the site of art galleries, boutique hotels and restaurants. Learn about Antigua’s maritime importance at the Dockyard Museum, housed in a building that was Horatio Nelson’s home from 1784 to 1787. Follow a short trail to the ruined Fort Berkeley and enjoy superb views across the bay to the Pillars of Hercules.
Walk 20 minutes west from the dockyard to Pigeon’s Point Beach, a quiet beach overlooking Falmouth Harbour. The mild, transparent water is great for refreshing swimming and snorkeling. From here another trail leads to secluded Windward Bay Beach.
On the harbor’s eastern side, Galleon Beach offers more swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing opportunities. Marvel at the panoramic island views at Shirley Heights, a lookout, restaurant and old military barracks accessible via the Lookout Trail. The Carpenter Rock Trail is a scenic walking route between the lookout and Galleon Beach. Take a guided tour of the royal residence Clarence House and browse exhibits about the island’s past at Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre.
Indulge in a day of all-inclusive food, massages and watersports at Mamora Bay. In the town center, dine on Caribbean dishes at casual and fine-dining restaurants. Fungee (dumplings of cornmeal and okra) is a popular Antiguan dish.
Arrive in English Harbour on one of the cruise ships that dock at St. John’s. You can also fly to V.C. Bird International Airport from major cities in Canada, the U.S. and neighboring Caribbean islands.