Beginning of main content

Fort James

Admire the view of the Caribbean Sea and St. John’s and examine the powder magazine and gun emplacements of this beachside fort.

Fort James comprises the remains of an 18th-century military structure that overlooks Fort Bay Beach. An array of intriguing artifacts remain from its time as an active colonial base built to defend the island against a French invasion. Piece together parts of Antigua’s rich history from the remnants of this fascinating fort.

Inspect the preserved cannons and imagine them being fired over the endless blue ocean. Snap photos of the excellent views of the verdant coast and the town of St. John’s. Walk beside the remaining foundation of the wall of the fort and see the powder magazine for a rough idea of the structure’s appearance centuries ago. It was initially constructed in 1706, before more buildings were added in 1739.

Note that the fort takes its name from King James II of England. The barracks lodged 75 men and contained 36 gun emplacements. Soldiers here fired daily gun salutes to friendly ships as signals at sunrise and sunset during the 1800s.

Dine at one of the small restaurants where the fort area meets the southern end of Fort Bay Beach. Try the seafood and chat with friendly staff. Younger members of the restaurant’s family often sell bracelets and souvenirs.

Make use of the restrooms and shower facilities on the stretch of sand. Although the beach is generally tranquil and has few structures, you can walk to another restaurant farther north along the beach. The beach and fort are free to visit and open to the public at all times.

Find Fort James at the southern cape of Fort Bay Beach on a promontory that juts out from the southwestern outskirts of St. John’s. Take a taxi from the cruise terminal and arrange your return pick-up time with the driver. Visit nearby sights, such as the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, Runaway Beach and Blackburn Park.


Guide to Exploring around Fort James


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Fort James

See all 171 Hotels near Fort James
Heritage Hotel $69
Heritage Hotel

Heritage Hotel

Heritage Quay, St. John's
     
    3.1
    of 5, from 121 reviews
    2.5 out of 5.0

    Located in the heart of St. John's, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from King's Casino and within 3 mi (5 km) of Dickenson Bay Beach and Fort James. Westerby Memorial and Museum of Antigua and Barbuda are also within 5 minutes.

    Backpackers $81
    Backpackers

    Backpackers

    Fort Road, St. John's
       
      2.0
      of 5, from 3 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated near the beach, this spa apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Fort Bay Beach and Fort James. Dickenson Bay Beach is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) away.

      Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts All Inclusive $140
      Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts All Inclusive

      Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts All Inclusive

      Dickenson Bay, St. John's
         
        3.3
        of 5, from 358 reviews
        3.0 out of 5.0

        Arrayed along a half-mile public beach on Antigua's Dickenson Bay; 4 miles from St John's, the Halcyon Cove resort offers activities and entertainment for the entire family. The St. John’s city center is 9 minutes from the cove. The V C Bird International Airport is 13 minutes away.

        Sandals Grande Antigua - All Inclusive Couples Only
        Sandals Grande Antigua - All Inclusive Couples Only

        Sandals Grande Antigua - All Inclusive Couples Only

        Dickinson Bay, St. John's
           
          4.4
          of 5, from 215 reviews
          5.0 out of 5.0

          This award-winning resort sits along the powdery white sands and calm waters of Antigua's Dickenson Bay, 10 minutes from the capital, St. John's, and 15 minutes from V.C. Bird International Airport.

          Yepton Estate Cottages $175
          Yepton Estate Cottages

          Yepton Estate Cottages

          Yepton Estate, St. John's
             
            4.9
            of 5, from 117 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Situated on the waterfront, this cottage is within a 15-minute walk of Fort Barrington and Deep Bay Beach. Galley Bay and Hawksbill Beaches are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Siboney Beach Club $153
            Siboney Beach Club

            Siboney Beach Club

            Dickenson Bay, St. John's
               
              4.4
              of 5, from 117 reviews
              3.0 out of 5.0

              Nestled on the beach, this St. John's hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Runaway Bay Beach and Dickenson Bay Beach. Fort James is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) away.

              Anchorage Inn $80
              Anchorage Inn

              Anchorage Inn

              Anchorage Road 11, St. John's
                 
                2.9
                of 5, from 33 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Dickenson Bay Beach and 2 mi (3.2 km) from Fort James. Fort Bay Beach and Cedar Valley Golf Club are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Inn La Galleria $44
                Inn La Galleria

                Inn La Galleria

                Five Islands, St. John's
                   
                  2.7
                  of 5, from 36 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort Barrington, Galley Bay, and Deep Bay Beach. Hawksbill Beaches is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) away.