With 365 beautiful white and pink sand beaches, with sparkling turquoise waters to explore – one for every day of the year, visitors to Antigua are truly spoilt for choice! The soft-white sand beaches are among the most attractive in the West Indies. Its sister island, Barbuda, is blessed with a swathe of white sand stretching for 17 miles down its empty west coast – except where its pink from crushed shells.
The most fascinating history in Antigua is centred around Nelson’s Dockyard in the south. This is still a working facility but with restored historic buildings and a museum.
Internationally famous Nelson’s Dockyard has now been proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, this is Antigua’s most prized possession. The Dockyard is a monument to the past and a focus of yachting activity year round.
Shirley Heights is a famed look-out spot and location for great sunsets! Named after General Sir Thomas Shirley, governor of the Leeward Islands from 1781-91, the fort was built in the 1780’s to protect the dockyard and English Harbour from French and American attack. One of the original buildings has become Shirley Heights Lookout, a popular café and restaurant. There is an outdoor seating area at the back with stunning views across English and Falmouth Harbours. The Lookout is a great spot for a meal or a drink at any time, however on Sunday afternoon locals and visitors alike join in one of the most famous parties on the island! Live steel bands play whilst everyone enjoys delicious barbeque ‘fast food’ washed down with local rum punches, watching the sunset! Afterwards the music turns to reggae and the party goes on into the night!!
In 2017 Barbuda was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma. There was serious damage to all the buildings on the island. In true Caribbean style the recovery of the island is now well advanced. Schools have re-opened and restaurants, shops and hotels are getting back to normal operation. We encourage our guests to pop over on the express ferry to see this incredibly beautiful island with its 17 mile pink sand beach and amazing birdlife – including the amazing frigate birds. Barbuda is one of the few unspoilt islands left in the Caribbean. Enjoy miles of pristine white and pink sand beaches, a wild East coast, some of the best diving and snorkeling, caves to explore at Two Foot Bay and the largest Frigate bird colony outside the Galapagos.
St John’s Cathedral , National Museum & Fort James
St John’s Cathedral is visible from all around the capital, it was originally constructed in 1683, replaced in 1745 and then was completely rebuilt of stone in 1843 following an earthquake.
The National Museum interprets the rich history of Antigua and Barbuda through interactive displays and exhibits from the Arawaks and Caribs, the earliest settlers.
Fort James stands at the entrance to the harbour of St. John’s and was built to guard St. John’s harbour, it is one of the many forts built by the British in the 18th century.
Arts & Crafts
A morning tour of the north-east of the island will give you an excellent taste of Antigua’s arts and craft scene. First, visit a local artist and her gallery, then a potter at her studio, finishing with lunch at a nearby restaurant.
The Antiguan artist is Gilly Gobinet, whose Art Gallery is in her delightful waterfront property in leafy Fitches Creek. She opens Monday – Friday 9am – 1pm or by appointment.
The Antiguan potter is Sarah Fuller, whose airy pottery in Coolidge is just steps away from the beach of bracing Dutchman’s Bay. She opens Monday – Friday 9:30am – 3:30pm or by appointment.