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Cruises: 2345

English Harbour, Antigua Cruise Port

The island of Antigua, being an English island until 25 years ago, still retains an obvious British presence and no area more so than the old headquarters which are aptly named English Harbour. This area is nestled away on the south east coast of the island, protected from the tropical storms that pass through. English Harbour, along with neighbouring Falmouth, is famed for yachting and they host a number of regattas every year including the popular annual Antigua Sailing Week.

Sightseeing in English Harbour

The English Harbour area of Antigua is steeped in history dating back to when the English took over control of the island from the Spanish. There are a number of historical sites that you are able to walk around, as well as natural and sporting attractions in the area. Adventurous travellers can enjoy a number of dive tours that leave from the harbour, giving a chance to enjoy the island from the coastline. With so much to see and do, here are a few of the highlights in and around the English Harbour area:

Nelson's Dockyard

For a beautiful step back in time take a walk around the historic and graceful Nelson's Dockyard. Named after Horatio Nelson, the dockyard has been restored back to its former glory and now stands proudly as the only remaining Georgian dockyard in the world. There are a number of exhibits detailing the area's rich history as well as a good museum in the vicinity.

Shirley Heights

As you climb up higher from the picturesque harbour you will pass by ancient military buildings and gun emplacements until you reach Shirley Heights. From the summit you can enjoy the most incredible views looking out over the island. Every Sunday is party time with a BBQ accompanied by reggae music and steel drums. There are stalls here selling locally produced crafts and souvenirs. Nearby Monk's Hill is also worth a climb. At its summit is Fort George which was built in the 17th century. The ruins are still visible today albeit they are overrun with vegetation, but this just adds to their appeal. Once at the top you can get uninterrupted views across Falmouth Bay and Nelson's Dockyard.

365 Beaches

With an impressive claim to having 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, it would be remiss not to visit one of them during your time in English Harbour. The two closest are Galleon Beach and Pigeon Point. You can enjoy a variety of water sports and some impressive dive sites at each of them. There is a snorkelling reef at Galleon Beach and its shallow waters make it a safe option for younger families. For those of you preferring more relaxing pastimes then the wide stretches of sandy beaches and glistening warm Caribbean waters are enough to tempt anyone.

Shopping in English Harbour

English harbour caters well for tourists, and is well stocked with gift shops offering traditional souvenirs to visitors. You will find some original art works and pottery pieces here, as well as vibrant Caribbean clothing on offer. The museum has a small variety of keepsakes available to buy but its range is not extensive. The area isn't geared up for extensive shopping opportunities through and if you are in need of retail therapy then you would be better venturing to Redcliffe Quay or St. John's where you will find a much wider variety of shops available.

Dining in English Harbour

Due to its colourful history of colonisation, mixed with traditional Caribbean flair, there are a wealth of dining experiences in the harbour area. With stunning views out across the harbour and an exquisite French menu, Catherine's Café is a must. There is a relaxed atmosphere intertwined with sublime gastronomy that makes for a perfect mix that locals and tourists rave about. Trappas Bar and Restaurant has an eclectic mix of Asian, English and Caribbean fare on its extensive menu. There is something to suit every palate here and it's reasonably priced.

If you are in the mood for some traditional Caribbean cooking and hospitality then head to the Caribbean Taste Restaurant where you will find some typical dishes of the region, like goat curry, snapper and conch, as well as some homemade ginger beer to wash it down with.  

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