History Of Antigua: Shirley Heights And Lord Nelson's DockyardExplore > Antigua and Barbuda > History Of Antigua: Shirley Heights And Lord Nelson's Dockyard
Your own private driver will show you the very best of Antigua.
After visiting 40some islands, this area of Antigua is one of the most memorable stops. The history still lives here and is easily visualize with the help of your guide. You can see where the English beat the French because Napoleon's Navy could not get into the harbor. You can still see where the sails were repaired. Very cool!
Your private tour departs from Redcliffe Quay, the historic shopping district located on the south side of St. John's. Once used as the slave-trading area for the town, it now consists of restored warehouses and old buildings painted in a rainbow of colors. Although the area has been redone to attract shoppers--there are all manner of shops, from novelty stores selling local wares to boutiques carrying the trendiest clothing--it still retains a sense of history.
Continuing on, we'll visit Block House at Shirley Heights, Antigua's famous military complex. Shirley Heights is divided into three sections: Block House, the easternmost part of the military complex that was designed as a place of last refuge; The Ridge and Artillery Quarters (part of which were used, after the army left, as an insane asylum); and The Lookout, which provides the best view in Antigua. Today, the entire complex is mainly in ruin, except The Lookout, which has been turned into a restaurant. Regardless, this is still a great place to visit, both for the history and for the great views of the island.
Now, we're on to Nelson's Dockyard, named after the victor of the battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Lord Nelson. Nelson, who was based at English Harbour from 1784 to 1787, was senior captain at only 27 years of age and became the temporary commander-in-chief of the Leeward Islands for a short time. Enjoy a 30-minute guided tour here and visit the many restored buildings, which now house modern facilities, yet still reflect the naval heritage of English Harbour.
The history still lives here and is easily visualize with the help of your guide. You can see where the English beat the French because Napoleon's Navy could not get into the harbor. You can still see where the sails were repaired. Very cool! This is a place full of history and, although private yachts now replace naval vessels in the harbour, it remains a favorite port for those making the long Atlantic crossing.
- We suggest you bring cash as you will have the option to purchase food and beverages at Nelson's Dockyard.
- The price of this tour includes the entrance fee into the National Park (Shirley Heights and the Interpretation Centre).
- Please note: that most shops are closed on Sundays.
Days offered: 7 days a week