Nelson's Dockyard is the home for the world famous Antigua Sailing Week. The event has been held every year at the end of April since 1967. You can't find a better grand stand seat to enjoy the finest yacht racing in the Caribbean than by booking a room or two at The Copper & Lumber Store Hotel. The event culminates in the gala Lord Nelson's Ball and Prize Giving Ceremony which is held in the Dockyard after the last of the racing is done. Thousand's of sailors and party makers converge on Antigua for the world class event.
There are some excellent gift shops and boutiques in which to shop for souvenirs as well as some stylish items of clothing within the Dockyard. There are also banking facilities, a post office, the Museum and an excellent bakery. If you want to spend longer shopping then a trip into St. Johns is an excellent way to spend a day. Heritage Quay has excellent duty free stores selling perfumes, jewellery items and clothing, and the beautifully restored Redcliffe Quay is the perfect stopping place for lunch or drinks in the many bars and restaurants.
There are a huge variety of exciting tour options available that cover all interests.
Devils Bridge - See the strange moon landscape where the sea has worn unique formations in the coral limestone rock and snorkel in the turquoise shallow waters of Long Bay Beach.
Fig Tree Drive - Sightsee along the picturesque Fig tree Drive, eat fresh cut Antiguan Black Pineapple at the Rasta Shack, and then picnic at Darkwood Beach or one of the many West coast Beaches with beautifully calm Caribbean waters.
History Buffs - Visit Fort Berkley, Shirley Heights and Monk's hill fortifications. Take a picnic lunch and look down over English Harbour as the soldiers used to when the garrisons guarded the entrance to the harbour.
Caribs & Arawaks - There are historical and archaeological remains in the museums at the Dockyard and in the City, St. John's. A Dockyard Tour will tell you all about English Habour and some of its history.
Shopping - Remember to visit Redcliffe Quay in St. john's and Heritage Quay where you will find duty free shopping, The fruit and vegetable market on Saturdays is great fun, as is a walk along Market Street where you will get to experience shopping Antiguan style. Locally there are some excellent gift shops as well as well stocked provision stores should you prefer to prepare meals in your room.
Beaches - Antigua is said t have one beach for each day of the year, most of them deserted, Near Dockyard there minutes across the water by water taxi, is beautiful Freeman's Bay perfect for sunbathing , swimming and with some excellent snorkeling at the Pillars of Hercules. You can have lunch or drinks at the Inn or Calabash. Beyond the Dockyard entrance the Pigeon Point beach is within ten minutes walking distance from the hotel. If you wish to take a taxi please contact reception and they will make arrangements for you.
Deep Sea Fishing - Depending on the season, the successful fisherman should get either a blue marlin, salt fish, dolphin or tuna.
Diving - Daily dive trips and instruction available please enquire at reception.
Golf - There are 2 18 hole gold courses one in St John's and one at Jolly Harbour.
Horse Back Riding - the is available at a locally professionally run riding stables.
Massage - there are some excellent practitioners practicing locally. Please ask at reception for an updated list of therapies and location from which you can enjoy them.
Music - don't miss the Sunday afternoon barbeque at the Lookout on the top of Shirley Heights, Listen to tthe sounds of the steel band as you watch the sun setting over Falmouth and English Harbour. Bring your camera! ...also there is live music from 7pm.
Tennis or Squash - Available just beyond the dockyard at Temo Sports.
Recognized as a perfect harbor for the British Naval Fleet, English Harbour was in regular use as a garrisoned station from 1704. Lord Horatio Nelson headquartered his fleet in Antigua until 1789, and it remained in use by the Royal Navy until 1889.
Nelson's Dockyard is a natural and historic spectacle constructed in the eighteenth century and is historically know as a hurricane haven for Ships, and a careening station which was heavily guarded by six surrounding forts. Many of the buildings have been restored, preserved and put to adaptive use. This is evidenced by the variety of Yachts which line the dock throughout the year.
Guest rooms, restaurants, bars, boutiques, sail repair shop, mechanical work shed, boathouse, art and craft shops, bakery, museum, post office, bank, beauty salon, chartering shop, grocery shop, hydro and electrical service and telephone service can all be found within the Dockyard.
Buildings of Particular Interest
The Admiral's House
Built in 1855 the Admiral's House with its venerable wooden bust of Nelson above the entrance, was originally constructed as a residence for the Naval Officer in charge and the Store Keeper. In fact this house has never accommodate an Admiral. The ground floor is a museum with many interesting articles significant to the historical development of the Dockyard. Also located here, the entrance to the left, is the restoration Gift Shop. In it you will find a number of souvenirs reflective of the Dockyard, as well as postcards and film. Beside the house is a Sandbox tree over 200 years old, whose pods were used to hold sand, which substituted for blotting paper on gentlemen's desk.
Behind the Admiral's House can be found the old stone kitchen.
The ancient ovens were used on festive occasions until recently by the people of English Harbour. Here you will see the bakers busy at work producing their oven fresh pastries. The pineapple turnovers are irresistible and be sure to take a loaf of ''pan brown'' bread with you to savour later.
The Copper and Lumber Store
The Copper and Lumber Store with great care has been converted into a hotel of 14 self-catered apartments and a restaurant. This beautiful example of Georgian architecture contains a unique arched courtyard, a convivial atmosphere for a pause and a step back in time.
The Officer's Quarters Building
The Officer's Quarters is built on a enormous water cistern with a capacity of 450 tons. In this building, officers from the ships lived during the hurricane months. Climbing the stairs one will find a number of interesting activities going on. There is an Art Gallery with local paintings, and also a Picture Framing shop. To the far end of the building is located a pharmacy. Feel free to browse the shops and when you are ready for a bit of rest and a cup of tea, relax yourself on the gallery overlooking the harbour and enjoy some delicious refreshment from the Limey's Restaurant, located on the same level.
The Capstan House
The low wall marks the area of the old capstan house. The capstan has been restored. This is where ships were hoved for careeing to work on the bottoms of the ships.
Around the Dinghy dock, you will find the path to Fort Berkely. It is well worth the extra walk as the view to the entrance of the Harbour is quite lovely. And for those with an interest in sailing, Each Thursday afternoon brings the start of a race to the harbour entrance. Thus from the perch on Fort Berkely, you too can be a judge as to who was the first boat to start.
Located throughout the Dockyard are interpretation panels.
These contain information in relation to various historical buildings on the property. The information displayed on these panel are quite detail as to the use or purpose of the buildings and the role they played in the history of the Dockyard.
Nelson's Dockyard Marina
The Nelson's Dockyard Marina is a full-service marina which has just received a multi-million dollar refurbishment and now boasts state of the art facilities and services.
Nelson's Dockyard Marina is the only working Georgian Dockyard in the world and maintains first class marine services for world class yachts in the heart of the Caribbean:
- Bow Moorings
- Three-Phase Electricity
- Cable TV
- 24 Hr Security
- Waste Oil Disposal
English Harbour offers one of the safest and most beautiful natural anchorage's to be found anywhere in the Caribbean. Add 200 years of Royal Navy heritage and stunning beaches to create an extraordinary and unique destination. With a highly skilled labour force and full range of marine services, Nelson's Dockyard provides excellent facilities for provisioning, maintenance and repairs. Enjoy easy access to health spas, restaurants, art galleries, gift shops and night clubs. Ideally located at the centre of the Leeward and Windward Islands, Antigua is a perfect pickup and drop off point for guests.
Antigua is one of the Leeward islands and lies 40 miles north of Guadeloupe. There is a new anchorage for every day of the year, with at least ten perfectly safe bays, where you will be able to listen to and admire the beauty of the waves breaking on the coral reefs. From Nelson's Dockyard you will discover Nonsuch Bay, one of most beautiful of the Caribbean. Each small island around Antigua is protected by a coral reef, behind which you will be able to admire schools of tropical fish and with a little luck, a majestic turtle.
The National Park Act of 1984 created the National Parks Authority (NPA) and provided for the establishment of National Parks in Antigua and Barbuda. Nelsons Dockyard was first evolved in recognition of a strong resource base and the potentials for Tourism and general economic development in around the Nelson's Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua.
A unique and spectacular experience, National Park is truly a blend of nature, history and culture.
- the only working original Georgian dockyard in the world
- friendly knowledgeable tour guides
- museum and visitor's centre
- beautiful beaches and nature trails
- countless major military fortifications
- breathtaking views
- innumerable photo opportunities
- first class multimedia historical show
- marina, restaurant, bars, boutiques, gift shop
Getting to Antigua
V.C. Bird International Airport, located on the northeast corner of Antigua, is the point of entry for visitors arriving by air to Antigua & Barbuda. There are both direct flights and connections from North America via San Juan, New York and Atlanta and St. Martin and several weekly flights from Europe. Scheduled and charter service is available to many of the neighboring islands.
Flying times: New York--4 hrs.; Miami--3 hrs.; Baltimore--4 hrs.; Toronto--4 hrs.; Puerto Rico--1 hr.; London--8 hrs.; Frankfurt--9 1/4 hrs.; Paris--8 hrs.
Airlines Serving North America:
(Air Canada, American Airlines, BWIA) 462-0262/3
(St. Continental Airlines , Delta, US Airways, Caribbean Sun.) 462-0934
Airlines Serving Europe:
British, BWIA, Virgin Atlantic, and BMI.
Inter Island travel is very quick and relatively inexpensive and is served by Liat Airlines, Caribbean Star, and Carib Aviation.
Please take a browse through our link partners websites to discover more about our wonderful island.
Antigua & Barbuda Travel Tips
Antigua Forest Canopy Tour
Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua Sun News
Antigua Tourist Board
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Classic Yacht Regatta
Cricket in Antigua & Barbuda
English Harbour, Antigua
Everything about Antigua, including both museums
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