ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Take a trip back in time
The island of Antigua is part of the sovereign state known as Antigua and Barbuda – and you can find out all about the country’s fascinating past at its eponymously-named museum. Set in a former courthouse dating back to 1750, The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda’s exhibits include tools, pottery and basketry. The building is also home to an extensive research library open to the public.
2. Walk in Nelson’s footsteps
One of the jewels in Antigua’s crown is its impressive Nelson’s Dockyard, nestled in a 15 square mile national park. This historic harbour was developed as a base for the British Navy and acted as the headquarters of the Leeward Islands’ fleet in the late eighteenth century. In recent years, it has been completely restored and is today the world’s only working Georgian dockyard.
3. Sprinkle some sugar on your stay
For many years, Antigua’s most notable industry was sugar production – and a sense of the trade’s importance can be gleaned at Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation. Two stone windmill towers built in 1674 have been restored and now form part of an open-air museum, offering an absorbing insight into this vital period of the island’s history.
4. Dance with the devil
If you fancy a trip off the beaten track while you’re in Antigua, pay a visit to Indian Town Point National Park. This remote and wild part of the island is home to the intriguingly-named Devil’s Bridge, a natural arch carved by the sea. Enormous geysers are forced through rocks near the bridge at high tide – an amazing sight not to be missed.
5. Drink in Antigua’s verdant glory
For vistas that will take your breath away, make your way to Shirley Heights, one of the best vantage points on the island. You’ll overlook the English and Falmouth harbours, with views reaching as far as Guadeloupe to the south and Montserrat to the south west. Regular parties are held at the top; watch the sun go down with a cocktail or two.