Bermuda – March 2018

I may be biased, having lived on the island for four years, but I think Bermuda’s pink sand beaches are unbeatable. The bright turquoise waters and rocky cliffs are the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day in the sunshine.

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The 34 beaches that cover the tiny island vary drastically in size. Some have long expanses of perfectly pink sand, while others are tiny coves separated from each other by high volcanic rocks. If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, the rocks surrounding the secluded sunbathing spots can also be the perfect place for a bit of cliff jumping! Several of the smaller beaches have perfectly still water as they have beautiful coral reefs surrounding them, making them the perfect places for babies to learn to swim or float in the water.

Horseshoe Bay is in Southampton Parish, a short walk from the Southampton Princess. It is popular with the locals in the spring and autumn but tends to be dominated by tourists  (especially when the cruise ships are docked!) in the summer. If you can’t face the crowds and would rather have some peace and quiet, walk along the beach towards Warwick Long Bay. There are so many coves and smaller beaches that are connected by a path up on the cliffs and are often completely deserted. The walk is beautiful so even if you don’t fancy spending the whole day on the beach you should try and find time to do the walk anyway!

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Jobson’s Cove has to be my absolute favourite beach. It’s a small and secluded cove just off of Warwick Long Bay. It has tall, steep cliffs that are perfect for climbing and give you the most amazing view of the clear water and beaches below. The reefs at the edge of the cove are the perfect for snorkelling. Snorkelling tours are pretty easy to find around the island but if you’re staying at the Fairmont Southampton there is a snorkelling route that takes you all the way around their gorgeous private beach.

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Both The Hamilton Princess and Fairmont Southampton have their own private beach clubs. The Hamilton Princess’ beach club is much newer, but you have to take the hotel shuttle to the beach, which takes around 15-20 minutes. Likewise, the Fairmont Southampton also has a shuttle but it takes about three minutes, or you could just walk down the hill. The Fairmont Southampton has tennis courts right next to the beach and access to Horseshoe Bay, as well as two restaurants. The Cabanna Bar and Grill is on the beach and serves a limited (and basic) menu, although all options are large and really tasty. The drinks are incredibly pricy for a beach club – if you want to feel ripped off, order a beer! On the other hand, the Ocean Club is perched up on the rocks above the beach and although the food is relatively expensive (even by Bermuda standards) it’s amazing and well worth the cost! On a nice night make sure you request to sit outside so that you can watch the most amazing sunset. The staff are lovely and more than willing to take photos for you if you ask. The restaurant mainly serves fresh seafood but the chef is very accommodating – I’m really fussy and asked if he’d mind swapping the fish in my curry for chicken, which he happily did. I can honestly say it was the best, freshest curry I’ve ever had!

This year we decided to stay at The Fairmont Southampton as we’ve never been there before. It’s an enormous pale pink hotel on the top of a big hill just off of South Road, set in expansive grounds (over 100-acres), with a spa and golf-course, as well as nine restaurants, it’s the perfect hotel for people who want everything they could possibly need to be within walking distance.

Blu is another of our favourite restaurants. This was our third time visiting and the food was just as delicious as the first time we went last year. Blu is always absolutely packed so make sure that you make a reservation! If you’re really lucky you may get a table next to the floor to ceiling windows where you can watch the sunset, with spectacular views of the Great Sound. On a warm night make sure to have cocktails out on the terrace first! Blu probably has the most varied menu of the top restaurants on the Island. You can order sushi, steak, soups and salads, Italian, Asian and a huge variety of meat and fish dishes. Each dish is delicately presented, but it’s the huge bursts of flavour that leave the biggest impression and make this place truly unforgettable.

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Bermuda once had a railway track that started in St George’s at the eastern end of the island and ended in Somerset at the western end. It was shut down by the government in 1948 and was then converted into a trail for walkers and cyclists in 1984. It’s an incredibly scenic route and is probably one of the best ways to see the island from one end to the other. 18 miles of the 22 mile track are currently accessible, with plans to eventually make it all accessible by building new bridges over the water. The Bailey’s Bay section of the trail has been made accessible by three new wooden bridges – it’s the perfect easy walk or a great daily running/cycling route and the wooden bridges give glimpses through the wooden planks to the bright blue water below.

If you fancy a longer walk, start in St George’s where you can do a loop of the area. You’ll pass famous sites like Tobacco Bay (also packed full of tourists in the summer), the church without a roof and St Catherine’s fort. St George’s is a quaint old town with plenty of history – it’s definitely worth a visit if you have time.

Easter in Bermuda is a pretty big deal. It’s an excuse for families and friends to come together and celebrate, often starting the Easter weekend with parties and kite flying on the beaches, and ending with a traditional brunch on Sunday morning. This year we went to Palm Grove for a BBQ on Friday afternoon and had brunch at The Loren at Pink Beach (Bermuda’s latest hotel) before going to the airport to catch our flight back to London. Before we went to the BBQ we watched traditional Gombey dancers lead hotel guests from the Southampton Princess down to the beach for Good Friday kite flying and other activities that they’d organised for the kids.

The Gombey dancers are an iconic symbol of Bermuda and reflect the island’s blend of African, Caribbean and British cultures. They incorporate the cultures into a unique performance of that is full of colourful and intricate masquerade, dance and drumming. If you go to Bermuda in the summer make sure you go to harbour nights, a street festival on front street in Hamilton that happens every Wednesday evening. The shops and restaurants stay open late, there are stalls and entertainment along the road and the Gombey dancers always perform.

Hamilton is the heart and soul of Bermuda. As the island’s capital, it’s full of shops and restaurants but is tiny in comparison to a capital city in any other country! The buildings are all painted in pastel shades which really gives it a lively aesthetic.

If you every get the chance to visit this very special island, jump on it! I promise you won’t regret it.

Elena x

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