By Alexander Britell and Guy Britton
As you walk through the brick walls and the arches, as you watch the bobbing of the water and the gentle marine dance of bows and sterns, time becomes just a suggestion.
There has been a dockyard here for almost three hundred years, most famously for a three-year period in the late 18th century when this was the stomping ground of Admiral Horatio Nelson.
Today’s Nelson’s Dockyard is one of the most beautifully restored historic sites in the Caribbean, a walkable, charming, active destination that will pull you right into the 1700s.
It’s just a short drive from the nearby Falmouth Harbour, perhaps the leading superyacht marina in the Caribbean.
It’s a rather powerful juxtaposition, the modernity and the history, one that makes a trip to the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park that much more meaningful.
What you’ll find here is a full-fledged destination, the sort of place where you can spend not just an educational afternoon — but a complete vacation.
Even in this Georgian town, they offer distinct experiences.
The Copper and Lumber is a quintessential English inn, with a lovely little pub and warm B&B-style service.
The Admiral’s Inn is the closest thing here to a resort, with the Harbour’s best restaurant, a great little bar and its most marvelous amenity: the Boom Restaurant and Pool, with the latter an infinity-edge stunner overlooking the harbour.
If you make the journey around the harbour, you’ll find another great option: the Inn at English Harbour, a beachfront boutique that boasts among its rooms some particularly lovely toes-in-the-sand bungalows.
That’s also home to the stunning Galleon Beach, a beautiful stretch of sand that offers another breathtaking angle from which to view the wonders of this old town.
It all adds up to another kind of Caribbean vacation — perhaps not the one you immediately think of, one that marries living history and boutique charm and old-fashioned elegance.
It’s another side of beach-filled Antigua, a completely different way to experience this gorgeous island.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you won’t explore the rest of the island either — the beach bars, the shopping in St John’s, the day trips to Barbuda.
It means you’re anchoring here, waking up to the sounds of harbor breezes, taking strolls on cobblestone, finding endless leisure in a timeless place.
It’s a remarkably broad offering for this historic destination, a corner of Antigua and the Caribbean that remains far under the radar.
But perhaps not for long.
See more in the latest CJ Video.