English HarbourAntigua and Barbuda

Image for Mamora Bay featuring a sandy beach, tropical scenes and general coastal views

Visit English Harbour

Colonial landmarks, white-sand beaches, coral reefs and watersports give this historic town in southern Antigua a true Caribbean flair. 

The English Harbour settlement blends British colonial history with quintessential West Indies beaches. This town spreads around a sheltered natural harbor at Antigua’s southernmost tip, where for almost 200 years it served as a base for the British Navy. Visit English Harbour to tour the restored Georgian dockyard, ruined forts and hilltop lookouts. Bask in the glorious sunshine at the laid-back beaches decorating the coastline.

Immerse yourself in colonial heritage at Nelson’s Dockyard, the former naval marina on the harbor’s western shores. Admire the one-time storehouses, restored to their 18th-century appearance and now the site of art galleries, boutique hotels and restaurants. Learn about Antigua’s maritime importance at the Dockyard Museum, housed in a building that was Horatio Nelson’s home from 1784 to 1787. Follow a short trail to the ruined Fort Berkeley and enjoy superb views across the bay to the Pillars of Hercules.

Walk 20 minutes west from the dockyard to Pigeon’s Point Beach, a quiet beach overlooking Falmouth Harbour. The mild, transparent water is great for refreshing swimming and snorkeling. From here another trail leads to secluded Windward Bay Beach.

On the harbor’s eastern side, Galleon Beach offers more swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing opportunities. Marvel at the panoramic island views at Shirley Heights, a lookout, restaurant and old military barracks accessible via the Lookout Trail. The Carpenter Rock Trail is a scenic walking route between the lookout and Galleon Beach. Take a guided tour of the royal residence Clarence House and browse exhibits about the island’s past at Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre.

Indulge in a day of all-inclusive food, massages and watersports at Mamora Bay. In the town center, dine on Caribbean dishes at casual and fine-dining restaurants. Fungee (dumplings of cornmeal and okra) is a popular Antiguan dish.

Arrive in English Harbour on one of the cruise ships that dock at St. John’s. You can also fly to V.C. Bird International Airport from major cities in Canada, the U.S. and neighboring Caribbean islands.

Top hotels in English Harbour

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Admiral's Inn and Gunpowder Suites
Admiral's Inn and Gunpowder Suites
3.5 out of 5
Nelson's Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua
£179
per night
13 Dec-14 Dec

Situated on the waterfront, this spa hotel is steps away from Admiral House and Nelson's Dockyard. Pigeon's Point Beach is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away.

4.6/5Exceptional! (73 reviews)

"The property and staff were excellent. Just needed a larger toilet."…"

Reviewed on 8 Nov 2019

Admiral's Inn and Gunpowder Suites
South Point Antigua
South Point Antigua
4 out of 5
Falmouth Harbour, English Harbour, Antigua
£298
per night
10 Dec-11 Dec

Located in English Harbour, this beachfront hotel is in the historical district and within a 15-minute walk of Leeward Islands and Nelson's Dockyard. Pigeon's ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (31 reviews)

"Like every thing only issue It was off season so the restaurant was closed all and all me and family had a great time"…"

Reviewed on 27 Sep 2019

South Point Antigua
The Waterfront Inn
The Waterfront Inn
2.5 out of 5
The Compton Building, Dockyard Drive, English Harbour
£63
per night
10 Dec-11 Dec

Situated in English Harbour, this hostel is within a 15-minute walk of Leeward Islands and Nelson's Dockyard. Admiral House and Clarence House are also within ...

The Waterfront Inn

Popular things to do in English Harbour

Nelson's Dockyard
Image for Nelson's Dockyard

Nelson's Dockyard

4.5/5(48 reviews)

Walk in the footsteps of Admiral Lord Nelson and visit the cafés, galleries and museum located inside the restored Georgian houses of this boatyard.

Shirley Heights
Image for Shirley Heights

Shirley Heights

4.5/5(54 reviews)

Enjoy unprecedented views and relax to the smooth sounds of calypso music at this site with military ruins and privately owned restaurant and lookout.

Pigeon's Point Beach
Image for Pigeon's Point Beach

Pigeon's Point Beach

4.5/5(8 reviews)

This golden beach overlooking Falmouth Harbour is ideal for appreciating Antigua’s constant sunshine, swimming in crystal clear water and watching pretty sunsets.

Galleon Beach
Image for Galleon Beach

Galleon Beach

4.5/5(3 reviews)

An idyllic beach that offers breathtaking views and diverse marine animal life, as well as scenic walking trails that lead to geological wonders.

Clarence House
Image for Clarence House

Clarence House

Take a guided tour of this 18th-century colonial house to learn about its former residents, who range from kings to naval commanders.

Fort Berkeley
Image for Fort Berkeley

Fort Berkeley

Stand on the walls of this ruined fortress, enjoy sublime views and contemplate the challenges faced by colonists in defending the harbor.

Top activities in English Harbour

Shirley Heights Lookout Party
Image for Shirley Heights Lookout Party

Shirley Heights Lookout Party

£45

Share in an Antiguan tradition that has been going on for over 31 years at the Shirley Heights lookout party. Every Sunday evening, beginning at 4 PM the night comes alive with the energetic music of steel drum bands.

Full Day Drone Tour + Tropical Fruits, Rum Punch & Lunch
Image for Full Day Drone Tour + Tropical Fruits, Rum Punch & Lunch

Full Day Drone Tour + Tropical Fruits, Rum Punch & Lunch

£135

Embark on an immersive journey which pairs Drone technology with First Person View Goggles to allow participants to experience a bird's eye view of the beautiful island of Antigua.

Swim & Snorkel at Stingray City
Image for Swim & Snorkel at Stingray City

Swim & Snorkel at Stingray City

£39

Visit Stingray City and snorkel with some new friends among the coral reef and blue Caribbean waters. Don't be fooled by their name—stingrays are friendly and graceful creatures. Your day starts with a briefing on equipment and safety before boating out to Stingray City near the quaint fishing village of Seatons.

St. Mary's Safari Buggy Adventure West
Image for St. Mary's Safari Buggy Adventure West

St. Mary's Safari Buggy Adventure West

£85

The St. Mary's Safari West takes you past Hermitage Beach through Bolans Creek into Palm village, through Jennings Paddock into Green Castle via Orange Valley bypass, then to the beach to cool off before a fun packed ride back to base.

Half Moon Bay 4x4 Safari with Lunch
Image for Half Moon Bay 4x4 Safari with Lunch

Half Moon Bay 4x4 Safari with Lunch

£84

Explore the southern end of Antigua and a multitude of sights and stops that capture the beauty of the West Indies. Swim in an ocean bay, get acquainted with a donkey, and admire the lush rainforest canopy.

Runaway Beach Day in Antigua
Image for Runaway Beach Day in Antigua

Runaway Beach Day in Antigua

£31

Meet your air-conditioned taxi in the morning at St John’s Pier for the easy 10-minute drive to Runaway Beach. Arrive at a laid-back resort with beachside facilities that you can use during your visit, including your own lounge chair that you can plant along a designated strip of the stunning beach.

Reviews of English Harbour

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
9
5 - Excellent 75%
4 - Good
3
4 - Good 25%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
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1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Feb 2019

Absolutely stunning location, will be back for a 3rd time next year

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

24 Feb 2019

Lots of reasonable places to eat. ATM in Nelson’s Dockyard. Worth going to Island Fusion Restaurant in neighbouring Falmouth harbour.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

16 Feb 2019

Loved it - so tastful and atmospheric with much history too.