Nelson’s Dockyard is a marina that is almost 300 years old and is the world’s oldest operating Georgian boatyard. It forms part of the UNESCO-protected Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, which shelters antique houses, forts, lookouts and museums. Established in the 18th century, Nelson’s Dockyard was the home of the celebrated naval leader Horatio Nelson from 1784 to 1787. Enjoy the ambiance of the marina, which evokes images of Antigua’s colonial years and British maritime heritage.
Many of the dockyard’s buildings are 1950s restorations of the original residences and warehouses. Where once dockers worked tirelessly to repair ships, today visit the art galleries, cafés, hotels, a museum and souvenir shops that have moved into the spaces and welcome curious visitors. At the waterfront, naval ships have been replaced by opulent yachts and lavish sailboats.
Spend an hour at the Admiral’s House Museum (also known as the Dockyard Museum), located in the Naval Clerk’s House and former residence of Admiral Nelson. Find artifacts that retell stories of the marina and Antigua’s colorful seafaring past. Look for cannons, model ships, navigational tools and Nelson’s personal telescope. The former storehouse for copper and lumber is now a British-style pub and boutique hotel, with rooms named after Nelson’s Ships.
Visit the other attractions of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park. A 10-minute stroll to the south is Fort Berkeley. The defensive walls present outstanding views of Freeman’s Bay and the limestone columns called the Pillars of Hercules. A side trail leads from the fort to Pigeon’s Point Beach on Falmouth Harbour.
Travel by foot or taxi to Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre. Watch a video and study exhibits that showcase Antiguan history since the Amerindian period. Nearby is Clarence House, a former home of British royalty and naval commanders. Walk the Lookout Trail from Galleon Beach to Shirley Heights and enjoy some of the best panoramas of English Harbour and Antigua’s southern coastline.
Enjoy a visit to Nelson’s Dockyard, the beating heart of the port town of English Harbour. It is close to the majority of the town’s hotels and restaurants.