South Shore Park
10:00 a.m. Exploring the Southampton and Warwick Beaches in a must for any visit to Bermuda and you can chose to explore in a half day or longer if you want leisurely swims at each picturesque cove. Pack a towel and sunscreen and get on your way.
From the Fairmont Southampton’s private beach, walk over to Horseshoe Bay Beach, a perfect crescent of pink sand framing turquoise water and one of the most photographed beaches in Bermuda. There is a concession stand at the beginning of the beach if you need to pick up a quick snack or bottled water. Take the time to explore this beautiful stretch of sand as you walk down the beach explore the small coves. Take some time for a dip.
11:00 a.m. Horseshoe Bay Beach is part of South Shore Park, a nature reserve that connects Southampton and Warwick Parishes. Designated a national park in 1990, this area includes a series of trails along limestone cliffs and dunes, as well as grassy areas for picnicking. As you stroll along the trails, you’ll come to the twin coves of Stonehole and Chaplin Bays. In these coves you may spot the Bermuda Regiment soldiers taking part in training exercises. Both picturesque spots are great for swimming or merely relaxing.
11:40 a.m. Continue east on the trails and you will find a tiny gem of swimming hole with crystal clear water at Jobson’s Cove (this is a popular spot and an early visit here is sometimes best). No more than 40 feet across, this cove is beautifully framed by limestone cliffs.
12:15 p.m. Continue east along the South Shore Park Trails and you will encounter Warwick Long Bay, a stunning half-mile of coast. This is a popular area for snorkeling and, if you don’t have it with you, a concession stand rents snorkel gear. There is no café, so this beach tends to be much less crowded than Horseshoe Bay Beach.
1:00 p.m. When you head east from Warwick Long Bay, you will come to the beautiful Astwood Cove, a beautiful but hard to get to small stretch of sand. This is a popular spot for weddings so you may want to pause for a picture before continuing east on South Shore Road. (The hike down to the small beach is quite steep, but a quiet spot if you’re up for the climb down and up.)
Go West – Exploring Somerset Village and Sandys
10:00 a.m. The western side of Bermuda is a perfect location to let time idle away. From main driveway of the Fairmont Southampton take Bus 7 or 8 west toward Sandys Parish. Take the bus to Somerset Bridge, the smallest drawbridge in the world. It was built in the 17th Century and designed to accommodate a one-masted sailboat.
10:30 a.m. At Somerset Bridge get off the bus and explore the historicRail Trail. The short-lived Bermuda Railway is now a picturesque walking trail across the island, featuring marvelous views along the way and the portion in Sandys Parish is particularly beautiful.
10:45 a.m. After a short walk the Rail Trail will lead you to Fort Scaur and Park. Built in the 1870s, the fort was designed to protect the crossing at Somerset Bridge and a land attack on Dockyard. The fort is well preserved and the 22 acres of parklands that surround it are among the island’s most scenic. The view encompasses the entire Great Sound and Dockyard. Telescopes allow you to see as far as Fort St. Catherine on the island’s east end. Follow a steep trail through the woods and continue on the Railway Trail along the shore and continue west.
11:45 a.m. Open to the Public, the Heydon Trust, is an area of protected woodlands, private homes, farmland and the Heydon Chapel. Built around 1616 this charming chapel is still used for religious services today. It is a wonderful spot for a moment of reflection. You may choose to explore the cherry forests around the property.
12:15 p.m. Continue along the Railway Trail to Somerset Village, a quaint town that is easily missed if driving by. Here you’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants.
1:30 p.m. After lunch finish your day with a swim or walk alongMangrove Bay Beach, which is a slice of old Bermuda at its best. The water is crystal clear and perfect for a quick dip. At your leisure take the number 7 or 8 bus back to the Fairmont Southampton (taxis are also readily available in Somerset Village).
The East End: Historic St. George
9:00 a.m. Begin your journey to Bermuda’s East End with a Ferry Ride from Dockyard to St. George’s (available April through November). This 45-minute ride provides the opportunity to see the entire length of the island.
10:00 a.m. The Town of St. George’s, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, deserves a full day. From the narrow streets with names such as Featherbed Alley and Old Maid Lane, this town was made for exploring. Unlike Jamestown or Williamsburg, St. George’s retains the look and feel of its 17th century origins and tells the story of the early days of Bermuda. There are a variety of plaques and identifiers throughout the town to use as guides making it easy to navigate and there are colonial re-enactments at King’s Square daily. Take your time and explore street by street. As you wander through the Town of St. George’s, be sure to visit the Tucker House Museum. Originally built as a merchant’s house, the simple whitewashed building is named for one of the colony’s most important figures as President of the Governor’s Council, Henry Tucker. The elegant interior takes you on a journey through history with its candlelit chandeliers, four-poster beds, and brick ovens. Priceless antiques and artwork make this museum and attraction that is not to be missed.
A short walk away on Duke of York St, St. Peter’s Church is another landmark that cannot be missed. One of Bermuda’s most famous hallmark buildings, it is the oldest Anglican Church in the Western Hemisphere and is still a popular venue for local weddings and funerals. The original church dates back to 1612 and the current building to 1713. The cemetery is equally fascinating.
1:30 p.m. Enjoy lunchat one of the many restaurants off of King's Square. After refueling, explore the center of the city’s community life in King’s Square. The old market square is filled with historic buildings, stocks and pillory, and dunking stools dating back to the 17th century. The stocks and pillory were used to embarrass citizens who had committed petty crimes, and the dunking stools punished women accused of being nags and gossips. Today they make for a great photograph. The Town Hall is a major attraction of the square. Emblazoned with the town crest, the building contains portraits of past mayors on its walls.
2:30 p.m. From King’s Square take the Mini Bus to Fort St. Catherine. The fort overlooks St. Catherine’s Beach, where the survivors from Sea Venture washed ashore on July 28, 1609 when England claimed Bermuda for its own. Enter the fort on a wooden drawbridge over a dry moat to see the well-preserved interior, exhibits, and historical artifacts. Uniformed mannequins and replicas of the Crown Jewels add to the historical effect of the tour and are well worth a look.
3:15 p.m. From the fort, head over to the Unfinished Church on Government Hill Rd. at the top of Duke of York St. Construction on the church began in 1874 and was meant to replace St. Peter’s Church. Financial problems and vicious storms put an end to construction, but what was left is an attraction itself. Soaring arches and a roofless tower give visitors an idea of how magnificent the Church was meant to be.
4:00 p.m. Take the 1, 3, 10 or 11 bus into the City of Hamilton. Stroll over to The Fairmont Hamilton Princess for Afternoon Tea, or a cocktail in the Heritage Court.
6:00 p.m. After relaxing at the hotel, board the complimentary ferryfrom the Fairmont Hamilton Princess to the Fairmont Southampton. The scenic 20-minute through Hamilton Harbor drops you off at theWaterlot Dock. Welcome Back.