Betty's Hope picture
Ragingwhitebuffalo/Wikimedia

Key Info

Pares Village

Details

Museums Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.9scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Built in 1674 and named after the daughter of one of its former owners, Betty's Hope was the first and largest sugar plantation on the island. It's no longer a working mill, but it is a standing monument to Antigua's role in British colonial history. The main mill has been restored with new sails and crushing machinery, while most of the other buildings on the former plantation remain in ruins. You can get a better feel for what the grounds used to look like by making a stop in the former cotton house store room on site; now a visitor's center and competent museum on the lives of Antiguan slaves during the mill's most profitable production years. A stunning view of Pares Village, St. John below makes for some worthwhile photos. 

While many recent travelers recommend a tour guide to help bring Betty's Hope to life, it's not essential as "information panels were placed to give the visitor rudimentary information regarding the site," one TripAdvisor reviewer said.

Tuesday through Saturday, you can take a tour of Betty's Hope for a donation of $2 USD or $5 XCD per person (children can enter for free). 

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More Best Things To Do in Antigua

Nelson's Dockyard
Shirley Heights
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 9
#1 Nelson's Dockyard

If you only break from the beach for one day, head to the beautifully restored English Harbour, where you'll find Nelson's Dockyard. The naval dockyard was once the home of the British fleet during the Napoleonic Wars, and served as the headquarters of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson from 1784 to 1787.

You probably can't hit all the dockyard's attractions in one visit, but you can enjoy a fair few if you plan ahead. The park's official website lists all there is to see and do, including special events, but here's a quick summary: There are plenty of restaurants, cafés and shops; the Dockyard Museum, where Nelson's telescope and tea caddy are on display; and Dow's Hill Interpretation Center, where visitors can watch a 15-minute presentation on the history and culture of the island. Other Dockyard activities include sightseeing along the marina, relaxing at the nearby beach, or taking a trip up to Shirley Heights.

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