Nelson's Dockyard picture
Caitlinator/Flickr

Key Info

Nelson's Dockyard, Box 1283

Details

Shopping, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.9scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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.

Recent travelers suggest heading to the dockyard on a day when cruise ships aren't in port and tour groups are limited. The extra crowds can take away from the atmosphere. "Cafes along the waterfront were a pleasant place to sit and enjoy views of the boats in the harbor," one TripAdvisor reviewer said.

Nelson's Dockyard is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost of admission is $8 USD and includes a guided tour as well as entry to all sites including Shirley Heights and Dow's Hill. Tours do not run on Sundays.

See all Hotels in Antigua »

More Best Things To Do in Antigua

Shirley Heights1 of 9
Devil's Bridge2 of 9
Type
Time to Spend
#2 Shirley Heights

Wear some comfortable shoes and make the hike from English Harbour in Nelson's Dockyard National Park to the summit of Shirley Heights. On a clear day, the panorama (located approximately 492 feet above sea level) affords views of the southern island of Guadeloupe and the active volcano Montserrat.

It's a challenging hike up to Shirley's and the Antiguan heat makes early morning the best time to make the trek. The popular Shirley Heights Lookout Bar & Restaurant rests at the summit. Come prepared to party on Sundays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., when local bands perform live Caribbean music, the barbecue is fired up and drinks are flowing. Be prepared for crowds, though. Recent travelers warn that, while worth it for the awe-inspiring sunset views, this party gets packed.

Read more
Z dead/Flickr
See full list of Best Things To Do in Antigua »

Explore More of Antigua

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

America's 15 Coolest Ghost Towns to Visit

From Kentucky to California, the U.S. is filled with eerie abandoned cities.

Lyn MettlerAugust 22, 2019

The 7 Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

Learn about the Big Easy's history through one of these daytrips.

Holly JohnsonAugust 21, 2019

22 Top Sonoma Wineries to Visit

Sip world-class wines while enjoying vineyard and mountain views.

Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019

30 Beautiful Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019