A Guide to Horseshoe Bay Beach Bermuda

 
We have traveled extensively and been to many beaches all over the world, but Horseshoe Bay Beach in Southampton Bermuda clearly stands out from the rest. It's really special! With a curved stretch of sand against the backdrop of blue waters of the Atlantic, this beautiful pink sandy beach forms shape of a horseshoe. Horseshoe bay beach was rated as a favorite Valentine's day getaway for couples by the American daily USA Today. In our books, this beach is in the list of top ten of the world's best beaches. We usually spend long hours of our vacation in this beautiful beach. During high season (May to October), early morning is the best time to visit the beach if you want to avoid swimmers and sunbathers. 
 
The main beach is about quarter of a mile but extends to other south shore beaches to the east. The sand here is pale pink in color and water clear blue. There are limestone rocks that surround the beach along its boundary line. Horseshoe Bay can provide great snorkeling experience if you are willing to go a little offshore towards the rocks. 
 
Sometimes we rent beach chairs and spend hours relaxing and enjoying the turquoise waters and watching the waves pounding on the shores. Even during peak summer we found that the pink sand, which is quite soft in Horseshoe bay beach, does not become too hot. A local told us that the sand here has tiny bits of corals and shell dusts in it that keep the heat away. By the way, it's the same corals and shell dust that create a pink hue and makes the sand look pink in color. 
 
You will see variety of colorful fish like parrot fish, angel fish, wrasse, sergeant majors, snappers and more. However the ocean can swell quite high at times. So try snorkeling here only if you are a good swimmer. Life guards are on duty during the high season. 
 
 
 
I took the photo below during one of our visits to Bermuda. You can see the beach and it was quite empty. It was a morning time in early March. The cruise ships hadn't still started coming in and the beach was just like a piece of paradise. 
 
Horseshoe Bay Beach in low season 
 
 
But during the summer season when the cruise ships start offloading thousands of visitors, this beach can get very crowded, as almost everyone has this in the list of 'must go' places. See below what happens to the beach during the high season. 
 
Horseshoe Bay Beach in high season 
Horseshoe Bay beach Bermuda 
 
Trails from Horseshoe Bay Beach 
There is a lovely walking trail to several other South Shore Beaches from Horseshoe Bay beach. Whenever the beach got crowded, we would take the trail though the park that leads to beautiful secluded coves. Some of our favorite coves include Port Royal Cove to the west, Peel Rock cove and Wafer Rocks beach to the east. 
 
Port Royal Cove is also locally known as the Baby Beach. Children would love to swim and snorkel in the shallow water here. There are reefs around this. One can hand feed the parrot and angelfish here. The place is really picturesque and a photographer's paradise. We also found a large wading pool close by surrounded by cliffs that provide lots of shades. Kids can walk along the shallow waters and have great fun here. 
 
 
 
To the east the trail passes below the cliff and through dunes. You can also walk along the beach towards east to see the other great pink beaches. However you will then need to wade around some rock formations & water areas on the way. 
 
Beach Facilities 
There is a beach café at Horseshoe Bay called the Horseshoe bay beach café. The burgers are quite nice. It also sells hotdogs, chicken, fish, soda, water and juices. Right opposite to the entrance of the beach on South Road, there is a mid-range restaurant Gulfstream which has been opened in Feb 2014 (in place of earlier Tio Pepe). It serves Pizza, Panini, fresh seafood preparations and other select International dishes. 
 
Horseshoe Bay Beach Cafe 
 
 
There are free toilets, changing facilities and showers available at the beach near the entrance. You will also get different types of beach gears and snorkeling equipment here. There is a small shop selling T-shirts, towels etc. Note that the rentals at Horseshoe Bay Beach are quite expensive. For example a chair or an umbrella rents for $11 each and there is a $5 security deposit per item (as in June 2013). 
 
Festivals & Activities in Horseshoe Bay Beach 
Every year in August, there is a Sand Sculpture Competition held in the Horseshoe Bay beach. This is organized by the Architects Association. We were once lucky to see it in September. On Good Friday, an annual Bermuda Kite Festival is held at the Horseshoe Bay Beach where thousands with families and children gather and participate in kite competition. Locals and visitors come with lots of colorful kites of all shapes and sizes, and there are prizes given out for various categories. 
 
Update July 2012: A Wi-Fi hotspot has been recently installed at the Horseshoe Bay Beach area. So you can now have high speed internet connection on your phone, tablet etc while at the beach. When you access the wi-fi, it will require a user-id ad password to login. You can buy the wi-fi service online with your credit card or from the concession at the beach. There are rates available for 1-hour, 3-hours, 24-hours, 1-week and 1-month. 
 
 
 
Update February 2013: TripAdvisor readers have voted Horseshoe Bay Beach as the 8th most beautiful beach in the world and the 3rd best in the whole of Caribbean. 
 
Update July 2013: Horseshoe Bay Beach now features in the list of "35 beaches you should visit in your lifetime" by Business Insider magazine. 
 
How To Reach Horseshoe Bay Beach: Location, Transport, Fares 
The Horseshoe bay beach is located in Bermuda's Southampton Parish. It is on the Horseshoe Road, off South Road and on Bus route #7 (that runs between the Dockyard and Hamilton City). From the dockyard, it takes about 35 minutes to reach the beach by bus. From the bus stop, you will need to walk downhill for about 400 yards and then through compact sand to get to the beach. Bus fare is $4.00 by token and $4.50 by cash. 
 
While the downhill walk may not be difficult, but for some the way back up can be tiring. There is a shuttle service (known as 'To the Top') run by Dean Ming. For $2, the 15-passenger shuttle can bring you back up to the main road near the public bus stop. Children under 10 ride free. The shuttle is available from 11am onwards. 
 
From the dockyard (at Kings Wharf), the approximate taxi fare (4 passenger taxi) to Horseshoe Bay Beach is $37 without tips and takes about 25 minutes to reach. Recently WEDCO (West End Development Corp) has introduced a minibus shuttle service from dockyard to Horseshoe and other south shore beaches. Return fare is $16 per person. The service starts at 8am at dockyard and the last return minibus from the beach is at 6pm. 
 
Complete Bermuda Vacation & Travel Guides on eBooks! 
 
Related Articles 
 
 
2) Southampton Bermuda: All about the parish, its attractions, hotels, restaurants etc 
 
3) Horseshoe Facility Upgrades: There are plans for renovation and upgrades of the facilities at the horseshoe Bay Beach.  
 
Visitors' Reviews/Comments 
 
Brenda (September 2014) 
Hi, I am visiting your island in November on a cruise ship which is docking over night. Could you please tell me if the transport to Horseshoe Beach will still be running..as I understand it is a new service. Many thanks 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) September 2014 
Hi, The beach shuttle from the dockyard has been introduced mainly to avoid overcrowding in the public buses (route #7). In November if cruise traffic is low, the shuttles are unlikely to run or may run with reduced frequency. In any case, you can then easily board the public buses. The only advantage with the shuttle is, it takes you right down to the beach and picks you up from there while the public bus drops you on the main road, and then it's a downhill walk to the beach. 
 
Sarah Sill (August 2014) 
We are traveling to Dockyard in Aug. 2014, how much does it cost for a round trip bus to Horseshoe beach? Looking for the most economical travel. Thanks. 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) August 2014 
Hi, Bus fare from dockyard to horseshoe bay beach (one way) is $4.0 per adult by token (you can get tokens at the visitors information centers at the dockyard) or $4.50 by cash (exact fare in change) per adult. Child fare (age 5-16) is $2.50 in cash (one way). 
 
Robert Tart (March 2014) 
Hi, I am along with my family, visiting Bermuda July of this year, 2014. Would you be able to tell me when the first bus is available from the Royal Dockyard to Horseshoe Bay and or Hamilton and when is the last bus from either. Is this in the schedule. I did not see it or maybe looking in the wrong area. Thank you in advance for your help and look forward to my trip to Bermuda. Good Day! 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) March 2014 
Hi, You will find the timings in the schedule for bus #7. From dockyard the first bus is at 8:20am (Mon - Sat); on Sunday at 10:50am. It takes about 35 minutes by bus to reach Horseshoe from Dockyard. You will get return buses until late in the evening (except Sundays). The last bus from Hamilton passes by Horseshoe at around 9:40pm. But all public beaches close after sunset. 
 
Peter Rayner (March 2014) 
You mention the option of a Minibus from The Cruise Dock to Horseshoe Beach for $15 per person return. Is this seasonal? We are arriving at the end of April on Ruby Princess, which docks at 8am. Where would we go to take this option? The ship offers a minibus excursion, but this is twice the cost and cannot be cancelled if the weather is bad. Any other tips for a day trip to this famous beach would be welcome. The ship leaves at 3pm. 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) March 2014 
Hi, The beach shuttle is operated by Michal Tucker of Affordable Ride Minibus. It leaves from the dockyard and close to the cruise ship berths. Please write to him to know the schedule. You can get his contact info here. There is also regular public bus service from the dockyard (route #7) that goes by the south shore beaches (including Horseshoe bay beach) to Hamilton and returns. You can pay by cash in exact change or buy tokens from the Visitors Info Center at the dockyard. Token will cost $4 one way. This is easy and you need not book any beach tour in advance. 
 
Robert Meininger (July 2013) 
Thank you so much Raj for the information! We are looking forward to our first visit to Bermuda. I have another brief question - if we take the bus from the Dockyard to Horseshoe Beach, are their taxis for the return? Which bus is best to go down and back to Horseshoe?  Many thanks! 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) July 2013 
Hi, You may or may not get a taxi from Horseshoe while returning. Bus #7 from dockyard goes to the beach. Another good option is to take the minibus service at the dockyard run by the company Affordable Ride (Mike Tucker). They make several round trips during the day to the south shore beaches including Horseshoe. So you can go and come back any time. Per person round trip fare is $15. 
 
Jeff Kerby (July 2013) 
We will be traveling soon via NCL Breakaway, and have Horse Shoe Bay Beach on our list of destinations. Is the rental rate for umbrellas and chairs per hour or per day? Also, what's the round trip bus fare from the cruise ship dock to the beach? Thanks 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) July 2013 
Hi, The rental rates mentioned in my site are per day rates. One way fare from the dockyard to Horseshoe bay beach is $4.50 by cash (in exact change) and $4.00 in tokens. So the round trip fare would be $9 in cash and $8 in token. You can also alternatively buy a pass (1 day, 2 day ... etc) which will give you unlimited access to both buses and ferries. Regards, 
 
Laura (June 2012) 
Hi... it is very very important that my twin sister and I have an umbrella and a beach chair at horseshoe bay beach. we are coming in on a Royal Caribbean cruise and they have an excursion to this beach but no one can tell us if we can rent a chair and umbrella. both my twin sister and I have had a bit of skin cancer so it is so important to us. Can you tell me if we can reserve ahead of time and the cost/ and where do we reserve a chair and umbrella? Is it at the beach itself? Thanks for your help ... 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) June 2012 
Hi, You can rent umbrellas and beach chairs from the concession located at Horseshoe Bay Beach itself. I don't think you can reserve them in advance. If you are visiting during the high season, there are chances that stock may be over. The beach gets very crowded during the high tourist season. Indicative rates are (for a day): Lounge chairs:$11, Umbrellas: $11. Note these are only indicative figures. The rates can change depending on demand. Regards, 
 
Carole Helgesen (March 2012) 
I will be cruising to Bermuda the first week in May. My question is, if I take a taxi over to Horseshoe Beach, is it easy to find a taxi back to the cruise ship at the Dockyard? Thank you. 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) March 2012 
It may not be easy to get a taxi back to the dockyard unless you are lucky to find one dropping off other passengers. You can try requesting the driver who drops you to pick you up after certain time. He may or may not agree. The other option is to book a taxi by the hour (usually you need to book for a minimum of 3 hours, $45-50 per hour). 
 
Kristen (March 2012) 
Hi, just need some info on how once I get off the ship, how do I get to horseshoe beach, can I walk or taxi and if taxi, how much? If walking how far a walk? 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) March 2012 
Hi, Horseshoe Bay Beach is not in a walking distance from the dockyard. It's in Southampton parish. Taxi ride costs about $30 from the cruise ship dockyard and takes about 25 minutes to reach. Best is to take bus#7 which starts from the dockyard itself for Hamilton City. It takes about 35 minutes to reach the beach by bus.  
 
Harold Davis (August 2011) 
I have a pre cancerous condition of the skin and cannot be in the sun period, however, I still want to visit Horseshoe Beach while I am there in Sept of this year. My question is, can I rent umbrellas or are there cabanas to rent? Thank you so much for your help!!!! 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) August 2011 
There is a concession that rents beach chairs and umbrellas at the Horseshoe Bay Beach. It closes down by late afternoon. There is also a beach cafe. 
 
Anita Menegay (May 2011) 
It's a beautiful beach, but I want to mention that during the few hours we were there (April 26, 2011), we saw numerous dead Portuguese Man of War washed up on the beach. I understand their sting is bad even after they are dead. There were lots of people on the beach who easily could have stepped on them with their bare feet, yet no warnings were posted. So my advice is, watch your step on that beach. 
 
Zig (September 2010) 
Just came back from Bermuda today on the Norwegian Spirit and their staff was exemplary with our 3 year old daughter. We visited Horseshoe Bay on recommendation of the locals. We were not disappointed by the setting. The little bay was perfect for our daughter and the scenery was beautiful. Did some snorkeling there which was nice but not as nice as the Cayman Islands. To be fair though we were limited in time, so I couldn't go exploring very far. I also went to Snorkel Park which has a cover to get in and has "private parties" on certain nights. Saw 6 jellyfish in 1.5 hours of snorkeling and everyone was freaking out! It is within walking distance of the dockyard which was real sweet time to kill. 
 
Louisa (May, 2010) 
My husband & I just returned from a cruise on the Norwegian Dawn. We are both very much Beach People. We visited Horseshoe Bay Beach & I have to say it's the closest thing to HEAVEN! We can't wait to go back again! 
 
Peggy Slaughter (August 2009) 
My husband and I are coming to Bermuda by cruise in about two weeks. we have been to Horseshoe bay many times and love the beauty of the beach and water. Is the beach open all hours of the day, I would love to see the beach at sunset. can't wait to be back on Horseshoe bay. 
 
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) August 2009 
All public beaches in Bermuda are open from Dawn till sunset, and so is Horseshoe Bay beach. Public beaches are closed after sunset. 
 
 
 
 
 
Horseshoe Bay Beach Reviewed by Raj Bhattacharya Rating: 5.0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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By Raj Bhattacharya 
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