End-to-End tour of Sandys, Bermuda
Sandys is the western most parish in Bermuda and comprises of several islands that are joined by bridges. It has enough attractions of its own to demand a full day tour of the parish and explore its craggy coastlines, lovely beaches, forts, great reserves, parklands and lot more. This self guided tour will explore the island from west towards east.
In Sandy's, I have already discussed A Tour of Royal Naval Dockyard
where you can explore the largest cruise port of the island which spans across some 24 acres of land area and has itself many tourist attractions, shops and restaurants. The dockyard is located at the western most tip of the Parish. This self guided tour will cover rest of the parish.
I suggest you refer to Sandy's Map
to know the route we will be following in this page. A scooter would be ideal to take this tour. You can however hop on and hop off buses (#7 or 8) to undertake the tour (buy a transport pass
which offers unlimited rides). You can also alternatively hire a taxi by the hour and complete the tour.
Let's start from the dockyard gate and move towards east (i.e. Southampton parish). Take the Pender road (which is the main road going out of the gate). In about a mile, you will see Royal Naval Cemetery
on your left which is located in Ireland Island South at Lagoon Park. The road here is known as Cockburn Road (and becomes Malabar road little ahead). Spend a few minutes looking at the graves of Navy personnel who died out of Yellow Fever in mid 1800s. There are also graves of many spouses of Navy officers and their children. Look out to the other side of the road and you can see the wonderful views of the western coastline and the water.
Move on and soon on the right you will see a tiny beach accessible from the roadside. It's locally known as Black Bay. There are no facilities though. However the view of the western water from here is marvelous. This is also a great place to watch sunset. You can take your scooter into the short circular pathway leading up to the edge.
Move on along Malabar road. You will see Heydon road on your left that leads to Lefroy House. This is a government run establishment providing daycare and other services in homelike environment to residents who need such service. Move on and you will cross a bridge that connects to Boaz Island. You will pass by Rubis Gas Station on your right, and immediately after that is Woody's Sports Bar on your left. It's a local bar with pub like atmosphere. There is outdoor seating with wonderful view of the Boaz Island Bay. If you like, try the Wahoo or Rock fish sandwich on raisin bread.
Move ahead and you will soon come to Watford Bridge
which connects to Somerset Village
. Look at the lovely blue water on both sides of the bridge and several tiny islets. You can see the contour of Somerset village ahead at a distance. After crossing the bridge, the name of the road changes to Mangrove Bay Road and then to Somerset Road.
Soon after crossing Watford bridge you will see a small beach below on your right and full of rocks. It's known as Sugar Cane Point Beach. You can access the beach by a stairway on the roadside. No need to do so. By now you have traveled about 1.2 miles from Royal Naval Cemetery. You will soon pass by a large 2-storey pink colored building on the left with arch-like structures. This is an outlet of Digicel - a mobile operator in the island. At one corner in the ground floor, there is a small coffee shop - Village Cafe which has couple of tables laid outside on the veranda.
Move ahead and within 50 yards you will see Somerset Country Squire
, a well known pub & restaurant with traditional moongate entrance on your right and overlooking the lovely Mangrove Bay. It may be a bit difficult to spot because it's tucked next to a large building and therefore not prominently visible while coming down from dockyard.
Move forward and within steps you can see the small but beautiful Mangrove Bay Beach on your right with several fishing boats anchored. Stop here for a while and soak in the views. While the main road (Somerset Road) continues straight ahead, Mangrove bay road veers right along the bay. Mangrove Bay Post Office is located on Mangrove bay road at a short distance. However continue on Somerset road.
You will soon pass by a Police Station on your left. And then in about 100 yards you can see the entrance to Springfield and Gilbert Nature Reserve
on your left which is full of plantations and shrubs. A good place to see Bermuda Cedars.
Move along Somerset Road and shortly in few seconds you will see Cambridge Road on your right. This point is about 0.6 mile from Watford bridge. If you have a scooter, take that road, then turn left on Daniel's Head Road, and you will see the wonderful Somerset Long Bay Park & Beach
on your right (about 250 yards from Somerset Road) and further ahead about 0.7 miles from Somerset Road, you will reach another lovely west coast beach - Daniel's Head Park & Beach
A watersport operator at Daniel's head offers kayak, paddleboard etc. You can also walk to Daniel's Head from Somerset Road, but can get strenuous under the hot sun. Having spent some time at the beaches and parks, get back to Somerset Road. Soon you will pass by The Market Place - a large well known grocery store.
Move along and you will see Four Star
- a restaurant on the left serving Pizzas, grills and Indian food. Further ahead (about 0.6 miles from Cambridge road junction), you will see a lane called Heydon's Drive towards left. This road leads to a nice parkland and the smallest chapel in the island built in early 1620 - Heydon Trust Park & Chapel
Move ahead on Somerset Road and soon you will see a lane going uphill towards Scaur Hill Park & Fort
. A beautiful park on a hilly terrain with many flowering plantations, great landscapes and offering lovely views of water from vantage points. Spend some time here exploring the park and the historic fort that was built to protect Royal Naval Dockyard.
Get back on Somerset Road and move on. Shortly ahead on the right an impressive driveway leads to St. James Church
- a well known Anglican church that was once regularly attended by sailors & officers of Royal Navy who were based at the Royal Naval Dockyard until the navy operation was closed in 1995.
Move ahead. Somerset Road now becomes Middle Road. In about 700 yards from St. James Church, you will reach the smallest drawbridge of the world - The Somerset Bridge
with beautiful views of Ely's Harbor. Go over the bridge, at the other end there is a building with a car park at the back side. You can park your scooter here (there is also a bus stop nearby). Walk up to the middle of the bridge (there are wooden sidewalks), and enjoy the lovely view of the harbor. Go back to the car park, you will find a stairway leading down to a nice water garden with benches to enjoy the scenery.
About 200 yards ahead (towards east), you will see entrance to Hog Bay Park
on your right. A trail through forested land leads down to a tiny beach which is usually available only during low tide. However that will require some hike though.
Soon ahead along Middle road, Sandys parish ends and Southampton starts. So from the dockyard gate all the way up to the Hog Bay Park, you would travel for about 5 miles plus the distance along side roads, trails and pathways.
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