Attractions in and around
Kings Wharf or Dockyard Bermuda
Although it sounds just like a port area, the Kings Wharf area or the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda spans across a land area of about 24 acres and has become a tourist hot spot by itself.
Mainly due to the large influx of cruise ship passengers, the area has developed into a place with many tourist attractions including museums, historic buildings, art & craft centers, beaches, theaters and bustling with activities such as land & water tours, water sports, and many other activities. And of course there are plenty of shopping and restaurants to compliment the experience.
You can easily plan a full day to go around the attractions in the dockyard area itself and also indulge in some of the great recreational activities and tours that take place from the dockyard. You can either take leisure walk to visit the attractions, or alternatively take the free train trolley ride which completes a full circuit within the dockyard several times a day starting near the cruise berths and stopping at important landmarks. You can hop on and off.
There is also a Train Trolley Tour that takes you around the dockyard and outside covering several attractions with on-board audio commentary explaining the places and their history. You can also take a Segway two-Wheel battery operated transporter to get around the dockyard complex.
Museums & Historic Buildings
Some of the islands' best preserved fortifications are located here that reflect the 200 years old maritime history of Bermuda and its connections with the British Royal Navy.
The main fort building in the dockyard The Keep
was converted into Bermuda Maritime Museum
in 1974 where you can learn and visualize the fascinating stories of Bermuda's maritime heritage through numerous exhibits and archives.
The museum has been further expanded in 2009 December covering some of the surrounding areas and additional exhibits. It has now become the National Museum of Bermuda
One of the greatest historical buildings within the dockyard is Commissioners House
. Located within the National Museum Complex, this house was built in 1820s and was the residence of the Dockyard Commissioner who was overall in charge of the port. It now houses many exhibits and artifacts of Bermuda's Slavery Period.
Towards the southern side of the dockyard near the gate, the Casemates
is one of the oldest buildings that was once the barrack for the men of Marine Infantry who guarded the dockyard against enemy invasions. Later it became the main prison for convicts in Bermuda.
As you walk around the dockyard complex, you will pass by the Victualling Yard. When the British Royal Navy operated out of the dockyard until mid 1900s, this is where food and other supplies used to be prepared and packed with salt for taking to the sea for the naval officers. It is surrounded by high walls and has now become a park.
Close to it is the old Cooperage building. This is where once barrels were made to store perishable goods (like pork, biscuits etc.) and were loaded into the ships. It was built in 1831 and is now home to the Crafts Market.
Beaches Near Kings Wharf
There are several great beaches located in an around the dockyard. While some are within walking distance (like Snorkel Park Beach and Black Bay Beach), others including the famous pink south shore beaches can be reached easily by public bus, scooter, or beach shuttles. Entry to public beaches is free. However Snorkel Park Beach is part of a commercial complex and has an entry fee. Here are the Beaches near Kings Wharf & Dockyard
Art & Craft at Kings Wharf
Dockyard is a gold mine when it comes to exquisite art & craft work from talented local artists and artisans.
Bermuda Craft Market
is located within the old cooperage building where multitude of handicraft items from several local artisans are showcased. Items include cedar work, dolls made with banana leaves, jewelry, paintings etc. These are ideal souvenirs to take back home that reflect original talent and skills of local craftsmen.
Stop by the Dockyard Glassworks
to see craftsmen showing their skills and making lovely glassware items from hot molten glasses. You can see free demonstration and then buy if you like.
Head over to Bermuda Clayworks
to see artists crafting beautiful pottery and ceramic items.
Visit the Bermuda Art Center
. This is a creative workshop of talented artists. It exhibits wide range of artwork including paintings, sculpture, pottery etc. You can chat with the resident artists to know about their creations and styles.
Other Attractions Nearby
You must not miss the Dolphin Quest
within the dockyard complex.
This is a fantastic Dolphin display and training center. If you have a dream to swim with dolphins, touch or feed them, there is no better place than the Dolphin Quest in Bermuda. We experienced it … it’s amazing.
is located in Sandys and near Dockyard. This fort was built by the British in 1870s to protect the Royal Naval Dockyard fearing attacks from the US, which of course never took place.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
is located in Southampton and is easily accessible from dockyard by bus. This is the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the world. Climb the 185 stairs to the top and from the balcony you get sweeping views of Great Sound water area and the island landscapes all around.
Heydon Trust Park & Chapel
is another place which you should not miss. The 43 acre beautiful unspoiled parkland with wonderful view of the water is located in Sandys and quite close to the dockyard. The park has fruit groves, gardens and lovely landscapes, and a quaint chapel which is the smallest in the island.
which is the world's smallest drawbridge is located at Somerset (Sandys). All buses and road transports leaving the dockyard towards Hamilton go over this tiny bridge.
Kings Wharf Activities & Tours
The dockyard area offers a host of recreational activities including island tours, boating & sailing, all kinds of water sports and many other sporting activities including golfing, fishing etc. Visit Kings Wharf Activities
for full information.
A Historical Re-enactment has started taking place during the summer cruise season. There will be actors in costumes of early period showcasing life in the dockyard in early 1800s. They will also explain the background of the fort, the warehouses, workshops, barracks and many other features of the dockyard. This is designed as a fun filled family event where you also get a piece of historical knowledge of the island. During the show, a canon is also fired as an added attraction. The re-enactment takes place on some days of the week starting at 9:30am.
This is then followed by walking tour of the Dockyard where you will explore the historical places and landmarks that you learned during the re-enactment session. During the tour you will learn about how ship repairing was done in the dockyard, how food prepared and loaded, how the convict labors & slaves were used in building the dockyard, and lot more. The walking tour starts at 9:50am and ends at 10:30am.
After enjoying all the attractions at the dockyard, you can relax and watch a movie here at the Neptune Theatre, a 118-seat cinema showing a night movie twice over. On Friday through Sunday, you can catch an afternoon show too. It's located at the Cooperage Building in Victualling Yard.
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