Exploring Nelson's Dockyard | Antigua and Barbuda
Nelson's Dockyard is a popular tourist destination in Antigua and Barbuda. It is a historic site that has been restored to its original condition and now serves as a marina for yachts, a museum, and a cultural centre. Visitors can explore the various buildings and exhibits showcasing the area's maritime history and colonial past. In addition, several restaurants, shops, and galleries are located within the Dockyard, making it a great place to spend the day. Whether you are interested in history and culture or simply enjoying the beautiful scenery, Nelson's Dockyard is worth visiting.
Exploring Nelson's Dockyard is an incredible experience that should be on your to-do list while visiting Antigua. If you decide to visit this historic site, renting a car will be the best option as it gives you more flexibility in travel time. You can take your time to discover all the fascinating details and features of the Dockyard without worrying about the time constraints of a group tour.
On the other hand, if you prefer to join a group tour, you can still enjoy the beautiful scenery and attractions of the Dockyard. Once you arrive at Nelson's Dockyard Antigua, the bus will drop you off, and you can start your exploration journey. The organized tours are great for visitors who want to learn more about the history and culture of the site. Additionally, you can enjoy some drinks and a Caribbean-stle barbecue with other visitors in the evening, which is a fantastic way to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing.
Whether you rent a car or join a group tour, visiting Nelson's Dockyard is an experience you should take advantage of while in Antigua.
History of Nelson Bay
Nelson’s Dockyard is a marina and cultural heritage site on the southern coast of Antigua, on the edge of English Harbour. It is a part of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, including Clarence House and Shirley Heights. The dockyard was named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, a British naval officer who resided in this Royal Navy Dockyard from 1784 to 1787. It is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Antigua.
So why did the Royal Navy construct this dockyard, and what is the story behind its growth and decline? If you’re curious about the history of the dockyard, read on:
Britain suddenly had two foes after losing the American War of Independence: the United States and France. Caribbean sugar funded the Industrial Revolution and the development of Britain, so safeguarding these assets and the fleet in a secure location became crucial. Antigua’s harbour was the ideal location since no other island in the area had natural harbours with narrow bays surrounded by highlands that provided hurricane protection.
Horatio Nelson, a reluctant admiral from Great Britain, was sent over as the captain of H.M.S Boreas a year after the War of Independence (1775-1783) ended to enforce the Navigation Act in the Caribbean. The act prohibited foreign ships from trading with British colonies, which did not sit well with local merchants who depended on trade with the United States. Nelson spent three years in Antigua (1784 to 1787), which he referred to as an “infernal hole.” Despite his negative attitude, some significant developments occurred in the following years.