Old Road Town
Founded on the west coast of St. Kitts, Old Road Town was settled in 1624 by a small group of settlers interested in trying their hand at tobacco farming. Old Road Town was the first settlement in the Caribbean established by the British. Highlights include a thriving farming industry, a historic Wingfield Estate, and a number of ancient Carib petroglyphs.
Bequeathed as the first land grant by the King of England in the entire English-speaking West Indies, Wingfield Estate is now an active archaeological and historical site. Explore Old Road Town while on a tour of St. Kitts, covering the island’s history and nature. Starting in the capital city Basseterre to see Independence Square and the old slave market, you’ll take a scenic coastal drive to Romney Manor, the Caribelle Batik plantation, and Brimstone Hill Fortress with time to stop at Black Rocks, where volcanic rocks rise from the ocean around the dormant Mt. Liamuiga.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Old Road Town is a great spot to learn about Caribbean ethnic history.
- Amenities such as restaurants, bars, and lodging are sparse.
- Avoid staying a night in the town as there aren’t many hotels and things to do.
- Rent a bicycle and cycle to the petroglyphs.
How to Get There
Old Road Town is located on the west coast of St. Kitts, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from Basseterre’s city center. Drive or take a taxi, since buses don’t reach Old Road Town. Expect about 20 minutes on the road.
When to Get There
Visit Old Road Town early in the day, since the few attractions, shops, and restaurants that are there close early. Peak season runs from December to April, during which time the biggest event of the year, National Carnivalxa0 (also known as Sugar Mas), ignites the island in the run up to Christmas and New Year. For a more quiet time, visit between May and July when crowds dwindle.
The oldest sugar estate in the Caribbean was founded in 1625 and was working until the 1900s. Wingfield Estate was such an important sugar plantation that it elevated the island in the region. Now the site is filled with ruins of the sugar mills and distillery. Take a guided tour or follow the signs that explain the history of the site.