Situated at the southernmost point of Antigua, English Harbour is one of the island’s oldest and most historic landmarks. Buildings along the waterfront date back to the colonial era, while the harbor itself is an internationally acclaimed sailing location.
You can easily spend a day exploring English Harbour, which is home to one of Antigua’s top landmarks: Nelson’s Dockyard, a marina and UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to shops and highly-rated restaurants, Nelson’s Dockyard features a historical shipyard and small museum. The harbor’s Pigeon Point Beach is a quiet spot loved by locals that offers views of boats and yachts sailing through the Caribbean.
Basic tours of the island typically include a stop at Nelson’s Dockyard and provide insight into English Harbour’s history. As a hub for cafés and restaurants, cooking classes are often offered in English Harbour and are a popular way to experience the island’s culture. In addition to sailing lessons, boat tours offer unparalleled views of the coastline and harbor landmarks.
Things to Know Before You Go
- English Harbour is a lovely destination for all first-time visitors to Antigua.
- The best bird’s-eye views of English Harbour can be found at Shirley Heights.
- With beaches, shops, sailing activities, and plenty of food options, English Harbour is an ideal location to spend a full day.
- Local restaurants offer a range of cuisines, including contemporary Caribbean, upscale French, island fusion, Italian, and Japanese.
- Many harbor establishments are accessible to wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Because it takes only 45 minutes to drive from one end of the island from another, English Harbour is easily accessible by car or taxi. It is just 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from the airport and 14 miles (22.7 kilometers) from Jolly Harbour; take Jonas Road to Dockyard Drive.
When to Get There
While English Harbour is busiest on weekends, it rarely feels overly crowded. Head up to Shirley Heights on Thursday or Sunday for drinks and a view of the harbor at sunset. Annual events include the Antigua Yacht Regatta at the end of April and Carnival festival in July. Antigua is busiest from December to April, when storms are less frequent. For a quieter trip, visit Antigua during the off-season, May to November.
Prince Harry’s Visit
Antigua has been a destination for British royalty for more than a century. Built overlooking English Harbour 200 years ago for Prince William IV, Clarence House was restored and reopened to the public in 2016. Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married, Harry traveled to English Harbour to celebrate the restoration of Clarence House—where his great-aunt, Princess Margaret, once honeymooned.