Overlooking the city of Nassau from its vantage point atop Bennett’s Hill, Fort Fincastle was built in 1793 to protect the island of New Providence from outside invaders. Much of the imposing building remains intact today. Visitors come to explore the fortifications and enjoy the view from the highest point in Nassau.
Lord Dunmore, serving as governor of the British West Indies, built the paddle steamer–shaped Fort Fincastle as a deterrent for invading troops. It is named after Dunmore’s secondary title, Viscount Fincastle. The limestone walls, 126 feet (38 meters) high and topped with replica cannons, are an impressive sight and take visitors back to the days of pirates and huge navy ships on the high seas.
Walking tours and historical sightseeing tours of Nassau often make the trek up the adjacent 66 steps of the Queen’s Staircase to visit the fort and enjoy the panoramic views over Paradise Island. After the fort was decommissioned, it served as both a lighthouse and signal station before being opened to the public.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entry to the fort is via paid ticket.
- The site is equipped with restrooms.
- The fort was built with the same limestone excavated to make the nearby Queen’s Staircase.
- The water tower adjacent to the fort was built in 1928 to help maintain water pressure on the island.
How to Get There
Fort Fincastle is located at the top of Bennett’s Hill in Nassau, Bahamas. It is walking distance from points in Downtown Nassau. Most people access the fort on foot—either self-guided or as part of a tour—by walking up Queen’s Staircase. It is also possible to drive here (there is parking on-site) or take a taxi.
When to Get There
Fort Fincastle is open seven days a week from 8am–4pm. It is closed on public holidays. There tends to be fewer visitors during the early part of the week.
Enjoy the Lively Scene at Junkanoo Beach
With golden sand and turquoise water, Junkanoo Beach is a classic Caribbean stretch of sand and one of the most popular beaches on the island of New Providence for fun in the sun. Close to downtown and the cruise port terminal, it’s lined with busy beach bars and is consistently popular with vacationing visitors to the island.