Five days in Bermuda
Saturday 24 March 2012
Day one: Arrive in beautiful Bermuda
After checking in to your hotel, head to the Botanical Gardens. This 36-acre paradise is the ideal place to get a feel for the islands’ delightful flora and is packed with attractions, including the impressive Camden House, the official residence of Bermuda’s premier. Take a tour to make sure you see the best bits. Also within the gardens is the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, the island’s first purpose-built museum and home to more than 1,200 artworks inspired by the islands.
Day two: Explore St George
The town of St George is a Unesco World Heritage site and the oldest English-speaking colonial town still in existence. Start at St Peter’s Church, completed in 1612, the oldest Anglican church in continuous use in the western hemisphere. Behind the south churchyard is the Old Rectory, built in the 18th century by the pirate George Dew.
Continue to the Unfinished Church, which was begun in the 1870s but beset by so many setbacks that the structure was abandoned before it could be completed. Then wander over to the Historical Society Museum. This typical house from the early 1700s displays artifacts and documents pertaining to the island’s earliest days. It’s one of many exceptional museums on the island.
Don’t miss the Bermuda Perfumery, which has been manufacturing exclusive scents since 1928.
A free tour offers the chance to sample beautiful perfumes such as Coral, a fusion of freesia, essence of rose, clementine and ginger.
History is brought back to life on Wednesdays and Saturdays at King’s Square at 10:30am from November to March, with free tours through the alleys and lanes of St George, returning to the square for noon, when a light-hearted, re-enactment of public punishment commences with the ducking of a shrew.
Day three: Discover the dockyard
The National Museum of Bermuda is set within the Keep, a sprawling fortress at the edge of the Royal Naval Dockyard, which gave its name to the local area. The buildings, including munitions warehouses and the newly restored Commissioner's House, contain a great variety of exhibitions.
Next, wander over to the Bermuda Craft Market, the largest, most extensive craft outlet on the islands’ with friendly local artists ready to show their work to visitors. Opens daily from 9:30am-6pm May to October; and 10:30am-5pm from November to March.
Continue your tour to Bermuda Clayworks where local artisans and potters craft attractive vases and dishes. Opens daily from 9am-6pm April to October; and 9am-5pm from November to March.
The day’s final stop is Bermuda Glassworks. Experience the heat of the furnace and watch the artists demonstrate glassblowing and flameworking. The workshop opens daily from 9am - 5pm from January to March; and 9am - 10pm from April to December.
Day four: Head to Hamilton
Get to Bermuda National Gallery, on the second floor of the City Hall & Arts Centre in Hamilton, for 10am and roam the galleries to whet your cultural appetite for a tour of Sessions House, the parliament, at 11am (Mondays to Fridays only).
Afterwards, wander up to Fort Hamilton for the Skirling Ceremony at noon. Here, overlooking the harbor in an untried fortress, kilted pipers, drummers and dancers perform the bagpipe skirl of the islands’ pipe band.
Then wander over to the No 6 Passenger Terminal, Front Street for a showcase of Bermudan cuisine by chef Cheryl Kerr between 2:30pm-4pm. Don’t forget to stay for the Gombey Revue. The swirling rhythm and vivid costumes of the dancers and musicians are an exciting, historic folk art. Be sure to bring your camera!
Day five: Relax with a cup of tea
After all that sight seeing, spend the day relaxing. Indulge in afternoon tea at Heritage Court at Fairmont Hamilton Princess. Popularised by then Queen Victoria – whose daughter inspired the venue’s name after her visit in 1883 – the custom is a signature event of the hotel, enjoyed daily by tourists and locals alike.
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