If you don’t live in Sandys, you might only know it for its cricket club that competes against the rival, St. George, every summer in Cup Match, but it has much more to offer.
1. Daniel’s Head
Daniel’s Head is a beautiful and secluded beach at the west end of the island. Green turtles graze in the abundant sea grass here, and they are relatively docile compared to populations of turtles elsewhere on the island. They seem to have no problem being close to swimmers in the water, and sometimes come right up to you and graze by your feet if you stand still in the water.
Visit Daniel’s Head and Somerset Long Bay to spend some time up close and personal with these iconic marine reptiles.
2. Hog Bay
One of the best parks in Bermuda, Hog Bay is unfortunately little known and little visited. The nature trails are bordered by agricultural land near the road, but the steep cliff side is occupied by woodland forest areas.
Hog Bay beach is a wonderful secluded swimming location when the tide is right. You can wade out quite a way offshore, and peer into the crystal clear water to look for turtles, fish, and crustaceans frequenting the sea grass beds.
3. Somerset Bridge
Somerset Bridge is the quintessential Bermudian monument. Holding the title for the smallest working drawbridge in the world, it only opens enough to let the mast of a sailboat poke through so that the boats can moor up in Ely’s Harbour.
Visit Somerset Bridge and the surrounding park for beautiful views of the Bermuda waterfront. Underneath the bridge, sometimes you can see large fish swimming, like mahi mahi.
4. Fort Scaur
Fort Scaur must be on the of the most tranquil and impressive forts in Bermuda. Its structure is very well preserved, including some low archways throughout the grounds that visitors can walk through.
The whole of Fort Scaur and its park is located on top of a hill, whisking visitors away from the noise and bustle of the road to a landscape that’s quiet and steeped in history. The fort was built on the highest hilltop on the west end, but surrounded by trees so as to keep its location hidden.
It was designed to protect the valuable western port at Dockyard from attack, and is one of the largest forts in Bermuda. It has underground passages, as well as a dry moat full of ferns. The park has picnic benches, walking trails, and a fishing dock. It also has a free telescope to take in views around the island from the vantage point.
The port of Dockyard includes many Bermudian tourists attractions very close together. Cruise ships full of tourists dock here and overrun the town periodically. During your visit to Dockyard, be sure to visit the National Museum of Bermuda, where they keep extensive exhibits about the slave trade in Bermuda and Bermuda’s military and nautical history.
Also in Dockyard, make time to take a quick trip around the clock tower mall, and grab an ice cream at Häagen-Dazs. The glass blowing studio is always a fun place to visit, where you can watch glass blowing demonstrations and buy some beautiful work. The arts and craft centre around the corner is always worth a visit, too. Next to Frog and Onion pub, Dockyard has a craft fair, and in its back corner you can browse a variety of old and rare prints to do with Bermuda, including maps, drawings, postcards and the occasional vintage issue of The Bermudian.
6. Bermuda Transport Museum
The Bermuda Transport Museum was opened by vintage vehicle collector Paul Martins. In its new location in Dockyard, it showcases a wide variety of bikes and mopeds, vintage cars, carriages, and even an America’s Cup boat wing. This museum offers a unique look at Bermuda, with its transportation methods unique to a small oceanic island. Older visitors will have fond memories of some of the older pieces, and younger visitors can be transported back in time.
7. Heydon Trust
A visit to Sandys would not be complete without a visit to the Heydon Trust park. These 43 acres of sprawling parkland and gardens also contain the smallest church in Bermuda – a nondenominational Christian church built in 1620.
The property and church services are almost completely run by volunteers. James Heydon was a member of the Bermuda Company, a group of investors that governed the island in the 1700s, and he set up the stunning property. The grounds are now a haven for birds. On the edge of the property, you can also get to the water and take in the view.
The church is still open and providing services.