Where to go when you’re jonesing for a uniquely Bermudian experience.
- Immerse Yourself in the History of St. David’s
- If you’re looking for a spot reminiscent of Old Bermuda, discover the historic charms of Carter House. Believed to be one of the oldest farmhouses on the island, its original structure has endured three centuries of tenants and weathering. Now operating as a museum, Carter House preserves the history of the St. David’s Islanders. Discover their rich culture through artifacts and stories displayed throughout the cottage, detailing the lives of local merchants and mariners. 34 Southside Road, St. David’s
- Step Inside Bermuda’s Oldest Building
- Built in 1620 for parliamentary sessions, the State House in St. George’s was constructed of thick limestone blocks and held together with turtle oil and lime. After Bermuda’s capital was moved to Hamilton in 1815, the State House was leased to the Freemasons in exchange for one peppercorn’s rent. Each year the rent is paid in pomp and pageantry at the Peppercorn Ceremony, an event that features a 17-gun salute and the governor in a horse-drawn carriage. The State House is open to visitors every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Admission is free.
- Celebrate Bermuda’s Black History
It is said that history acts as both map and mirror, and Rashida Godwin has charted a course for reflection with the African Bermuda Dispersion Cultural Tour, an activity she created with husband Winston. Participants are taken on a “Sankofa Journey” that vividly recalls and honours Black Bermuda history. Borrowed from the Twi language of Ghana, sankofa means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” Visiting sites include the Old Graveyard by the Rubber Tree in Warwick—a memorial for enslaved and free blacks who were buried before Emancipation. Legends such as Sarah “Sally” Bassett and Mary Prince are brought back to life through the expert storytelling of the Godwins and their tour guides, Gina Davis, Ajala Omodele and Carlsen Phillip. Embracing history, participants leave the experience enlightened by what is truly a celebration of Black Bermuda. Visit www.titantoursbermuda.com for more information and to book.
Follow the Gombeys’ Lead
Though there isn’t a particular place to go and see them, throughout the year (and especially on Boxing Day) you’ll find Bermuda’s iconic Gombey troupes dancing down streets and alleys. The Gombey tradition on the island goes back to at least the early 1800s—it’s a vibrant blend of African, Native American and Caribbean cultures. The dances provided a way for enslaved persons to express themselves and to this day the Gombeys perform dances that tell stories of resistance and survival.
Discover 5 Centuries of History at the National Museum of Bermuda
Committed to the preservation of Bermuda’s history and identity, the National Museum of Bermuda at Commissioner’s House in Dockyard is bursting with everything from shipwrecked treasures, early maps, and the celebrated Graham Foster mural. Noteworthy exhibits include Traces and Pastimes (digital collages and biodegradable flagging tape sculpture by artist Gherdai Hassell), Azores and Bermuda (an exploration of Portuguese-Bermudian history and culture), Bermuda & the West Indies (the maritime, economic and cultural links between Bermuda and the Caribbean), Shipwreck Island: Sunken Clues to Bermuda’s Past (1,500 shipwreck artifacts of international and local significance)and The Slave Trade & Slavery in Bermuda (an exploration of 200 years of slavery in Bermuda). Visit www.nmb.bm for information regarding their opening times and admission prices.
Hop Aboard the Spirit of Bermuda
The Spirit of Bermuda is a stunning throwback to yesteryear, an exemplary purpose-built training vessel based on schooners designed and built by Bermudians in the nineteenth century. There are abundant opportunities available to both teens and adults to travel onboard the Spirit on sailing voyages overseas. For anyone who’s ever dreamed of witnessing the sunset on the open ocean or taking watch overnight on a moving vessel, crossing the Atlantic on the Spirit of Bermuda is both the chance of a lifetime and an opportunity to explore our maritime history first-hand. During the summer months, a number of voyages are open to the public, including the Newport Bermuda Race, Bermuda to Chesapeake Bay, Bermuda to Sargasso Sea, and Bermuda to Rockport, Maine. Visit www.bermudasloop.org for more information.