Bermuda is the oldest British colony, closer to the east coast of America than the Caribbean, enjoys sunshine and tropical weather all year round and is one of the world’s top yachting destinations.
No surprise that this tiny scrap of green adrift in the huge Atlantic has a reputation for exclusivity and expense.
But Bermuda isn’t limited to the sailing fraternity, luxury cruise ships and weekending New Yorkers.
A closer look at the gorgeous archipelago of 181 tiny islands reveals Bermuda to have a tremendous talent for family holidays too.
Year-round direct flights from London to Bermuda with flying time of just under eight hours.
Temperatures of 25 to 30˚C between May and September and average winter temperatures of 22˚C.
The entire Bermuda archipelago is only 54km² but has 75km of coastline famous for delicate, shell-pink sand beaches and dramatic cliffs.
Bermuda’s waters contain over 650 different species of fish and are home to five of the world’s seven known marine turtle species.
Conservation-conscious Bermuda bans hired cars and has highly efficient, inexpensive public transport, safe cycling and great sailing instead.
The country’s historic capital, St. George, was founded in 1612 and is now the oldest English town (outside England) in the world.
Bermuda’s family accommodation ranges from luxurious beachfront resorts to heritage guesthouses in St. George, South Shore self-catering apartments and cosy, characterful inns close to Hamilton.
Bermuda’s capital is a charming city of sparkling streets, subtly mixed old and new architecture and unhurried calm – even during the working week. Bermuda shorts are worn to the office, everyone makes time to say ‘hello’ and there’s very little traffic because it’s easier to get about here without a car. It’s all a delightful culture shock, the small-scale appeals to kids and there’s always something to see.
Trimmed with limestone cliffs and stretches of flawless pink sand, South Shore is perfect Bermuda escapism. You’ll find Hog Bay National park and Horseshoe Bay here. There are endless natural walking trails and easy cycling routes. And, soaring above the sea, Port Royal Golf Course has some of the world’s most inspiring views.
Crossing the bridge to the historic Bermudan capital, St. George’s, is like stepping back into the 18th century. Now a World Heritage site, this is the best place to get an idea of what this lovely archipelago was like before it became a holiday paradise. The buildings tucked along tiny, twisty lanes are beautifully preserved and delightful experiences like the Perfumery are matched by some plain oddities – the punitive Ducking Stool’s a big crowd pleaser.
Prepare to be amazed by this impressive complex of grand early 19th century buildings which served the British Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic for almost 150 years. Remarkably well preserved, the Royal Naval Dockyard is a must-do visit – so much so, it’s where visiting cruise ships always drop anchor in Bermuda.
Snorkel Park Beach, Royal Naval Dockyard
Kids emerge from a limestone tunnel into paradise packed with every water sport and beach game they’ve ever dreamed of. Snorkel Park
Dolphin Quest, Royal Naval Dockyard
Everything kids love about dolphins in a great, personal and super-friendly experience – strong conservation focus. Dolphin Quest
Bermuda Aquarium, Hamilton
Fun city aquarium and zoo – if kids don’t spot any of Bermuda’s wild turtles, they can see them here for sure. Bermuda Aquarium
National Museum Bermuda, Royal Naval Dockyard
Well designed museum exploring Bermuda’s cultural and social heritage from the 17th century. Kids under 16 visit free. National Museum of Bermuda
Horseshoe Bay Beach, South Shore
Relaxed family beach with gentle sand fun for young kids and plenty of wild stuff to get up to for older ones. One of the world’s top 10 best beaches. Horseshoe Bay
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, South Shore
This 75m tall cast iron lighthouse has enormous views over South Shore and the Bermudan archipelago. Recently restored it’s more sensational than ever. Gibb’s Hill
St. David’s Lighthouse, St. David’s Island
Stately red and white St. David’s Lighthouse is one of Bermuda’s most iconic sights. Climb to the top at the right time of year and it’s also the best place to spot Humpback Whales making their way across the Western Atlantic. St. David’s Lighthouse
Crystal Caves Bermuda, St. George’s
For all the beaches and lush scenery, one of the most enchanting sights on Bermuda is underground in these astounding caves. Another absolute must-do with kids. Crystal Caves
Hog Bay Park, South Shore
This 13 hectare national park is another great reason to visit South Shore. Shady forest to wander round and hundreds of birds to watch out for. Hog Bay Park
Railway Trail, South Shore
Crossing the island from coast-to-coast, this route is wonderful to walk or cycle – can be done as part of a two hour guided tour. Railway Trail
No hire cars on Bermuda make transport decisions a lot easier. Buses are the best way to get about and you want pink bus stops for buses to Hamilton and blue bus stops for buses to other areas. There are regular ferry services too and some resorts have their own water-shuttles. Cycling is safe and fun and bike hire’s inexpensive – many hotels and inns have bikes for guests to use.ly way to go.