St George's Town - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to St George's Town

St George's Town

St George's was Bermuda's original settlement and one-time capital, until 1815. It is situated at the east end of the country and provides a pleasant and relaxed day's sightseeing. There is a slide show on the Parish, which may be of interest to visitors. A walking tour is a good way to explore the museums and quaint shops and one can meet the Town Crier along the way whilst stopping here and there to sample the fare at the charming restaurants.

The hub of town life is King's Square, featuring stocks, a pillory and whipping-post where criminals were punished in days of yore. The Town Crier appears here on occasion, in traditional costume, to re-enact scenes such as committing the town drunk to the stocks and securing the town gossip on the Ordnance Island ducking stool. The Town Hall fronts the square, and behind it is one of Bermuda's oldest buildings, the State House, dating from 1619. Located close to this is an art gallery and several museums.

The town is a delightful one in which to walk around. It has many narrow lanes leading away from the harbour, which were originally the footpaths to the houses. The dwellings are picturesque with their well-maintained gardens coloured by banana and paw-paw trees. There are horse-drawn buggy rides as a means of transport and a bus service runs to locations of interest such as Clearwater Beach, St David's Island and Fort St Catherine.

Information & Facts


Bermuda, and St George's Town, has a subtropical climate with temperatures moderated by the warm Gulf Stream. Winters in St George's Town are mild, with an average temperature of about 62°F (17°C), though strong winds are common. May to October is very hot and humid, with especially high humidity in July and August. Summer temperatures average about 78°F (26°C). Rainfall is highest in October, though showers can occur throughout the year. Although Bermuda is usually fairly well protected, hurricanes can occur from August to October, bringing high waves and strong winds.

Getting Around

Visitors may not rent cars in St George's Town (or the rest of Bermuda), but the city is easy to negotiate on foot, and hiring a scooter or a moped is a fun way to explore. Bicycles are also available for hire and a limited bus service is available.

English is the official language.

The Bermudan Dollar (BMD) is divided into 100 cents, and is tied to the US Dollar (US$1=BD$1). US currency is accepted almost everywhere and other major currencies can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change. Banking hours vary, though most are open weekdays from 9am to 4.30pm. Visa, MasterCard and American Express, and travellers cheques are widely accepted and ATMs are extensively available. To avoid additional charges, it is best to carry travellers cheques in US dollars. Visitors are advised to exchange all their Bermudan Dollars before leaving, as it is impossible to exchange once outside the country.

GMT -4 (GMT -3 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).

Displaying over 500 years of maritime history, the Bermuda Maritime Museum is a wonderful place to take the kids to learn about the seas as well as the slave trade as well as other aspects of Bermuda's naval history. Kids will love the displays and canons.

Located at the Royal Naval Dockyard, the Bermuda Snorkel Park is a wonderful place for kids to explore the underwater marine life that surrounds this island. There is even a beach bar and restaurant here too, where parents can kick their feet up and relax with a cocktail while the kids enjoy all the water sports on offer, such as jet ski tours, pedalos, kayaks and even a giant water slide.

On the northern tip of St George's Island is Fort St Catherine, overlooking the beach where Sir George Somers and his shipwrecked crew came ashore in 1609. Bermuda's first governor Richard Moore, who was a carpenter by trade, built a wooden fort on this site several years later. Since then it was rebuilt and renovated so that today it is a massive fortification complete with a moat, drawbridge, ramparts and a maze of tunnels. Fort St Catherine is now used as a museum containing period weapons, colourful dioramas, a wax figure of Queen Elizabeth II, and replicas of Britain's crown jewels. An audiovisual presentation focuses on the many forts located around Bermuda.

Situated across from St Peter's is the Globe Hotel. It was built in 1699 and houses the fascinating National Trust Museum. The museum documents Bermuda's role in the US Civil War when St George enjoyed unprecedented wealth from helping the southern states run the northern naval blockade.

Many attractions are located around King's Square where a beautiful 18th century Town Hall overlooks the old pillory and stocks. The Hall is no longer in use but does provide great photo opportunities. Located close by is the dunking stool where gossips and petty offenders were forced to endure the humiliation of being dunked in the harbour. A few minutes walk from here is the Old State House, Bermuda's first all-stone structure and oldest building dating to 1620. Originally known as Sessions House, it was the first permanent home of the colonial assembly, which until then, had held their debates in St Peter's Church.

A great family attraction is the Royal Naval Dockyard where shops, restaurants and museums can be visited as well as the Dolphin Quest attraction. These recently restored dockyards are a great place to take the kids where they can marvel at the sheer size of everything and enjoy an ice cream or lunch in the sun. Ships occasionally land at the dockyard during the summer months - a real treat for children to witness.

Located North of King's Square is Somers Garden, named after the colony's founder whose ship, Sea Venture, was wrecked off the island in 1609. Finding it a fairly nice place to be washed ashore, Sir George Somers built a replacement vessel from the local cedar, left some sailors behind to establish British claim to the islands and then headed home. He returned within the year but died shortly after arrival, leaving his heart, quite literally, on the island (his vital organs and entrails are in a small tomb in the Garden). The rest of his body however was sent back to England, as was customary at the time.

Somers' Wharf is a tastefully redeveloped area on the waterfront with a selection of shops and restaurants. The Carriage Museum has a collection of well-maintained carriages ranging from a dog-cart to a four-horse brake that ruled the roads until as recently as 1946 when cars were legalized. Situated nearby is Tobacco Bay, a good spot for swimming and snorkelling.

St Peter's Church is one of Bermuda's most cherished landmarks. It is the oldest Anglican Church outside Britain. The original wooden structure was built in 1612 and its roof thatched with palmetto. Among St Peter's many treasures are a mahogany altar, the oldest piece of Bermudian furniture on the Island, the St George's chalice that was presented in 1625, a Bible from 1594, Charles I silver, open cedar timber beams, beautiful chandeliers, and marble memorials to some of the Island's earliest governors. St Peter's served as the only public meeting place in Bermuda until the State House was built. The churchyard is also well worth walking around in. Tombstones tell of epidemics, shipwrecks and war. The grave of Sir Richard Sharples, Bermuda's governor who was assassinated in 1973, lies on the east side; on the west side is a collection of unmarked stones, poignant testimony to the segregated slave section.

This elegant, early 18th-century edifice was the home of Henry Tucker, a descendant of Bermuda's second governor, Daniel Tucker. A freed American slave named Joseph Hayne Rainey ran a barber shop here during the American Civil War. Years later he returned to South Carolina to become the first African-American member of the United States House of Representatives. Today, the mansion is a museum and houses the furniture and silver collection that once belonged to the Tucker family.

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