I thought I would post because I took my 80 year old mother who is in fair shape and didn’t find much info on this in the forums before we left on our trip.
My mother can walk up and down stairs but she gets out of breath easily and must rest after a bit, especially going up hills. So I will write on what I found out/wish I had known etc. basing it on her capability.
Staying in Hamilton versus staying at a resort with private beach:
A large number of the resorts have steps way way down to the beach, no elevator access. Coming back up though several resorts offer a golf cart that will take you back up the road to the lobby. Call ahead and ask if you are staying at a resort. One advantage will be you can easily take the bus from the front road or cabs to where you want to go besides the resort…but cabs can get expensive, so something to think about if you are on a budget.
Staying in Hamilton has its advantages to, if walking is fairly doable. There is much more variety to go to at night, many restaurants etc. We stayed at the Rosedon which is a ten minute walk from the heart of downtown. My mother could do this walk with a short rest in between (there is a slight hill up and down each way) but even still, she preferred this location since we were right at the ferry as well. Also many buses pass by the ferry and will pick you up there and bring you up the to the terminal (which is slightly farther and up a steeper hill for two blocks). This is great as you really don’t have to walk up hills, and ALL busses and ferries in Bermuda are available to you!
Elbow beach: has a longish walk for an elderly person from the bus stop…better to take a mini bus or cab. And the public part of the beach….a private vendor rents umbrellas and chairs but he is not always there, so beware! Being older and out on the hot exposed elbow beach (no trees) is not good.
Horseshoe Beach: By bus, there is a pretty long walk down hill to get to the beach. Once you are there though there are bathrooms, umbrella and chair rentals and food very close to the beach area. If you are elderly, forget about walking back up unless you have a good heart. There is a van that will take you back up to the bus stop though, $2 per person.
Royal Naval Dockyard is very doable if large. The terrain is flat, there is shade, restaurants and benches to sit on everywhere.
Tobacco Bay: if you are elderly I would not recommend walking to this beach, even though it is 15 minutes from downtown St. George. Two very large hills. Better to take a mini bus or taxi for $6-8 bucks. It is a small nice beach with a very slight dip to it, but there is a café right on the edge, and umbrellas/food etc.
St. George….the quaint alleys, Needle and Thread, Silk Alley etc they are all pretty hilly. An elderly person could see them (slowly) by walking since a taxi won’t really fit in the small streets. BUT, I would go at dusk because it can be brutally hot to be going up and down hills. Otherwise the town square is very nice and all the shops and restaurants are on the same level terrain.
Other random thoughts for future travelers…the sun is very hot. So even a day trip somewhere I would bring a parasol or light umbrella if hats aren’t your thing or you are too hot. And bottled water. Definitely comfortable shoes.
Some people in the forums recommended the Blue Flag Taxis, they might be better for those who had difficulty walking. As I said, my mother can walk fine, she just tires and needs to catch her breath, so that’s why we did what we did.
Hope this info helps anyone travelling and curious about these issues….