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“A great historical site of the Caribbean” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nelson's Dockyard

Nelson's Dockyard
St. John's, English Harbour, Antigua
(268) 481-5028
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Top Rated
$149*
and up
Island Safari 4x4 Discovery Tour from St John's
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Georgia
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“A great historical site of the Caribbean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

This is probably the best tourist site on Antigua and it's historical significance rates it right up there close to the Royal Naval Dockyards in Bermuda. A must see for history buffs it does an excellent job in utilizing the historical building as hotels and restaurants. It could use a little more effort in additional restoration and interpretation but overall a must see if you are in Antigua.

Visited February 2014
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Vancouver
Top Contributor
330 reviews 330 reviews
219 attraction reviews
Reviews in 143 cities Reviews in 143 cities
337 helpful votes 337 helpful votes
“Picturesque Harbor”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

We visited Nelson's Dockyard In January 2014 on a 4 1/2 hr group excursion from our cruise ship. The Dockyard was just one of several short stops on the island. We had under an hour to look around after the park's guide gave a short historical review of the significance of this naval base in the 1700's. We were let go to sample a refreshing rum punch and to look around on our own.The historical buildings that remain have been turned into commercial buildings providing food, lodging, and keepsakes for tourists. My husband, who is a Nelson fan, enjoyed the displays in the museum while I preferred to look at the modern yachts nearby and the sights across the Harbor. We found the bakery easily thanks to reviews in Tripadvisor otherwise we might not have found it as it is in a small building behind the museum. The guide had recommended the apple pastries which, of course, had been sold out by the time we got to the counter. There wasn't enough time to do any exploring beyond the confined area of the buildings around the courtyard such as walking out to the ruined Fort Berkley further out on the point which was OK as it was already hot in the late morning. If you go with a cruise excursion, know ahead of time what you want to see here (like the museum) and go for it as the visit time is very limited. I spent too much time in the shady court drinking that rum punch!

Visited January 2014
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Anglesey
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Fun and relaxed with good little places to pop int to!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

From our Loft Room at Admirals Inn we just walked out to the Dockyard, steeped in history, pop into the museum, loved the little boutique gallery shop and a great general store. Hamilton's restaurant was buzzy with good food. the highlight was being here to welcome the Atlantic Rowers in!

Visited January 2014
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Enfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Really enjoyable stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

Visited Nelsons Dockyard on a cruise excursion and would have loved to stay longer. Very sympathetically restored and really interesting to look around. The souvenir shops seemed very expensive compared to those in St Johns. Had a wonderful lobster lunch in the beautiful Copper and Lumber Inn,it was served with West Indian accompaniements. The marina was worth a stroll around too. Would recommend this place to anyone.

Visited January 2014
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Plymouth
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
66 attraction reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“A little piece of colonial history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

English Harbour, the headquarters of the Royal Navy's West Indian station in Nelsons time is one of the worlds great natural harbours and was recognised as such by the English. It had the advantage of being easy to defend from attacking fleets, principally the French. Those visiting the harbour should also go up to the former flag station at Shirley Heights where a near aerial view of English Harbour vividly explains its importance. English Harbour was developed as a Royal Navy base to protect the lucrative sugar trade and its ships could stay on station in the West Indies longer as otherwise they would have to make the voyage to the east coast of today's USA for maintenance and repair.
Nelsons Dockyard is certainly worth a visit, the buildings have been tastefully restored and you see other naval artefacts such as winches and anchors of the period. Inevitably the Dockyard is crowded, and at the time of our visit there were just too many tour groups making it a little difficult at times to access some of the buildings. One disappointment for us was the fact that all of the buildings we visited (except for the museum) were commercial undertakings such as bars or gift shops and we would like to have seen more emphasis on the buildings being restored to their original use or in part at least.
The Museum is very informative and paints a picture of colonial life in a remote Royal Navy station. Nelson himself was quite unpopular here as he followed the book and was reasonably successful in suppressing the illicit trade between the British West Indies and the breakaway 13 colonies that went onto become the United States of America. He also found the weather to be intolerably hot, no air con units in those days!

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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