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With pink sand,
two types, public and private, shown below by parish
Archibald Forbes (see About
Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda
Bermuda Pink beach
- photo Bermuda Tourism
Bermuda has some magnificent large and
small beaches. Beach sand is not
volcanic but from finely pulverized remains of calcium carbonate shells and skeletons of
invertebrates such as corals, clams, forams and other shells. Beaches begin with tiny single-celled
animals, Foraminifera, in particular, homotrema rubrum - or forams - dark red skeletal animals that grow profusely on the
underside of Bermuda's coral reefs. When the red forms die, the skeletons
plummet to the ocean floor. Wave action erodes the forams. They become mixed
with other debris on the seabed such as the white shells of clams, snails and
pink beach -photo Bermuda Tourism
It is at that time that Bermuda's white sand takes on its
characteristic pink hue.
Bermuda is one of the northernmost areas in the Western Hemisphere (but
not the northernmost place in the world) for coral reefs. In Bermuda, see the contrast of pink sand, turquoise
water between the shoreline, outlying reefs, and dark blue of the ocean beyond the reefs
or land. The sand in Bermuda is exceptionally fine. Beaches in Bermuda are often favored
for weddings. Often, religious ministers in Bermuda shorts and knee length socks will
preside. Most beaches are on the South Shore, but a
few are on the North Shore. Watch out for the rip tide
and rip currents on the South
Shore beaches! They are formed by water seeking its own level. More
water is pushed up on the beach as the frequency of the waves breaking
on the beach increases.
As this water accumulates, it
returns to the sea to find its own level, thus causing a drag outwards.
The larger the surf, the more intense the rip currents. They pull out
to sea, not down beneath the surface. At low tide, when the reef formations
are clearly visible and the sea is calm, South Shore potboiler formations can be explored.
contain deep natural pools for visitors to swim or wade
out to and enjoy. Visitors used to riding surf boards on high rolling waves should note that only
when the wind is blowing heavily from the south do Bermuda's South Shore beaches get any
decent surf. Many people assume, wrongly, that Bermuda must have good
surfing beaches. Beaches are closed when the wind blows too heavily
from the south. When gales and hurricanes occur, of the type that bring surfing
conditions, surfing is dangerous. Rip tides
are bad then, too.
Bermuda beaches are noted for their sea glass. Unfortunately, especially since 2012
they have been raided illegally by visiting cruise ship and other American
tourists. It is illegal to take glass from this or any other Bermuda
beach. The sign, posted by Bermuda's West End Development Company (Wedco), adds:
“If you steal it you are depriving all those who come after you. Persons who
choose to remove such items are liable for prosecution.” The Historic Articles
(Export Control) Act 1983 prohibits the exportation of historic artifacts —
items more than 50 years old which carry national, historic, scientific or
artistic importance — cannot be exported without a licence granted by the
locals don't use the beaches from Labor Day in September through May 24. Why
Water temperature can be as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit in
August. But it can dip to below 64 degrees in
winter, too cold for most residents, only for the human penguins from Canada,
Europe, UK and the USA's East Coast. After all, Bermuda is NOT part of the Caribbean.
One of the most
beautiful beach walks in the world
At almost any
time of year - except when there are hurricanes or gales driving the
sea to shore in huge waves - a walk on the beach is glorious. It is the South Shore Park between Horseshoe Bay
in Southampton Parish and Warwick
Long Bay in Warwick Parish. The public beaches are open from sunrise to sunset. Do not
attempt to use them illegally at night, for your own safety.
Warwick Long Bay
and (lower down) Stonehole Bay. Photo Bermuda Tourism
Beaches in Bermuda - public and private -
do not allow topless, nudes or semi-nudes. Camping and
sleeping on the beaches are not permitted. The Bermuda Police Service
encourages all beach-goers, especially visitors, to be extra vigilant of their
belongings at the beach and only take items that are really necessary. They
advise visitors not to take a lot of cash or credit cards or passports or
watches other forms of identification or jewelry.
There are periodic sightings on the beaches and in waters nearby of Portuguese Men of
War (Bluebottle, physalia spp - hydroid) - (see Royal Gazette photo right) commonly but mistakenly referred to as
"jelly fish" with "blue or white sails" usually clearly visible and with
fiercely stinging, food-catching tentacles. They get this name from Mediterranean
sailors who believed they resembled 17th century Portuguese ships of war in full sail.
Not only is it not a jellyfish, it's not even an "it," but a
"they." The Portuguese man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal made up
of a colony of organisms working together. The man-of-war comprises four
separate polyps. It gets its name from the uppermost polyp, a gas-filled
bladder, or pneumatophore, which sits above the water and somewhat resembles an
old warship at full sail. Man-of-wars are also known as bluebottles for the
purple-blue color of their pneumatophores. The tentacles are the man-of-war's
second organism. These long, thin tendrils can extend 165 feet (50 meters) in
length below the surface, although 30 feet (10 meters) is more the average. They
are covered in venom-filled nematocysts used to paralyze and kill fish and other
small creatures. For humans, a man-of-war sting is excruciatingly painful, and
sometimes deadly. Even dead man-of-wars washed up on shore can deliver a major
problem if touched or prodded. Avoid them
from a great distance at all costs,
in the water and on shore as their sting could be
very serious, or deadly to those at risk of heat attack or stroke or both. Ashore, they may look dead but are
not. If you do not use extreme care, but approach them at
entirely your own risk, repercussions and financial liability and are stung by a Portuguese Man of War jellyfish,
as you undoubtedly will be in these dangerous circumstances, try to rinse
with salt water and remove any visible tentacles from the skin with a stick,
glove or towel; treat
the affected areas with vinegar; apply warm
water or warm compress; remove any of the
remaining tentacles by applying shaving cream with something like a tongue
depressor stick or a credit card; and apply
hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. To avoid
further potential problems
make sure you summon help in any way possible and see a doctor
straight away or get to a hospital as soon as possible. British and
European visitors should note these creatures are as potent as the lion's mane
jellyfish in Britain and its counterparts of the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese
Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. In Europe, especially in Spain, the national
Red Cross treats injured visitors on the beaches and governments also respond
there by putting out red flags and sending boats to net the creatures.
Sewage. Following early
2014 reports earlier widely circulated in the USA, prepared by the US Consul
General's office in Bermuda, that Bermuda's beaches contained raw sewage
deposits from the sea and were not safe for American visitors to use, an
international organization has confirmed the accuracy of Government’s testing
of South Shore waters, stating that trends indicate the waters are safe for
recreational use. Representatives for the Caribbean Public Health Agency
(CARPHA) were contacted by the Government in June to conduct an independent
study of the water quality around the Island’s beaches and ensure the
reliability of the Department of Health’s weekly water quality results. Dr
Lisa Indar, of CARPHA, said that after analyzing the Department’s sampling and
analytical methods and independently testing water samples, the organization
found the sampling methods were in compliance with standards and the laboratory
results from both bodies were similar. She also noted that a historical review
of sample sites indicated that recreational areas were safe and fit for use,
generally meeting the US EPA requirements. Premier Michael Dunkley said
Government has been working hard to tackle the issue of water quality, and
bringing Dr Indar to Bermuda to evaluate testing efforts was just one step
furthering public confidence in the Island’s water quality. Asked about other
efforts being taken to remedy the issue, he said: “I think the people of
Bermuda are well aware the challenges that we face since this report started to
get into the media in spring of this year. At that time, Government was very
quick to act, to assess the situation and put in short term, medium term and
long term plans to deal with the challenge. Obviously, we are well aware that it
didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight.” The Premier said
the short term, medium term and long term plans are all still in effect, but
Government wanted to ensure it was following proper testing procedures with the
water samples and that Government results were accurate. Minister for Health,
Seniors and the Environment Jeanne Atherden noted several efforts in place to
tackle the issue, including working to ensure proper disposal of grease and oil.
Sea glass. Glass weathered
smooth by the ocean, can be found on beaches throughout the Island but is
particularly common on a few smaller beaches. It is sometimes used to make
jewellery and various decorations. Cruise ship and other visitors have been
spotted seeing it and taking it away, to the huge annoyance of locals. Neither
residents nor visitors are allowed to take sand, shells, coral, sea fans or sea
glass out of the beach or ocean or out of Bermuda.
Lifeguard Service is a service of the
Parks Department of the Ministry of the Environment of the Bermuda
Government. In the swimming season, the most popular public beaches have
lifeguards from this service. They must be at least 16 years old,
fit, healthy and strong swimmers. Telephone 236-4201 or
236-5902 or fax 236-3711. P. O. Box HM 20, Bermuda HM AX or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The private beaches do not have this service.
Beaches private and public
2016. May 20. The seawater at
Bermuda’s top tourist beaches has been given a clean bill of health as the
summer vacation season gets into full swing. Environmental health officers
have been regularly testing the quality of the bathing water at the nine most
popular beaches for swimming since the start of April. And their latest results
— obtained this week — put all the beaches in the clear when it comes to the
quality of the bathing water, with low levels of pollution. Senior public health
analyst Elaine Watkinson told The Royal Gazette it was “early days”
in terms of collecting and analyzing water samples as the testing only began on
April 4, but she added: “From the results we have got, it still looks good. We
are early on in the season but we can look at the last two years’ data and
expect that sort of low trend to continue. There is nothing we know of that has
changed.” She said as the summer progressed, officials would gather enough
data on levels of bacteria to produce a geometric mean — a measure of an
overall average — for each beach. Graphs showing the quality of the water in
the East End, West End and central area would then be shared with the public, as
they have been for the previous two summers. “The most important area for us
to concentrate on is the major beaches,” she said. “We sample over a period
of time over all the main months when people swim and we are looking at the data
over a period of time. We go by the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
guidelines. The individual readings don’t mean as much as the readings over a
period of time. So what we do is collect an average value using 30 days of
sample results. Every time we do another test and get another result, we get
another average value.” The sampling sites are: Clearwater Beach South,
Clearwater Beach North, Elbow Beach West, Elbow Beach Central, Elbow Beach East,
Grape Bay, Horseshoe Bay East, Horseshoe Bay Central, Horseshoe Bay West, John
Smith’s Bay, Shelly Bay, Snorkel Park, Tobacco Bay and Warwick Long Bay West.
The water taken from those beaches is tested for enterococci, a group of
bacteria used as an indicator of pollution or faecal contaminants, in accordance
with EPA methodology for recreational water quality for salt water. The EPA’s
maximum acceptable level of enterococcus per 100 millilitres of water for a
single sample is 130 cfu. The latest test results show all 14 sampling sites
well below that level, with half showing a level of less than 1 cfu. Even the
beach with the highest level, Tobacco Bay, in St George’s, is still only at 15
cfu. Since the testing began, Snorkel Park at Dockyard has exceeded the 130 cfu
level on one occasion and environmental health officers are working with the
West End Development Corporation, which owns the beach, to determine what caused
the spike. On April 4, the level of enterococcus at Snorkel Park was 71 cfu per
100ml. The EPA guidelines suggest retesting if the level is above 70 cfu so
another sample was taken the following day and the results showed the level had
dropped to 4 cfu. On April 11, the level of enterococcus at Snorkel Park was 151
cfu per 100ml — exceeding the EPA’s acceptable limit. The next day it was
retested and the level had dropped to 61 cfu. The most recent sample taken this
week showed a level of 1 cfu — in line with samples taken at Horseshoe, Elbow
and Clearwater beaches. Wedco general manager Andrew Dias said yesterday that
the beach at Snorkel Park was not open on April 11 as there was no cruise ship
at Dockyard. “There is no obvious source [of the pollution],” he said.
“Obviously, we jumped on it immediately — both Wedco and environmental
health. It’s still an active investigation that we continue to monitor. We are
not resting on our laurels. While we are pleased with the latest results, we are
still obviously investigating. We are retesting a lot more frequently to try to
pinpoint if it’s coming from the land in any shape or form. We are taking
proactive measures.” He pointed out that no sewage was pumped out from land to
sea at Dockyard and the sewage treatment plant beneath Casemates was tertiary
level — “the highest world standard that you can have for the treating of
sewage. None of the water goes into the sea. The water that comes out is
basically potable water and is then reused for flushing and irrigation. That
water is sampled daily and injected with chlorine.” Mrs Watkinson said: “The
area is being inspected to try to identify possible sources. When we get spikes
of enterococci it could be down to a number of different factors or sources. It
could be storm water run-off or even cleaning activities in the area or from
animal contamination or from some sort of pipe leakage. It’s difficult to say
for sure.” Snorkel Park operator Tom Steinhoff said the “blip” on April 11
had clearly not come from swimmers in the water so the source was a
“concern”. “The storm run-off [factor] is interesting because we did have
a ton of rain. It could be an anomaly because of high rain levels.” He said
the latest results were welcome, adding that Snorkel Park was looking forward to
a busy weekend and May 24 holiday. The Government promised in April 2014 to tell
the public if sewage pollution levels off Bermuda’s beaches hit danger levels,
after the United States Consulate warned US residents and tourists that the
island’s waters could be unsafe at times, depending on wind and weather
conditions. The first test results to be made public in 2014 included Hungry Bay
in Devonshire, after fears were raised that sewage was ending up there from the
Seabright sewage outfall in certain weather conditions. Hungry Bay is not listed
as a sampling site this year and nor was it last year. A Department of Health
spokeswoman said: “Hungry Bay is not a bathing beach. The Department is
focusing the recreational water monitoring programme on popular bathing beaches
in accordance with advice from Carpha (Caribbean Public Health Agency).” She
added: “Sampling results show that water quality of all monitored bathing
beaches in Bermuda satisfies US EPA recreational water quality criteria. Bathing
water quality results generally can be described as ‘excellent’ for
Bermuda’s South Shore beaches. The public will be notified if waters exceed
acceptable values by posted notice on the affected beaches, media release and by
advisory at www.gov.bm.”
nterococci – colony forming units per 100ml of water. Source: Department of
It seems online
maps of public beaches feature only some, not all, of them.
The following tries to give short descriptions of them all.
Some are 4 star
rated by this author, an international travel editor. All owned by the Bermuda
taxpayer and operated/cleaned by the Bermuda Government from whom all particulars
about any specific beach, such as whether there are bathrooms and
restaurants or beach bars should be obtained. All members of the public using a
public beach should be aware they do so entirely at their own risk. They are all approachable by land
and are usually free (except for Snorkel Park at Dockyard) to the general public
and open from dawn to sunset. They are not open to the public at
night. Please respect this. It is to prevent misuse or spoilage of or
unseen-by-night dangers from the
beaches including by persons who are local but may be homeless, or others who
will never get permission, or visitors with nowhere to stay while on vacation
who will also never get permission. Those who attempt to do so are usually
caught, detained overnight by police, then deported. Camping on beaches by visitors
is not allowed. Nude or near-nude or female-topless bathing on public or
private beaches is not allowed for any visitor or local and
can also be downright dangerous, not only to help prevent undesirable attention
but also because clothes help give some protection against sunburn, possible
jellyfish stings and nearby submerged reefs or rocks. Public
beaches are without the off-beach and water-sports facilities of private beaches. Only two public
beaches have a privately-run bar. Most Bermuda beaches are family beaches. A few have basic restaurants franchised from the Bermuda
Government but usually with no bars. An exception is at Tobacco Bay in St.
public beaches have a basic bathroom or toilet but others will not. None have
changing rooms or showers unless specified. Don't be
surprised to see, on the Good Friday public
holiday, hundreds of multi-colored, hand-made Bermuda
kites are up in the air above some of the public beaches.
Bermuda's main (but by no means all) public beaches
some public beaches are best enjoyed when the tide is low (some are completely
or partially submerged at high tide) visitors in 2014 should consult the tide
table for that day See Bermuda2014Tides.pdf. The daily Royal Gazette
newspaper - Bermuda's only daily - publishes one on the front page.
dogs. Dogs are not permitted on any public beach from April 1 to
October 31 of each year. Many beaches beyond Bermuda limit or deny completely their use by dogs. The huge majority of visitors who use our
public beaches don't bring dogs to Bermuda with them. Non-local dog owners who come to attend local dog shows and bring their
dogs should be aware of this. At other times of the year, November 1 to
March 31) local and visiting dog owners have been warned it’s illegal to
unleash their dogs on the beach. When leashed, during those winter months
only, many owners exercise their dogs on beaches, particularly in the early
morning and evening. Only on Cooper's Island Nature Reserve, which includes
the adjacent beaches, are no dogs allowed at all, even when leashed. at any
time of year due to the sensitive ecosystem.
bon fires (for example, for a barbeque). Beachgoers
both residents and visitors (tourists) have been warned by the Bermuda
Government not to light bonfires without adhering to a strict policy set by
the Ministry of the Environment. There have been reports of illegal
bonfires on certain beaches which have left behind dangerous debris that
could hurt other beachgoers. Anyone holding a bonfire must apply for a
permit from the Department of Parks in advance and agree to the bonfire
policy before receiving a permit. A strict beach bonfire policy must be
observed and the following beaches may be subject to further restrictions:
John Smith’s Bay; Elbow Beach; Horseshoe Bay Beach; Whale Bay Beach and
Tobacco Bay. Bermuda’s beaches fall under the protection of the Bermuda
National Parks Act 1986 and The Bermuda National Parks Regulations 1988. The
bonfire policy states, in part, that:
- Bonfires must be lit on
- Fires must be housed in or on
a metal apparatus (eg, a metal barbecue)
- Burning fully assembled
pallets is strictly prohibited
- Bonfires must be under the
care and direction of a competent adult
- All bonfires must be
thoroughly extinguished and properly disposed of by the end of the period
granted by the permit.
off a beach. Photo: Bermuda Tourism
Some are 5 star
rated by this author, an international travel editor. Cannot be approached
by land without trespassing. Owned privately by individual
hotels or individual home owners. All hotel-owned
private beaches have
licensed beach bars, often with full-service tourist restaurants either on the
beach as well as the bars, or nearby, usually with bathrooms. They have changing
rooms and showers for their staying guests only. But all beaches and waters are public - not
private - from the sea and up to (but not in excess of) their high water mark. This means they can be approached and accessed by boat providing neither the
boat nor the passengers are above the high water mark. Please note that
many of the private beaches are as gorgeous as or better than the public
ones and may have more facilities. It is recommended that discerning
beachgoers on a beach-binge, to save time, consider using a private beach
or beach hotel restaurant when that beach is adjacent or close to the
The following listing
shows the parishes in alphabetical, not geographical, order, although the
map below shows them in geographical order from west to east.
First use this map
to see where where Parishes are located. Bermuda buses go past or near many -
not all - beaches. If they don't, they can be accessed by moped. Parishes below
are mentioned in alphabetical, not map, order. Please note how these different
parts of Bermuda - Parishes - run from St. George's in the east to
Sandys in the west. Cruise ship visitors - in 2011 the majority of
all visitors - will see from the ports locations of their ships the number of
parishes and get an idea of their distance to the beaches they favor
Ariel Sands Beach
(Cox's Bay). South Shore, off South Road. Two
beaches. Private. Choice beach. Ariel Sands Club, the premises
that own the beach, is closed at this time.
- Devonshire Bay. South Shore, off South Road.
Public. Nice for families with small
children. No facilities.
Bay Island Beach. Off North Shore, on Bay Island off Bailey's
Bay. Two very small public beaches on this
island are nice, but almost submerged at high tide. Best time is in the morning
tide is low. Swim out.
Bay Island Beach
- Blue Hole Hill Park. Off
Blue Hole Hill. Public but hard to
find and very small. Castle Harbor. Sand and mud.
- Grotto Bay. Off Blue Hole Hill, North Shore Road, in
western Castle Harbor. Two small private beaches for
guests of the Grotto Bay
Beach Hotel and Tennis Club.
Mid Ocean Club. Probably the
finest private beach in all Bermuda, for staying guests only. This property was one
of those begun by the British shipping organization Furness Withy in the
1920s that really began Bermuda's climb in tourism. On a 640-acre
estate in the most exclusive area of Bermuda, with numerous beautiful
residences and 3 large private beach areas, unique features of which are
natural arches, plus coves on the estate, accessible by a private road to
the Tucker's Town peninsula usable only by Club members. With the
world-famous Mid Ocean 18-hole private golf course.
Mid Ocean. Photo: Bermuda
Shelly Bay. Off North Shore Road.
Public. Very shallow water, even at
high tide. Safe. Attractive. Named after Henry Shelly, one of the 1609
English colonists on the famous Sea Venture ship that foundered off Bermuda,
commanded by the Founder of Bermuda, Admiral Sir George Somers. A safe and
shallow beach at low tide for novice swimmers and children. A favorite of
Bermudians in the clusters of homes nearby. With a beachside cafe, with
changing and bathroom (toilet) facilities inside the cafe. Picnic
facilities, parking and playground for children. With a nearby recreational
park for organized sports such as soccer, once a racecourse. Bus routes 10
or 11. Not far from the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo and Flatt's Village
but not a walk recommended for those unused to walking on a very busy road,
especially in the humid months of June through September.
- Major's Bay. Harrington Sound.
Private for local residents.
- Sam Hall's Bay. South Shore, off South Road.
Two small beaches, private for guests
of the Pink Beach Club & Cottage Colony and residents of the area with beach
- Trott's Bay. South Shore, off South Road, south of
Trott's Pond. Private for residents of the
immediate area with beach access, and their house guests.
- Trunk Island Beach. On Trunk Island, Harrington Sound.
Paget Parish area
Coco Reef (formerly Stonington
Beach). South Shore, off South Road. Private and absolutely superb for guests at the
hotel of the same name. With potboiler reefs and their natural pools. The
second-nearest South Shore beach to the City
of Hamilton. Earlier (before and during the 1950s), before the
hotel was built, this was Elba beach - named after the first exile of Napoleon -
and public. Owned by Elbow Beach, nearest beach (further west). Access from the hotel higher up is via a set of stairs.
Coco Reef Beach
Coral Beach. South Shore, off South Road.
Private and superb, for guests at the
Coral Beach Club and its sister property, Horizons and Cottages. This beach
is the most westerly part of the four-section area (the other three are Coco
Reef Beach, Elbow Beach Private and Elbow Beach Public) of Elbow Bay. In
fact, until the 1920s, before the creation of the original Coral Beach Club,
this beach was part of the public part of Elbow Beach. The present
Coral Beach and Tennis Club was created in 1948.
Elbow Beach. Private.
the beach has a gentle curve similar to a human elbow.
Beach-front of up-market Elbow Beach Resort Hotel, one of the most expensive
and luxurious places to stay in Bermuda. With luxurious facilities such as restaurants, bars and much more
plus a concession with snorkel equipment, kayaks, sand chairs,
beach umbrellas and more. There is a shipwreck about 100 yards offshore.
Also with lovely gardens on the land side of the beach.
Elbow Beach, hotel
part, Bermuda Tourism photo
Elbow Beach. Public. Off
Tribe Road + 4, off South Road. Walk 500 yards or so or park. One of the closest
public beaches to the City of Hamilton 2 miles away and its mid-size cruise
ship visitors in port there from April through October. This section of the
three-section beach is adjacent to and
between the up-market Elbow Beach Resort Hotel and the exclusive Coral Beach Club.
Basic bathrooms (toilets). In season, a lunch wagon
provides fast food. Bus routes 2 or 7. (There is a bus stop nearby, on the South
Elbow Beach public
part, photo Bermuda Tourism
South Shore, off South Road, a good mile before you get to Elbow Beach and
closer to the City of Hamilton than the latter. Private and superb,
arguably the best in Bermuda, for guests of the intimate Grape Bay Cottages,
Grape Bay Beach Hotel (formerly White Sands Hotel) and local homeowners in
this up-market area.
The nearest (private) beach to the City
of Hamilton. Unlike many other beaches, never crowded. It once had an
earlier name, Crow Lane Bay. It is isolated by rocky stretches of coastline
from Hungry Bay to the west and Coco Beach (formerly Elba, then Stonington)
and Elbow Beach to the west. The newer name of this beach probably stems
from the naturalized Bay Grape (Coccoloba ubifera) that once grew abundantly
- and still does to some extent - on the land side of the beach. Bay Grape
or Sea Grape is non-endemic, native. A spreading coastal
tree growing to 30 feet. Common, growing wild or as a part of hedges.
It has large round glossy green waxy leaves 4-8 inches wide with red
veining. Female plants pollinated by male plants produce small, white
flowers that become grape-like clusters of green fruit that matures to
purple. The plant can be pruned to form a single-trunk specimen tree, or
clipped into a hedge. When clipped into a screen, the plant makes an
effective windbreak. Bay grape is also tolerant of salty conditions, and is
often grown in a shrub form to stabilize land near the beach and prevent
erosion. The grapes are edible, not pleasant raw and can be made into a
superb and distinctively-tasting jelly and jam. In Bermuda, berries ripen
from October to December. Considered to have been the main reason for the
naming of Grape Bay
Beach, in Paget.
Bay Grape tree at
Grape Bay Beach. 2009 Photo by this author exclusively for and copyrighted by Bermuda
Grape Bay beach
- Hungry Bay. South Shore, off South Road.
Private. The public wharf is still there but the small beach is
private. Safe, sheltered, nice, small. At the sea end of the Tribe Road adjacent to the Peace Lutheran Church.
At low tide there is also another small beach located across the bay, near
the ruined Hungry Bay fort.
Hungry Bay beach
- Vicker's Bay. South Shore, off South Road.
Private. For local residents.
Island Beach. Hamilton Harbour, north part of parish. Corporation of Hamilton and
government, accessible with permission from these authorities..
One of the best parishes for
number of public beaches.
- Black Bay. Beaches and
Park. Off Malabar Road, Ireland Island.
Three tiny beaches, only visible at low
tide. Public. Pleasant, but not sheltered.
- An alternative to Snorkel
Park, adjoins Sea Glass Beach just before the main entrance to the Dockyard.
A scenic public area with several small public beaches more apparent
when the tide is low, on the northern side of Malabar Road, Ireland Island
South. Bus routes # 7 (Dockyard) and # 8 stop in the immediate area. The
Black Bay Beach and Park concession provides another attraction for the
thousands of Dockyard cruise passengers. Owned by entrepreneur Vic Ball, it
offers seasonal snorkeling around the scenic chain of beaches, and rents
hammocks, inflatables, chairs and umbrellas. Some food and drinks are also
- Bottle Beach. Public.
Also known as Sea Glass Beach. Ireland
Island South, behind West End Development Corporation/government-owned
Victoria and Albert Row and Princess Louise Terrace group of Royal
Navy-built houses that once accommodated non-commissioned military Dockyard
personnel. Public but rarely used. Noted for
its sea glass which in 2012 and later was raided illegally by visiting cruise ship
and other American tourists. It is illegal to take glass from this or any
other Bermuda beach. The sign, posted by Bermuda's West End Development
Company (Wedco), adds: “If you steal it you are depriving all those who
come after you. Persons who choose to remove such items are liable for
prosecution.” The Historic Articles (Export Control) Act 1983 prohibits
the exportation of historic artifacts — items more than 50 years old which
carry national, historic, scientific or artistic importance — cannot be
exported without a licence granted by the minister responsible.
- Callaghan Bay. Off Ratteray Lane off Somerset Road,
Somerset Island. Public. Small. Nice.
Cambridge Beaches. King's Point.
Four beaches, all private, for
guests at the distinctive property of the same name. Lovely. Beaches include
half-mile long private section of Somerset Long Bay Beach nearest to the
hotel, with a long stretch of white sand; Morning
Beach, with new pools, a waterfall and restaurant; Turtle Cove Beach and
Daniel's Head. Lovely, one public and
9 small private hotel-owned beaches, in this 17 acre area at 9
with its huts in the ocean.
Hog Bay Beach. Public.
On bus route #7. Part of government-owned 32-acre Hog Bay Park, no fee for
admission. Park's open space starts from a roadside car park on Middle Road
and goes towards the coast in the west. Low tide only, disappears at
high tide. Virtually unknown by visitors compared to other beaches. Small but
nice for swimming and snorkeling. Public. Not for persons who are not
agile. Takes an effort to find it, involves a fair walk through rocky and
wooded trails, past fields. Sneakers or walking shoes are recommended, near
the beach especially.
Mangrove Bay. Near Somerset
Village. Two beaches, one public, the other
one, closer to the former ferry dock, private.
Mangrove Bay, by
Keith A. Forbes
- Parsons Bay. Craddock Road, Ireland Island.
Public. Small, interesting, off the
- Seaglass Beach. Another
name for Bottle Beach, Ireland Island, mentioned above. Public. Just before the main
entrance to the Dockyard. Noted for
its sea glass which in 2012 and later was raided illegally by visiting cruise ship
and other American
tourists. It is illegal to take glass from this or any other Bermuda beach.
The sign, posted by Bermuda's West End Development Company (Wedco), adds:
“If you steal it you are depriving all those who come after you. Persons
who choose to remove such items are liable for prosecution.” The Historic
Articles (Export Control) Act 1983 prohibits the exportation of historic
artifacts — items more than 50 years old which carry national, historic,
scientific or artistic importance — cannot be exported without a licence
granted by the minister responsible.
Snorkel Park. Dockyard.
Public but with cover charge (admission fee) per person. Phone (441)
234-6989. One of the few in Bermuda with bathroom (toilet) facilities and restaurant.
Near to Dockyard cruise ship berth, with a range of facilities such as
rental of snorkel equipment, paddleboats, kayaks, sun umbrellas, lounge
chairs, cabanas and
activities. The most commercial and touristy of all Bermuda beaches and most
expensive. The only publicly-owned beach with a cover charge. With underwater signs. Good place
for cruise ship visitors on ships docking nearby for their 2-day Bermuda
stay - they provide in 2011 the majority of all visitors to Bermuda by both
air and sea, especially if they have teenagers with them - to snorkel or
use an underwater scooter or jet ski, see many types of fish and corals, go
marine exploring. With changing rooms, lockers. Hammerheads Bar and Grill
restaurant is nearby. Near regular bus (about one hour) and ferry (20
minutes) less frequent daytime service to and from City of Hamilton. Fares
from $4.50 per person each way.
Bay Beach. Long Bay Road. The public part of this private/public
photogenic. Shallow and tranquil waters.
Willowbank. Ely's Harbor.
Two nice private beaches enjoyed by
guests at Willowbank.
- Wreck Hill. Ely's Harbor.
Some gorgeous but only private
beaches for residents of this exclusive area.
Canton Bay. South Shore, off South
Road. Private for guests of the Pink Beach Club complex.
Captain William's Bay.
South Shore, off South Road and A. P. Owen Road. Private for local residents.
Gibbet's Island Beaches. North Shore. Private. There are three small beaches here,
shallow and very nice. The largest has the alternative name of Police
Beach, from the fact it is used for recreation and barbeques by the Bermuda
John Smith's Bay.
South Shore, off South Road. Named after Captain John Smith, the famous 17th
century British explorer who mapped Bermuda (which he referred to by the
official first name of the Somer's Isles and much of Virginia, was
instrumental in getting Princess Pocahontas to the UK and much more in both
Bermuda's and Virginia's history. (How he sailed to and from Bermuda is still
a mystery). Public. Only public beach in this parish. Very
nice, especially at low tide. A personal favorite. Reefs are attractive, with
care. Lifeguard on duty in summer. Soft drinks, snacks, fast food, etc. are
often available from a licensed purveyor in a van on the premises. Basic
bathrooms (toilets) available. Located between Pink Beach Club and Watch Hill
Park, not far from Devil's Hole Aquarium. Popular with locals and tourists,
families and youngsters, especially in summer. Can get noisy when groups
gather with loud music. Parking for vehicles, grassy picnic area. Bus routes
#1 which stops conveniently on the South Road nearby or #3 (which stops
further away, at Devil's Hole). Don't be tempted to use bus routes #10 or #11
unless you are a good walker and used to heat and humidity and traffic noise
for the 1+ mile walk. When the concrete ramp to the beach was built, it
was assumed - wrongly - that people in wheelchairs could access. But it
is far too steep. Out of
sight of this view but to the left are more pink beaches, private, belonging
to the appropriately-named up-market Pink Beach Club hotel.
John Smith's Bay
Club and Cottages beaches. Two, West Beach and East Beach as shown below.
Lovely. Both private, part of Pink Beach Club hotel sold in demolished
in July 2014 to make way for a smaller boutique hotel owned by Canadian
company Sardis Investments Ltd.
91 rooms. South Road, Smith's
Parish. Closes November 2011 for update and major renovations for
reopening spring 2012. Telephone
1 441 293 1666. Fax 1 441 293 8935. With its own two gorgeous small private
pink sand beaches (see above graphic).
- Boat Bay. South Shore, off South Road
and Sinky Bay Road. Crescent shaped. Private.
(the greater part). Another
spectacular South Shore Park Beach
situated mostly in this Parish but also partly on Warwick's western
boundary adjacent to and east of Horseshoe Bay. Another favorite of Bermudians. Walking trail to Horseshoe Bay (less
than one mile but may seem longer in Bermuda's June-September
combination of heat and humidity) and other South Shore beaches.
Bounded by cliffs on both sides. Bathrooms (toilets) but no other
facilities (at Horseshoe Bay). Place for seasonal beach activities.
Bus route 7. This
beach almost disappears during storms and high tides, so should be
sought only at low tide. The sea is not usually calm but fine for
swimmers close to the shore. An unusual coral wall stretches above the
water and across the beach, essentially splitting the beach in two. It
gets the name not from the Charlie Chaplin family (which at one time
did own some Bermuda real estate) but a much earlier person by that
name. He was Edward Chaplin, Sr. He was a 20 year old colonist in 1635
aboard the ship Dorset. He later became prominent in island affairs,
was a Lieutenant in the local militia and was one of those largely
responsible in the 1650s for re-arming the island's British Army-built
forts. As a reward he was given Share 24 of Warwick which included
this bay which thereafter became (and is still known as) Chaplin Bay
even though the family in Bermuda died out in the mid 1800s.
Church Bay. South Shore, off South Road.
Small but beautiful public
beach. Gets deep quite suddenly. A Bermuda National Park, ocean-
side with rest area. Good for sunbathing, snorkeling and other water
sports, with boiler and other reefs, no corals. Bathrooms (toilets)
nearby. Also with picnic tables and parking areas. Ruined British
Army-built fort nearby. Bus route 7. A summertime favorite of locals
because of its beauty, with an old fort on the premises including a
'1612' date marker.
Church Bay beach.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
Bay Beach. South Shore, off South Road. Private for
guests at what used to be the Sonesta Beach then Wyndham resort hotel, now
demolished. Very nice.
Horseshoe Bay (public,
large (about 4 miles). superb. Horseshoe Road, off South Road and on bus
route #7. Walk down the hill to the beach from the bus. With lifeguards on duty
from May to September. Also a restaurant, changing facilities, bathrooms
(toilets), parking. The best-known
and one of the best Bermuda beaches. Every year it has a sand
castle and sand creation competition. Best in early morning to avoid crowds.
Wading pool, shallow waters for small children, good swimming and
snorkeling for adults, swimmers should note swells. Many fish in
waters. Beach chairs and snorkel equipment for rent. Also has nice
walking trails with secluded coves nearby. Every August, with a Sand Sculpture Competition. Every Good
Friday, an annual Bermuda Kite Festival is held here, with thousands
of families and children participating in kite competition. Mostly
locals plus some visitors bring Bermuda and other kites of all shapes,
designs, sizes. Prizes are awarded by category.
Photos above and
below, Horseshoe Bay. Above : Bermuda Tourism
Peel Bay. Next to Horseshoe Bay.
South Shore, off South Road. Public. Small but superb.
Pompano Beach. At end
of Pompano Beach Road, reached from Middle Road Pompano Lane is nearby. Located
west of and not far from the Port Royal Golf Course, in an area once named
the Overplus. Private. Spectacular reef swimming in beautiful
waters for guests at exclusive Pompano Beach Club. All references to
"Pompano" point to a tasty game fish, the Pompano (Trachinotus
glaucos) common in or near Bermuda coastal waters in the summer months,
especially in this area. These game fish put up a mighty fight before being
caught. They are shiny white when hooked and are often almost invisible when
viewed in strong sunlight against the sandy seabed of inshore waters.
Beach Club. Private. Completed
in 2016 for the Hamilton Princess Hotel and its guests on site of the old
Sonesta Beach Hotel. The private beach belonging to the club recently saw
coconut palm trees planted there.
Reefs, The (Christian Bay). South Shore, off South Road. Private for
guests at this elegant small hotel.
The Reefs beach.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
Sinky Bay. South Shore, Public. Nice.
Turtle Bay. South Shore, off South Road,
west of Church Bay. Public. Very nice.
Whaler Inn Beach (East Whale Bay).
South Shore, off South Road. The private beach and beach club for guests of the
Southampton Princess and its sister property the Princess (in Pembroke Parish).
Princess Beach Club with choice facilities. Very nice.
West Whale Bay. South Shore, end of Whale Bay Road, off Middle Road. Public.
Very nice, small, good for snorkeling, picnics. Best at low tide, hardly visible
at high tide. Nearby are British Army constructed Whale Bay Fort and Battery.
Bathroom (toilet). Bus routes 7 and 8.
St. Georges Parish
One of the best parishes for
number of public beaches.
Cut Road, St. George's, northeast of the
town of St. George. Private, for guests of the St. George's Club. Nice, but not on
a bus route. Close
to St George's Town, Fort St. Catherine, restaurant and golf club. Picturesque, small, soft sand
more white than pink, usually with calm, shallow blue waters rocky in
places, not crowded.
Good for snorkeling. A Bermuda National Park. Named as such by middle
of the 18th century and shown on a map dated 1757. It is not known exactly
why it is so named, but probably by a local legislator and definitely had
nothing to do with the mythical Greek hero in Homer's Iliad. Beach towels,
lounge chairs and umbrellas are available on this private beach. Scenes
of land, sea and the ramparts of Fort St. Catherine are stupendous.
Achilles Bay beach.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
- Alexandria Battery.
Public. Small. Off the tourism beaten track, favored by nearby locals.
- Buildings Bay. Barry Road, St. George's Parish. Public. Not
best for swimming, with so many spectacular beaches nearby, but interesting.
Beach and Park, Cooper's Island, off St. David's Island, a 36 acre public
park site and public beach. It
was re-opened to the public on May 24, 1996 after 54 years as a US military
reserve. It has pebbles in places, unlike most
other Bermuda beaches. There are also nature trails, playground equipment and views of
some outer islands reserved for wildlife. A scenic spot, with a basic beach
restaurant. But there is no public bus service, accessible only to those who
can get there by car or cycle or moped/scooter.
photo by author
Soldier Bay (Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, St.
David’s): Opened to the public only in 2008, this 44-acre peninsula, once the
site of a NASA tracking station, offers a plethora of gorgeous,
off-the-beaten-track beaches, facing both Castle Harbor and South Shore and
bordered by bird sanctuaries. But
there is no public bus service, accessible only to those who can get there
by car or cycle or moped/scooter.
Fort St. Catherine Beach.
Public, originally private when the nearby former hotel facility was
in operation. Northeast of the town
of St. George. Very nice, with Fort St. Catherine dominating the skyline behind the beach.
Has a beach bar.
Howard Bay. South Shore, at the end of Tucker's Town
Road, St. George's Parish, near Frick's Point Fort. Superb. Private,
for area residents only of this "millionaires' row" part of Bermuda.
Non-members of Mid Ocean Club cannot access this lovely beach, completely
deserted. No public bus service, accessible only to area residents who can
get there by car or cycle or moped/scooter.
Mullet Bay. Off Mullet Bay Road,
Mullet Bay. Man-made, public, a small beach not as good as some others less than
three miles away, but adequate. Part of Mullet Bay Park.
Natural Arches. South
Shore, south of Mid Ocean Club, Tucker's Town. In two sections. Both are private,
for Mid Ocean Club members and guests only, spectacular and with unusual rock formations. Non-members
of Mid Ocean Club cannot enter.
Bay. On Nonsuch Island, a private Government nature reserve. Landings on this island are prohibited
without special permission, which makes this nice beach virtually inaccessible to most
Accessible to the public by water only, only up to the high water mark. Gorgeous,
out-of-the-way small beaches, available only to those who venture on to
Paget Island to see Paget Island Fort or on some other organized expedition.
Rosewood Tucker's Point
Beach Club Beach.
Tucker's Town. Former Castle Harbor Hotel beach. Private for guests only of the
Rosewood Tucker's Point
Club. Stunning, one of the very best in Bermuda and the largest private
beach in Bermuda.
Tucker's Point Beach Club
Surf Bay. South Shore, off Tucker's Town Road, Tucker's
Town, before you reach Howard Bay Exquisite. Private,
for area residents only. Non-members of Mid Ocean Club cannot access this
gorgeous beach, almost completely deserted.
Tobacco Bay. North of the town of St.
George, at Coot Pond Road. Public.
Very nice, with several beach areas. Has a beach bar. One of
the most popular beaches among visitors - from cruise ships especially.
Buses (1,3, 10 and 11) don't go all the way here, just part way, as as as
the Town of St. George. Unless you are used to quite steep walking for 20
minutes in the combination of summer-time heat and humidity, take a optional
minibus from the town center. Snorkel rentals. Public facilities bathrooms
(toilets), changing rooms, showers, beach bar. So-called as tobacco was once
grown near here. Also the place from where, in Bermuda's infamous Gunpowder
Plot, British Army gunpowder was stolen by pro-American Bermudian zealots
from the town garrison at the outbreak of the US War of Independence, rolled
down the hill in barrels to the beach. Offshore, the newly-formed US Navy
was waiting with a fast frigate and US Marines, in their first-ever enemy
action, seized the barrels and got them onto the ship before the British
militia could take any effective action. Deep water occurs suddenly
near the shallows. There's a much-photographed Bermuda Moongate (see Bermuda
Jim & Edna
Rhilinger of Maine enjoying Tobacco Bay with it's distinctive
Bermuda Moongate. Photo by the author.
(Bay) Beach, Cooper's Island, St. David's. Public but remote. Adjacent
to Clearwater Beach. No public bus service, accessible only to those
who can get there by car or cycle or moped/scooter.
- Whalebone Bay, tip of Ferry
Reach. Public beach, little used by most locals or tourists. A sandy
cove next to a park. So-named most likely after the presence here many years ago of all or
part of a whale carcass.
Tucker's Town. Private, for Mid Ocean Club members only. Non-members of Mid Ocean Club cannot
enter. Outstanding but no facilities.
Astwood Cove. South
Shore, off South Road. Public. A beautiful beach. Secluded. Requires a steep
winding trail walk from the park above the cove. No life guards or
beach concessions but with picnic tables, bathrooms (toilets), parking
and nature trails. Not a beach usually favored by cruise-ship visitors
on limited time-stays. Pity, as it is very nice. Cliffs near the beach are the
home of Bermuda "Longtails" - once, in the heady days of
mass tourism by air the name given by Bermudian men single and married
to female American tourists - but more correctly white-tailed
tropic birds. Users who are not strong swimmers should note big rocks
in the ocean here. Bus route 7.
Chaplin Bay (part).
Also see Southampton Parish for a fuller description. South Shore, off
South Road. Public. Excellent. An extension of Warwick Long
Grand Atlantic Beach
(once Bermudiana Beach Club, between Surf Side and Marley Beach),
formerly private now public to residents in and near the Bermuda
Government/Bermuda Housing Corporation-built condominiums and planned
new hotel. Lovely.
- Hawkins Island. On the eastern
side of Hawkins Island, Great
Sound. Private. Accessible via party boat.
and Point. South Shore, off
South Road. Public. Beach and inlet. An extension of Warwick Long Bay.
Named after 17th-century owner, the colonist and planter William
Jobson who died in the parish in 1688. The beach and inlet were
purchased by him in 1644 from a William Page. Very attractive and
secluded. Another great favorite
among Bermudians. Great for a picnic, swimming and snorkeling. Rock
(cliffs) encircled, thus separated from the sea.
Suggestion, take Bus 7 to Warwick Long Bay, adjacent, separated from
this beach by a massive area of rock then walk on the trail. Sandy
trails cross the dunes and are often used by horse riders. Calm and
shallow clear waters for some distance at low tide. No bathrooms
(toilets) but available at Warwick Long Bay.
Jobson's Cove: Photo: Bermuda Tourism
- Marley Beach. South
Shore, off South Road. Private for guests. Nice.
- Mermaid Beach. South Shore,
off South Road. Private, for nearby residents. Very attractive. East of Warwick Long Bay and contiguous.
Public, was private, now public. Lovely. Now the site of a new National Park. Part of an
Surf Side Beach. South Shore,
off South Road. Small. Private for guests of Surf Side Beach Club only.
Bay. South Shore, off South Road. Public.
It is located between Chaplin Bay and Jobson's Cove, at the extreme
western end of this parish. Small, but gorgeous at low tide, hardly
visible at high tide so be prepared to visit only at low tide. You
will then be rewarded by this lovely setting with fewer visitors. It
is one of the prettiest of all Bermuda's South Shore coves. Be aware
of rip tides and cloudy waters near the coral reefs that can make good
snorkeling uncertain. A
personal favorite. There's an unusual history of this serene site. First,
with the unusual name. It is so-called because of a gaping hole in a
cliff-top coral formation that gives the stunning natural stone frame
view of the beach. Not surprisingly, given that directly north of it
on the land side of the South Road is the former British Army's
Warwick Camp (later taken over by the Bermuda Regiment), for many
years it was a favorite haunt of British Army regiments once quartered
there in whole or in part. And because of this, they originally
devised what later became known as Stonehole
Stew, in commemoration of
the beach. This unique stew was a culinary mix of initially British
Army later civilian locally grown pumpkins, white or red and sweet
potatoes, onions and salted imported beef traditionally cooked on camp
fires in a three-legged iron pot.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
Bay. South Shore, off South Road, approached from the west end of the beach.
Bus route 7. Public. Superb.
Personal No 1 favorite among many Bermudians both on it's own merits
and because they usually escape here the mass influx of cruise ship
visitors who instead flock to Horseshoe Bay beach further west. One of
Bermuda's longest, a half mile of pink sand and gorgeous sea and land
views. Beach has numerous little coves and rocks. Great snorkeling.
Bathrooms (toilets). Fabulous picnic area.
Warwick Long Bay.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
March 20, 2017.
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