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Antigua - Things not to miss?

(23 Posts)
Hulababy Sun 04-Aug-13 12:00:37

Thought I'd start three of these for the places we are visiting on holiday this summer. I'm keeping them separate as think it will be easier for me to work through any ideas suggested smile

We are going to Antigua for 7 days, Saturday to Saturday.

Going is me, Dh and 11y DD - we will have just finished 4 nights in Washington and 3 nights in NYC. We have a car hired for the week and we are staying at Non Such Bay. We aren't really all day sunbathing/ beach people, including DD - so although we will do some beach/see stuff, and a bit of sunbathing - we aren't the type to spend whole days laying on the beach.

So has anyone any ideas, recommendations, suggestions of what we should not miss?


Hulababy Mon 05-Aug-13 09:12:16


TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 05-Aug-13 09:16:23

. There's a harbour area (Nelson's harbour maybe) that's worth a good mooch. And I think there's some rainforest.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 05-Aug-13 09:19:07

You could probably go by boat to another island too - Barbuda? Anguilla?

HaveToWearHeels Mon 05-Aug-13 09:22:22

Nelson's Harbour is worth looking round, apart from that not much else apart from beaches.

MumnGran Mon 05-Aug-13 09:40:44

Ummm ... Antigua is all about long lazy beach holidaying. Or pool. Snorkelling.
There is a donkey sanctuary!
Museum & municipal building. Fort.
That's about it.

Wondering why you would choose the location if you are not into beach holidays, really?

Hulababy Tue 06-Aug-13 07:47:07

MumNGran - we are having 4 nights in Washington, 3 nights in New York and then the week here. And the house belongs to a friend of DHs via work so it's also free to go, bar the flights. So Antigua is the chilling week. We will go to beaches and the sea, but not for full days. I will do a fair bit of photography I am thinking, DH and dd will be in the sea much more - just not really beach very much.

toomuchcoffeetoomuchwine Tue 06-Aug-13 14:15:22

1. Nelson's Dockyard
2. Dinner at "Le Bistro" restaurant nr Hodges Bay
3. Shirley Heights sunday night party nr English Harbour
4. English Harbour is pretty pleasant
5. Eli's Eco Tour (boat trip) was AMAZING when we did it a few years ago. It is now called Adventure Antigua

Hulababy Tue 06-Aug-13 22:00:57

Ah - Shirleys Height place - been recommended that by the people who own the house smile

Hulababy Sat 10-Aug-13 07:43:04

On way to airport. Have US leg first then a week today we fly from NYC to Antigua smile

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sat 10-Aug-13 22:52:04

Safe flight!

PestoSwimissimos Sun 11-Aug-13 17:05:14

Don't bother with Shirley Heights, very uneven steps - a lady we met there a couple of weeks ago slipped on the way down and broke her leg severely and had to fly home
a week early.

What we found fun was a day's speedboat trip right round the island which stopped off at Stingray City (a reef where the stingrays hang out), a Robinson Crusoe style picnic on Green Island, a trip into Nelson's Dockyard and several stop-offs for snorkelling. We even fed the fish with bananas!

The last stop of the day was on a totally secluded beach for rum punches, can't recommend the trip highly enough. It's run by Adventure and uses 2 Xtreme speedboats which go in tandem - truly fantastic trip grin and well worth the money!

PestoSwimissimos Sun 11-Aug-13 17:07:20

Oh and in addition to the very interesting commentary on the way round, we also saw Eric Clapton's house (well one of them!)

PlumBear Sun 11-Aug-13 17:19:42

Avoid avoid avoid Shirley heights - complete tourist trap. We were in Antigua in June and went one evening. The hotel had a trip organised and it was truly crap. A few stalls selling rubbish and a very expensive bar.

I would echo what other posters have said - antigua is all about relaxing on the beach! If you're sporty, there are plenty of water sports on offer though. The only thing we really did was take a guided car tour of the whole island, which was great. If you're into history, nelson's dockyard and Betty's hope (former sugar plantation) are worth a visit.

I'd never been on a beach holiday before we went in June, and was worried I'd struggle with just lying on the beach today. 12 days and many poolside cocktails later I realised I have no such problems with such a holiday wink

Hulababy Sun 18-Aug-13 15:17:32

Been here since yesterday afternoon. It really is beautiful. The villa we are staying in is a great size, Dd is loving her super king bed! The view is amazing. The resort is also perfect, small private beach, boats on hand to take us to the local island. It's all ideal really.

Sat on the balcony at the moment watching hummingbirds on the flowers, just wishing by zoom lens hadn't broken a few days before coming away really.

Already feeling lazy smile

OrangeLily Sun 18-Aug-13 15:18:57

Go swimming with wild stingrays!

Hulababy Mon 19-Aug-13 14:23:03

Sounds interesting. Maybe one for DH though.

Currently sat on balcony again watching hummingbirds and the odd mongoose in the garden. Off to ST Johns later.

ArtexMonkey Tue 20-Aug-13 14:50:20

Hey hula, i've pmed you as well, but have you signed into twitter through some dodgy wifi or summat? I've got a spam pm from you about belly fat. envy @ hummingbirds, mongooses and stingrays.

Hulababy Tue 20-Aug-13 15:57:14

Have changed password and hope that helps. Not really sure what I can do.

Joy of using wifi abroad is it then? Have signed in at the odd restaurant/cafe out and about. Maybe should just stick to the house wifi instead then?

ArtexMonkey Tue 20-Aug-13 20:27:20

It could be that, maybe best to take precautions, it seems too much of a coincidence that it's just happened now.

Hulababy Thu 22-Aug-13 00:51:12

Went to devils bridge today. Hopefully got some good shots smile So Frustrating with no telephoto lens though - it broke week I came away - could have had some great shots of frigate birds.

Hulababy Mon 26-Aug-13 19:22:22

We are now home and we had a lovely, chilled week in Antigua. We had a car all week so every day bar one we went out for part of the day - normally over lunch time and into the mid afternoon. It is official off peak over there so everywhere was lovely and quiet smile

We visited:

Shirley Heights - Sunday early afternoon, so not during the party/BBQ. Was very quiet. Got some great photos of the views from the lookout.

Nelson's Dockyard - spent a good hour or two here looking around, enjoying the museum and the sights, etc. We then went for a drive to the boatyard over the opposite shore and had a lovely meal at a restaurant - Paparazzi.

Devil's Bridge - lovely place to sit and watch the sea crashing against the rocks as huge Frigate birds circled overhead. We spent an hour at Long Bay just round the corner after on the beach.

Jolly Harbour - nice walk round the harbour area, another lovely meal at an Italian there too. Lots of lizards here to watch and some stunningly coloured birds too flitting about.

St Johns - spent half a day looking round the Heritage Quays and the other quay with the expensive watch/diamond shop. Had lunch at a pizza place round here. Went up to see the big church and also went in the little Antigua museum. Dh was keen to see Viv Richards bat smile

Dickinsons Bay - lovely beach, nice and quiet, just up from the big Sandals resort. Would have stayed longer but I got stung by a jellyfish - ouch! Then spent the following hour finding the local pharmacy for sting cream and antihistamines! nevertheless the beach and the sea here were lovely.

Darkwood Bay - had a lovely drink and snack in the beach bar. Again - beautiful beach and lovely warm sea.

Rest of time we pottered about, on our own beach at Non Such Bay, meals, cocktails, pools, etc or in our own villa sat on the terrace by the pool or sat on the balcony reading and watching the wildlife.

Will definitely return - but a week is long enough for us. Was great doing it after a week of busy cities.

Hulababy Mon 26-Aug-13 19:24:17

We also went to Betty's Hope too - nearly forgot.

And we had to pull up at the big cricket ground for DH to have a look! Pity it doesn't have a visitors centre there really.

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