The Historic Nelson’s Dockyard National Park in Antigua
There are few other Caribbean islands that can match the impressive history of Antigua. The biggest attraction on the island, English Harbour, is a long inlet popular with the Caribbean yachting sect, especially during Sailing Week festivities in late April. From 1784 to 1787, however, it was home to the British fleet and naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson. The restored Georgian buildings and pier are now part of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park. You’ll get a guided tour of the buildings and a bit of history on Nelson, who was only 27 when he became Commander-in-Chief of the Leeward Islands. Up the hill from English Harbour stands a dilapidated fortress called Shirley Heights. The view of the harbor and the rocky coastline from the Lookout is the best on the island. If you’re lucky enough to tour the facility on a Sunday, you’ll hear a steel drum band play live music and watch a game of cricket. The lone cannon at Shirley Heights points to the terra cotta roof of a rambling house that’s owned by singer Eric Clapton. Yes, “Slowhand” plays his guitar, not surprisingly, on Caribbean time.