Fully restored to its original splendor, the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings of the Dockyard house modern amenities such as shops, hotels, and marina businesses. Outside the dockyard, historic forts dot the landscape of the park accessible by hiking trails which allow visitors to enjoy the park’s scenic and natural beauty.
There is endless opportunity to capture the beauty of the parks. With many glorious boats in the dockyard, the beautiful harbour, the historic sites and the unforgettable views from places such as Shirley Heights, bring your camera or have regrets that you didn’t.
In the early eighteenth century, the British Royal Navy recognized the strategic importance of English Harbour in protecting ships from hurricanes and in its position at the south of the island for monitoring French naval activity. Throughout the eighteenth century, the dockyard grew in importance, as it was the only harbour in the Eastern Caribbean large enough for safe naval ship repairs. From 1784 through 1787, the British Hero of Trafalgar, Horatio Nelson, served as the captain of the H.M.S Boreas, sent to Antigua to enforce British laws in the colonies. When the restoration of the dockyard began in the 1950’s, it was renamed Nelson’s Dockyard in honour of the years he spent in Antigua.
Today, Nelson’s Dockyard provides many sites and activities for visitors to explore and enjoy. The Dockyard Museum, located in the former Admiral’s House, presents visitors with exhibits regarding the Dockyard’s history and current archaeological research on the island. The Copper and Lumber Store Hotel offers five-star accommodations and is a magnificent venue for special occasions. Businesses including gift shops, art galleries, and restaurants also reside in the Dockyard and demonstrate how the park preserves the area’s unique cultural heritage while meeting modern needs.”