The start of this hike is at Galleon Beach on Freeman’s Bay, this is at on one of the most Southern points on the island of Antigua. If you have some extra time we’d highly recommend bringing a towel and your snorkels to make the most of the beach. It’s beautiful, clean and tidy and is well known for snorkelling due to the clear waters, giant turtles and pools of fish you’ll find. If you do go for a dip and want to see the fish head further into the bay or more towards the left side where rocks make an attractive nesting space for a vibrant underwater array of life. There aren’t any shops at the beach so bring some water and food if you want to enjoy your time there.
English Harbour (Nelsons Dockyard)
The nearest town is English Harbour (Nelsons Dockyard) which as you may of guessed was the harbour the English founded for their fleets. In modern Antigua now though it’s full of great restaurants and a few shops but still holds onto its historic routes. While in English Harbour set some time aside to visit Nelsons Dockyard, see the beautiful original colonial buildings which are now a museum, restaurant and hotel. It is also part of Nelsons Dockyard National Park which is a UNESCO world heritage site. In the bay of English Harbour you can either relax and watch the luxury yachts coming and going on the Falmouth Harbour side or walk along to a few of the local beaches, Pigeon Point Beach and Windward Bay Beach.
If you have some extra time on your hands walk all the way around the peninsula of English Harbour on the Middle Ground Trail (Directions & Map).
To get the beginning of the trail drive to Galleons Beach (Google Directions). There are a limited amount of car parking spaces along the verges on the lane down to Galleon Beach and on the verges near the beach itself.
If you don’t have a Sat Nav head towards the South of the island and follow signposts to English Harbour. Once you are on Dockyard Drive there will be large boat buildings and maintenance yards on your right, at the end of these there will be a quite obvious junctions with a bar on the corner. At this junction carry on straight up the hill, if you want to head into English Harbour for a quick detour turn right at this junction. Carry on for just over half a mile up this hill and take the fourth right. You will immediately be facing a set of gates, turn right and work your way downhill along the lane until you finally reach Galleon Beach by Freemans Bay.
There is also a water taxi service that runs from Nelsons Dockyard to Galleons Beach, for more information on this please visit Nelsons Dockyard.
If you don’t want to follow the trail to Shirley Heights you can also drive there but we highly recommend following this great trail for the views along the journey.
Now you are on the beautiful Galleon Beach have a moment to take in the beautiful Freemans Bay then turn left and start walking along the sandy beach. This is a public beach even though some of it backs onto a private residential estate. Carry on walking along the shorefront, then before the end by the final beach cottage go inland onto the road which runs behind the beach. Follow this road along in the same direction around the bay until it comes to an end by some houses, a dirt track trail is tucked away between these houses which you then follow.