Train travel was once Bermuda’s most popular form of transport. In its heyday in the 1930s, everyone from schoolchildren and commuters to tourists enjoyed the spectacular ocean views from the track that runs the whole length of the island along the coast. Unfortunately maintenance costs were too high and the railway was disbanded in 1948… only to be given a new life as a cycling and walking trail.
Covering an impressive 18 miles out of the total 22, the trail starts in St George at the eastern end of the island and ends in Somerset in the west. You can attempt the whole distance or just pick your favourite section and join at any point along the way. The terrain is mixed, with flat sections and steeper parts and bridges, which prove more of a challenge.
However you do the Railway Trail, you can guarantee that the experience will be one-of-a-kind and the views unforgettable. Below we explore some of our most-loved sections of the route.
This part of the trail has always been one of my favourites, due to the incredible views and the beautiful examples of Bermuda’s prized flora and fauna. The section is quite a long one, but worth it for all the sights. It crosses mainly through Southampton Parish but also sways into Warwick Parish; it is accessible from Overplus Lane and ends at Warwick Pond.
What You’ll See
This lush nature reserve covers 7.5 acres and is home to some of the country’s most astonishing wildlife, including giant toads, herons, lizards and the Bermuda cedar, which is found nowhere else on Earth.
This small picturesque beach lies beneath rocky cliff faces and is so named because of its opportunities for whale spotting. Come between March and April and marvel at the sight of schools of humpback whales migrating along the South shore. A client who recently returned from Bermuda highly recommended picnicking upon the pink sands before taking a dip in the calm, shallow waters. Sounds like perfection!
This narrow road cuts through soaring limestone quarries on both sides and heads towards the gorgeous south shore beaches. Along the way you will spot the Warwick Post Office and the landmark rubber tree, which is a memorial dedicated to the men and women who were enslaved during the slave trade in Bermuda. From April to September you can expect to see a country market selling homemade produce.
This magnificent building stands 362 feet above sea level and is one of the oldest cast iron lighthouses in the world, with construction having started in England in 1844. I can tell you that the 185-step climb to the top requires some energy but is completely worth it, with panoramic views of Bermuda’s breathtaking shoreline. On the way up are 8 floors with exhibits detailing the country’s history and the construction of the lighthouse.
Situated on one of Bermuda’s most elevated points at about 6 miles from Hamilton is the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. This incredible resort has 593 beautifully furnished rooms, many with panoramic views of its 100-acre grounds. There are 9 fantastic restaurants, 2 golf courses, tennis courts, an outdoor pool, water sports facilities and a luxury spa. We highly recommended this gorgeous hotel to wind down after a day of exploring the Railway Trail!
If you’d like to read more about Bermuda’s natural wonders, click here.
This part of the trail passes through Devonshire Parish and some of Smith’s Parish. There are breathtaking views of the North shore as you walk (or cycle) along, and you can spot the cruise ships entering the Great Sound and Hamilton Harbour. This section starts at Palmetto Park and ends at Flatts Inlet.
What You’ll See
This stunning example of Bermudian architecture was built in 1700 and has enjoyed a fascinating history. During the Second World War it was the club house of the British Army who were stationed in a fort nearby. The property has a grand staircase and lovely spacious gardens, and I would really recommend exploring inside if given the chance.
The Railway Trail runs right through this beautiful park, so it’s perfectly situated to have a sit and rest your legs for a while. The views over the ocean are truly incredible, and there are areas in which it’s easy to take a quick dip. If you enjoy bird spotting, you’ll have a great time looking out for the doves, finches, bluebirds and cardinals that frequent the woodland.
This colourful little fishing village was one of the earliest British settlements in the 1600s and is now a peaceful place to have a wander through the palm trees and grab a spot of lunch from one of the many little eateries dotted about. You can also explore the caves and subterranean grottos of Harrington Sound or admire over 200 types of fish at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo.
If the beauty and history of Bermuda’s spectacular Railway Trail have inspired you, then don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly advisors today – you’ll be on your way to an island adventure in no time!