Bumming Around Bermuda: Walking from St. George to Tobacco Bay

I have a few favorite walks.  The Skyline Trail on Cape Breton, through Audubon Park in New Orleans, crossing the Thames on the Millennium Bridge in London, and even along the gravel path following the Little Lehigh River five miles from my house in Pennsylvania.  But my absolute favorite walk in all of the world has to be the walk from the ferry dock in St. George, Bermuda, to Tobacco Bay Beach.

I’m not sure why I love this walk so much.  It may have something to do with the fact that the first time I did it, I was totally alone on a perfect, beautiful day on Bermuda.  It could also have something to do with the fact that the idea of it appeals to me; even though it is a fairly short walk (maybe a little over a mile), you are technically walking from a body of water on one side–St. George’s Bay–to a different body of water on the other–the Atlantic Ocean.  This makes me feel like I’m walking across an entire island which, I guess, really is what I’m doing–walking across St. George’s Island (Bermuda is actually not one large island, but rather many, many small islands all connected by bridges and causeways.  Don’t believe me?  Look below.)

Because I love this walk so very much, I want to encourage as many other people to do it as I possibly can.  So hey, people out there researching trips to Bermuda–you can walk from St. George town to Tobacco Bay Beach.  Do it!  Here’s how:

When you get off the ferry, follow the masses of people walking to the left; there’s really no other direction you can go.  when you get to the main town square, turn right.  See where I’m pointing?

Follow the masses in this direction, then look up the hill to your right towards the Unfinished Church.

Turn right there.  Then make your way up toward the unfinished church.  You can see it from town by simply looking up hill–trust me, there aren’t enough streets in St. George to get really lost.  Here’s what you are looking for.

Not the white building–the smaller-because-of-perspective gray building in the distance.

Sick of my finger in every shot?  Yeah, I am too.  That will be the last photo like that, I promise.  Anyway–you are making your way towards the unfinished church.  If you are going uphill, you are going the right way.  If you are stickler for exact directions, here they are:

  • From the town square, turn right on King Street (it’s the only right you can make)
  • Make an almost immediate left onto Bridge Street.
  • You will pass a park on your right; this is Sommer’s Gardens.  Feel free to stop here briefly and enjoy the sunshine through the trees.
  • You will pass the ruins of an old building on your left.  It looks like this:

After passing Sommer’s Gardens on your right, this will be on your left. You are going the right way!

  • Continue up the steep hill towards the unfinished church.  Pause to explore the unfinished church.  It’s pretty cool.  See?
Once you’ve made it to the unfinished church, the hard part is over.  That is, you are at the top of the hill.  However, the semi-scary part has begun.  Follow the road to the right of the unfinished church.  You will be walking directly on the road with no sidewalks and walls on both sides.  But do not fear–it’s not a heavy traffic area.  You’ll be perfectly safe.  This is what the road looks like:

Be safe on this part of the walk!

At the end of the scary part pictured above, you’ll want to stay straight and take the two-sided, tree-shaded lane directly in front of you.  Do not follow the main road to the right.  Saunter down the shady lane.  This is where the walk gets beautiful; the shady lane eventually opens up to what I can only describe as a rolling meadow.  It’s lovely, I promise.

Saunter down the shady lane. And don’t worry if you don’t have anyone’s hand to hold. I didn’t either. It was just as romantic all by myself.

Follow this road straight ahead.  A smaller, almost park-like road branches off to the right.  DO NOT TAKE THIS ROAD–unless, of course, you want to visit Fort St. Catherine.  To get to the beach, stay straight on the road until you see this:

Make a right at the pretty pink plant and follow the path down to the beach.

That’s Tobacco Bay.  You’ll turn right to avoid falling off a cliff into the sea, and you’ll see the beach on your left.  You can now enjoy the reward at the end of your gorgeous walk–an even more gorgeous beach.  I highly recommend renting a snorkel and fins for an hour and enjoying the view beneath the waves.  I’ve paid for Bermuda snorkel excursions and I have to say, I enjoyed snorkeling at Tobacco Bay far more.

Me, happy to be at Tobacco Bay–bad hair and all.

How easy is it to make this walk?  The first time I did it, I had no idea where I was going, if I’d actually end up at Tobacco Bay, or how far it was from the ferry dock.  I did not have a post like this to show me the way, and I still made it there in maybe twenty minutes.  And I sailed all the way back to Bermuda just to take this walk again.  If you are considering it, do it.  I promise, it’s worth it.

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