Since the pandemic hit and everything moved indoors, hiking became an escape from the realities of the world. Antigua is pretty small in comparison to other countries, but it has its fair share of hiking trails located all across the island. The trails found at Shirley Heights (Lookout and Carpenter’s Rock) are easily some of my favourites and most picturesque journey. Today I’ll be sharing a few details about the trails and some photos from my trip.
Located in the English Harbour area, the trail takes you from Galleon Beach to the famous Shirley Heights Lookout (hence the name). During the journey upwards, you witness varying views of Galleon Beach, English Harbour, Falmouth Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard. Shirley Heights Lookout is one of Antigua’s most breathtaking and iconic locations. Once at the top, you can either use the same route down or continue through another trail (Carpenter’s Rock).
Carpenter’s Rock Trail
We decided to use this trail to get back to Galleon Beach in order to witness different views and get the full 360 of the area. The trail takes you across a cactus field and offers stunning views of the cliffside. Before we began the lookout trail, this was also an option for going up to Shirley Heights, however we were advised that it was more difficult. This trail gets its name from the rock formation jotting out at sea. We also passed some shimmering pools which locals refer to as Mermaid Gardens.
We started a little later than usual (7:30 a.m.), but it was still cool and covered on our way up. It was fairly easy and took us about 30-35 minutes to get to Shirley Heights where we rested for about 20 minutes. To continue onto Carpenter’s Rock Trail you’d come down the hill from the entrance and turn right; I can’t recall if there’s a sign but there should be a dirt trail after passing a small graveyard. Surprisingly, this only took us 38 minutes to get back to the beach and we did stop quite a bit to take photos and enjoy the views. It was a bit harder manoeuvring this area as we were going downhill and we had to watch out for loose rocks and different overgrown fauna. We did pass quite a few people on the trail, especially when we got closer to Carpenter’s Rock where people were also fishing. Although uncovered, I didn’t feel the heat until we were almost to the end; the ocean breeze was doing its thing! What I absolutely love about this hiking trail is that the beach is RIGHT THERE, so it’s the perfect way to cool down before leaving.
Scenes from my hiking experience were shared in this vlog, check it out!
Until next time,