No night clubs, not a place to go if you want the Ibiza experience!
Something different - something very different
As part of the NASA Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network, an integrated Apollo and deep-space station (DSS 72) was constructed in 1965 on the eastern side of Ascension at the Devil’s Ashpit. The original purpose of constructing the station was to support the early Surveyor missions. Because such a station could also support later deep-space...more
The Museum and Gallery incorporating Fort Hayes is located at Fort Hayes and is divided in four sections:The Main MuseumThe Carriage HouseFort Hayes Magazine Fort Hayes Fort Hayes I will cover in a separate tip – Fort Hayes. The remaining sites (within 50 metres of the Fort entrance) are packed with a range of exhibits covering every aspect of the...more
Fort Hayes is one of four sections of the Ascension Island Heritage Society Museum & Gallery and your museum entry fee includes entry to the fort. Fort Hayes is one of three naval forts in the Georgetown area – the other two being Fort Bedford and Fort Thornton – the oldest and least preserved which I didn’t visit.This fort was constructed on Goat...more
While there are a few features of historical significance up here which I cover in a separate tip (Fort Bedford – The Fort), the primary reason most people visit Fort Bedford is for the fantastic view down onto Georgetown.The Fort is located half way up Cross Hill just behind Georgetown. The peak of Cross Hill is a military site and thus out of...more
I have written a separate tip which covers the fantastic views afforded those who visit Fort Bedford – Fort Bedford – The Best View of Georgetown. This review covers the historical significance/artifacts of this site.Fort Bedford is the newest of three naval forts in the Georgetown area – the other two being Fort Hayes and Fort Thornton. It was...more
Your mission - Go find them on Green Mountain without destroying the place --- I found three, maybe four. Ascension Island’s unique flora is under threat from invasive introduced species (both plant and animal) and loss of habitat, with only small areas of undisturbed vegetation remaining, principally in the highland elevations of Green Mountain...more
While the longest of the Letterbox walks on Green Mountain it is actually the easiest walk being pretty much flat – once you have managed the 10 minutes walk up the zig-zag road from the Red Lion via Bell’s Cottage to the start of the walk. The walk starts on your left just before you reach the Old Marine Barracks – you will know if you are on the...more
You will not be able to get BBC television on Ascension Island but rather surprisingly you will use BBC electricity and drink BBC water and drive on BBC roads. The Beeb, as it is affectionately referred too, also used to run the school, hospital and a farm. For those unfamiliar with the BBC – it is the British Broadcasting Corporation which...more
The best known “land” animal on Ascension Island is the famous green turtles. I have written a separate review on these very special creatures Ascension’s Green TurtlesGiven its remoteness, there are and have been very few species of land animal on Ascension Island. Go look for them – your own Ascension Island Safari!Land CrabsBefore Ascension...more
The Exiles Club, in the centre of Georgetown, was constructed in 1830 as a single story barracks for the Marines with the second story and the clock-tower (picture three) added in 1848. The clock-tower supposedly replaced the earlier necessity of firing a cannon on an hourly basis to mark the passage of time.A new barracks was constructed next door...more
The tip here is to buy Ascension Island stamps and other philatelic items from the Post Office in Georgetown. Perhaps this would have been better placed in the ‘shopping” section but I felt you might be interested in mail services today and in earlier years so it’s here. Lest you worry that people coming to Ascension just for the shopping ( ☺...more
Since its discovery in 1501 Ascension Island has been famous for the green turtles which nest upon its beaches. See my main tip, Ascension’s Green Turtles for the current day story of these amazing creatures. In that tip I indicated that today man was not a predator of these turtles but that this was not always the case. This tip relates to the...more
Ascension’s pride and joy and a must do if you are there in seasonFor centuries, and probably much longer, green turtles have been coming to Ascension Island’s white sandy beaches to breed. At 3-4 year intervals male and female turtles migrate from Brazil to Ascension Island solely for this purpose. The arduous 4000km round trip is an absolutely...more
The cemetery, on the upper slopes of Green Mountain, was consecrated by the Bishop of St Helena where he visited Ascension in 1861 to consecrate St Mary’s Church in Georgetown. As noted in my St Mary’s tip, it had taken about 15yrs to persuade a bishop to come to the island – even an 1852 offer of an eleven gun salute didn’t do the trick.The...more
The ResidencyI mentioned in my general tip on Green Mountain that the mountain only has one resident nowadays and that is the British Administrator of the Island.Ascension Island with St Helena and Tristan da Cunha make up the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha. All three islands hold equal status within the...more
Green Mountain, designated a National Park in 2005, is aptly named given the abundance of flora on an otherwise barren, bleak and harsh volcanic island. It has always been an area of utmost importance to the island and its inhabitants and in the past many people resided here. Currently the good British Administrator and family are the only...more
Once you have inspected the camels in this area (picture one) proceed round to the other side of the island to see the wildebeest, hippopotamuses and elephants.After the excitement of seeing all this wild-life go and sun-bathe – topless – on the Moon Base One Topless Beach (picture two).Seriously (as if you hadn’t suspected) there are no camels,...more
The Grotto was built in 1944 by members of the US 895th Engineering Regiment with the first service therein on Easter Sunday of that year. Built to serve military personnel, the original chapel was constructed from lava rock and recycled army hut materials. While there was a stone wall surrounding the altar area sandbags were used for the outer...more
Eating and drinking on AscensionIf your on Ascension more than 2-3days you are probably going to visit the lot in terms of eating and drinking so I will cover the lot in one tip.DrinkingLet me firstly deal with drinking (alcohol) as it is easier. All of the establishments covered below under the eating section can adequately provide for your...more
You have the Obsidian Hotel Restaurant, the area is the best decorated, but quite expensive. However this is the only place to go to if you enjoy fine restaurant dining.You have all the clubs/bars that carry snack foods, and Two Boats serves lunches.The NAAFI snackbar is very popular especially Sunday nights as it is the only place open for...more
Saints Club is found in Georgetown, it is mainly a bar and dance areaTwo Boats for most poeple is either the most popular or the second favourite for people. They serve food, they have a bar and dance areaTravellers is mainly food and bar, but it does now and then have a disco (but not often).more
The Volcano Club belongs to the U.S Base, only over 18 are allowed, whereas the other bars, accept children as long as they are with a guardian/parent.It is part bar, part snackbar, part dancefloor.It is the place that everybody ends up being on the Friday night after having been to the other bars. no tank tops/swim wearmore
For night life there are not very many places to choose from .. nut bear in mind that this is an island with a population of 1000 and a total area of 35 square miles .. how many places can you fit in such an area for so few people?!Of all the places .. erm all 4 ..of them Two Boats Club is by far the liveliest.more
Excluding being a passenger on a cruise ship (see separate tip - Arriving on a Cruise Liner) or yacht there are two ways of getting to or from Ascension Island - air or by sea. What makes life easy (if not cheap!) is that there is only one option for each - different and interesting though they are. See my separate tip, Ascension by Air, for...more
I wasn't sure whether to put this tip under warning/dangers or transportation. I settled for transportation as it will be the valid option for some visitors - those lacking in time or having a more passing interest in visiting.If you are want to be sure that you will get to Ascension Island (or St Helena) and have more than a few hours visit you...more
Excluding being a passenger on a cruise ship or yacht there are two ways of getting to or from Ascension Island - by air or by sea. What makes life easy (if not cheap!) is that there is only one option for each - different and interesting though they are. See my separate tip, Ascension by Sea, for arrival by sea.There are no commercial flights to...more
Shopping on Ascension Island
One thing I can guarantee almost anyone is that you are unlikely to get hit with excess baggage charges on leaving the island and this is not due to lax airport or shipping agent check-in procedures but rather that there is virtually nothing to buy on Ascension.
As nothing is produced on the island everything must be imported and bringing souvenirs in for tourists is low on peoples agenda as there are not enough tourist to buy them. Unlike St Helena there are no local handicrafts, paintings, etc produced here. Take photographs!
I said virtually nothing can be found here – which suggests that there is something and indeed there is. You can get fridge magnets, t-shirts, postcards, photos, ash trays and a few other bits and pieces including the one thing I did buy which was a couple of cuddly green turtles - which are in fact yellow (picture 1). These, I could only find in the Obsidian Hotel’s Gift Shop. You might also have a look in A&P’s Gift World also in Georgetown.
Stamps and philatelic supplies
Postage stamps and other philatelic supplies are a big industry for Ascension Island and, if you are interested in this, you will certainly want to visit the Post Office in Georgetown noting that in addition to Ascension Island items you can also get items from St Helena and Tristan Da Cunha. I have prepared a separate tip on philatelic supplies - The Royal Mail
Every day essentials and groceries – Solomon's Shop in Georgetown (picture 2) and the NAAFI at Travellers Hill.
A couple of retail outlets are located on the ground floor of the Exiles Building in Georgetown – The Turtle Nest – a grocery & gift shop, and Glamour – selling shoes, make-up and accessories (picture 3). Also located in the centre of Georgetown is a Sue Ryder charity shop, and DVD Rental shop - The Movie Shack. Next door to the Exiles Building is the Rock Shop which sells a selection of shoes and clothing.
You will also find a few bits and pieces at the museum shop and at Birdies fuel station at One Boat.
The airport has a limited range duty free items for those flying out – if you leave by ship you miss out (not a big deal I promise you).
Note: All Georgetown shops, except the museum shop, are within about 50 metres of each other. The museum shop is about 5 minutes walk from the centre.
What to buy: Cuddly Green Turtles !
What to pay: Very little as there is not much to buy
When driving along the Ascension roads there will be some things that you will come across, more than 99% likely you'll come across all of them.Donkeys: These guys are wild, they are most commonly found around the Georgetown and One Boat area going up and down those roads. They are protected, so please please please do not hit one with your car....more
Be very careful where you go swimming in the sea on Ascension, one of the main places to avoid is Long Beach, people do not going swimming there because the undertow is too dangerous. Generally people swim at the main beaches of English Bay and Comfortless Cove. Watch out for those under tows they can be very dangerous, and I know from experience...more
Ascension is approx eight degrees below the equator and as such the climate varies little all year, essentially you get sun and lots of it .. be sensible and wear sun screen. I slapped on loads of factor 30 and still got (slightly) burnt. One person in our party thought it would be clever to try it with cooking oil .. oh dear! Needless to say he...more
The best tip I can give you is...
The are three main types of people on the island Brits, Saints and Americans, but the population is mostly 1/2 Saint.
The best thing to do is get friendly with the local Saints, interact with them and their culture, and that will help you out alot for being on this island