Hamilton (Capitol City), Bermuda
The Bermuda Anglican Cathedral, over on (of course) Church Street, is one of Hamilton's most impressive buildings. The original cathedral on the site was built in 1844, but was apparently burned down by an arsonist. (THERE's someone who wants to take the express train to hell, eh?) The cathedral was reconstructed in 1894, in an imposing neo-Gothic style reminiscent of those in the "mother country". The Cathedral is contructed of native Bermuda limestone, and has an impressive array of stained glass windows.
There are, as in most cathedrals, various altars and remembrance areas of interest. I personally found the section honoring the various military regiments from Bermuda that served in the two World Wars moving. Bermuda clearly has a long and proud history in the British Empire and Commonwealth.
As are most churches in Bermuda, the cathedral is open to the public at most times. We visited, at least for a bit. It turns out that you need a bit of stamina for an extended visit, as there is no air-conditioning...or even fan cooling...within the cathedral. And considering Bermuda's subtropical and highly humid climate, being INSIDE is not for the faint of heart. It literally blows my mind to imagine sitting through an extended service wearing dress clothes. But, our hosts at the B&B in Hamilton insist that the place is packed every Sunday.
The city of Hamilton does their thing in entertaining the cruise visitors on Wednesday night DURING THE SUMMER, via a party called "Harbour Nights". Basically, Front Street is closed throughout the harborfront area. Flea market vendors, selling artwork, island music, food and all sorts of other goodies, take over the downtown area. Later, there will be a visit from the local Gombay Dancers, who are doing a frenzied style of dancing unique to Bermuda. (See my separate Gombay Dancers tip). And, there's often an appearance by the Bermuda Regiment Band, resplendant in their bright red jacket and white pith helmets.
Hamilton's "Harbour Nights" celebration runs from 730 pm until 11 pm. And although Harbour Nights is cleared geared to welcome (and profit from) cruise ship passengers, the Hamilton celebration seems to get its share of locals who visit the markets...somewhat different, I'm told, than is the case out on the Dockyard Destination celebration on Tuesdays.
There are several nice little parks and greenspaces in downtown Hamilton. Some of them are actually private property, owned by the various insurance companies and banks populating the larger buildings in the city. (FWIW, you're generally welcome to walk through on the paths, and can also enjoy a few moments peace and quiet on a bench.)
Barrs Park is another peaceful spot to spend a few moments in Hamilton. A tidy little public park, Barrs is located right on the harbor, just west of the Royal Yacht Club. And, it's a great place for relaxing a bit ahead of evening drinks and dinner. My wife, daughter and I spent about 45 minutes relaxing on a bench beneath blessed (it was still sunny and hot) foliage in Barrs Park.
If you love fine art and also could use a respite from Hamilton's heat and humidity, you might want to duck into the Bermuda National Gallery. It's on the second floor of City Hall, which is located on Church Street.
It's not a huge collection, but you'll find paintings by Rembrandt, sculpture by Rodin and several other 15th-16th century European masterpieces in the opening room, "The Hereward T. Watlington Room". There is a great painting of the American patriot Thomas Paine by George Romney (isn't one of his kin running for president these days?) on display as well.
In the Ondaatje Wing, there are paintings OF Bermuda done by artists from the time of settlement up through the modern era.
There is a separate "Bermuda Society of Arts Gallery" that is also worth a look-see. It's on the 2nd floor of the City Hall as well. They display and sell works by island artists. If you'd like to take home a nice painting of Bermuda, this is a good place to get something of good quality.
ADMISSION IS FREE on Sunday, and is $3 (I think) for adults on other days.
Hours are 10 am- 4 pm.
Hamilton is pretty much the center of life for Bermuda. It's the seat of government, the nerve center for transportation, and the epicenter of the island's huge international business ventures. There are shops, a top-notch harbor, restaurants and just about anything else that a tourist visitor would enjoy... EXCEPT hotels. That's right, there are no hotels or b&bs within the limits of Hamilton. However, there are plenty within the surrounding Pembroke Parish areas, especially out Pitts Bay Road.
There are certainly other areas of Bermuda that you'll want to visit. But, unless you've holed up at a resort hotel, or are hanging close to your cruise ship, you'll spend plenty of time in Hamilton.
One other little note that you might find a little confusing. Bermuda has a Hamilton PARISH, but the CITY of Hamilton is not IN Hamilton PARISH. The city of Hamilton is in Pembroke Parish.
Hamilton is such a beautiful city . All pink and white and waterfront blue .One of our greatist pleasures was just to sit on a balcony on Front St and enjoy the sites below.
There are often cruise ships in harbour so there can be quite a bit of bustle at times , but it only adds to the cities festive spirit.
There are lots of old type Pubs to visit like The Hog Penny ,a wide range of restaurants and some nice shopping .
Victoria is a public park that is opened daily to the public during day light hours. It is widely used as an entertainment venue for free concerts and the like. It features a sunken garden, ornamental shrubbery, and a Victorian bandstand. The 4 acre park was laid out in honor of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. Outdoor concerts are held here in summer. It has several species of endemic plants and another great place to people watch used by the folks working nearby to escape to.
If you want to just watch the Bermudian people the faces, smiles and wonderful range of colors. Hamilton is a good spot to see people. Although it only has a permanent population of approximately 1,000 Hamilton is the only incorporated city in Bermuda. Hamilton is the center for many government functions banking and reinsurance so lots of folks pass thought Hamilton City and give you a great chance to be an observer.
Hamilton history began in 1790 when the Bermuda Government set aside 145 acres the seat of Bermuda government and incorporated in 1793 by an Act of Parliament.
No-one can go to Bermuda and miss a visit at Hamilton the capital city. (But don't be surprised Bermuda is a small island, therefor Hamilton has to be a small capital...)
As far as I know every Wednesday they have market in Hamilton. No, no, not a market with fruits, vegtables, ..., just a market for tourist with some small nice staff. (candles, photos, tatoo stickers, ...)
Front Street, Hamilton, is a great place to go shopping, eating, or just to watch the harbour as the cruise ships dock. Check out the policeman in the cage that directs traffic in the middle of the road!
This monument was built to remember all those who gave their lives to defend the mother country during World War 1 & World War 2. Rememberance Day is the day that wreaths are laid at the Cenataph to honour the war dead.
Walking about the island you will see the typical architecture of Bermuda.
The style of houses and the pastel shades they are painted are a signature of Bermuda.