A breathtaking and iconic location
Shirley Heights is a restored military lookout and gun battery. The Lookout is a high point (about 490 ft.) that affords a superb view of English and Falmouth Harbours, the best view in Antigua. The view is especially spectacular at sunset and early evening when all of English Harbour is all lit up.
The reason they chose this location is easy to understand. A spectacular view over English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour greets your eyes, showing you the scene that is often used as the iconic image of Antigua. A visit to Shirley Heights is considered one of the must do events in Antigua. The buildings have been adapted to function as a restaurant and bar and its famous Sunday evening party is always a hit.
Drive up to Shirley Heights and stroll around the old military fortifications. You can view breathtaking scenic landscapes at 360 degrees.
This military complex, within a short distance of Nelson’s Dockyard, is not named after the fairer sex, but after Sir Thomas Shirley, Governor of the Leeward Islands, who strengthened Antigua’s defenses in 1781. Britain had lost all her West Indian colonies (including North America) at this time except Antigua and Barbados. Much effort, therefore, was put into Antigua’s defenses, mainly because of the island’s great sugar producing value and the important Dockyard.
The view from Shirley Heights is a perfect setting to watch a sunset. If you watch closely for that split second as the sun sets behind the ocean, you may see that moment a green jet of light covers the horizon known as the Green Flash and is something that only the luckiest viewers and photographers have ever managed to capture on camera or in their memories.
From 4pm until 10pm every Sunday, party until the sun goes down on another week with drink, a barbecue, local bands playing a mixture of Caribbean flavored music and international hits from over the decades whilst overlooking one of the most stunning views in the world. Both a favorite with the locals and tourists, this is the perfect crowd to meet new people and make friends for life. Trust us it will be a night you will never forget.
Sightseeing & Photography
The Lookout. This high point (about 490 ft.) affords a superb view of English and Falmouth Harbours, the best view in Antigua. The view is spectacular, especially at sunset and early evening when all of English Harbour is all lit up.
Sports & Leisure
The walk to the top is steep and challenging but a great way of exercising. If you are into running, this offers a perfect opportunity for some climate training but it is advised to go either early morning or at sunset as in the heat of the day it is very easy to get dehydrated. There is also the Lookout trail which runs from Galleon Beach to Shirley Heights is challenging and an off-road type walk, however, if you are up to the challenge it is a fascinating walk and climb through the wildlife and plants that scatter the area. Check our hiking section for more details. Galleon Beach is also a great destination for relaxing and chilling out after your exercise. Check our beaches section for more details.
For more information visit Shirley Heights website.