Admiralty House Park
Once the site of an 1816 residence named Admiralty House and later a Royal Navy Hospital, Admiralty House Park (junction of North Shore Rd. and Spanish Point Rd., open sunrise to sunset daily, admission free) now belongs to the national parks system. The former mansion, torn down except for a ballroom that’s used for special events, used to provide housing for British admiralty officers who worked at Dockyard.
Admiralty House Park has gorgeous old trees, nature trails, and small beaches, including shallow Clarence Cove, which, sheltered by a sturdy dock (which kids love to jump and dive off), is a popular neighborhood swimming venue. Across the cove, Deep Bay is also well used in the summer, with young daredevils performing in-air stunts on their way into the turquoise depths.
Notable also are the tunnels, galleries, and caves dug into Admiralty House Park’s seaside limestone cliffs by the British military in the 1850s. The property was a Royal Navy signal center during World War II, but the British pulled out of Bermuda in 1951, turning it over to the island’s government. Unfortunately, the park’s upkeep has declined, with graffiti and garbage spoiling its natural beauty at times.
Safety has also been an issue, as Admiralty House Park is sometimes a hangout for youths and unsavory elements. Women would be advised not to come here alone at night during the off-season, but families, groups, and couples should have no problems during the busy summer months. The park tends to be packed when school is out and is especially crowded at Cup Match and other summer weekends.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition