The dramatic lookouts, diverse plants and animals, and the coastal trail of Spittal Pond alone would be enough to make Smith’s Parish worth visiting, but the parish has much more, including a historic—some say haunted—house that’s now a museum, beautiful beaches on both shores, panoramic stretches of the Railway Trail and Harrington Sound, and a few good restaurants.
The parish is named for London power-broker Sir Thomas Smith, a key figure in the colonization efforts of London’s East India Company, Russia Company, and North West Passage Company, as well as a stakeholder in early Bermuda. Smith’s is largely residential, with a busy community hub at Collector’s Hill, offering a grocery, pharmacy, restaurants, and essential services like gas and ATMs.
The parish also claims a large farming community, with substantial parcels of land harvested for onions, strawberries, carrots, and other seasonal produce sold in island supermarkets. A dairy farm sits next to Spittal Pond, one of just two on the island. Smith’s is home to many Portuguese residents, some of them newly arrived Azorean contract workers, others naturalized immigrants, and many more, full-fledged Bermudians, whose families have been here for generations.
Driving through the rolling parish, you can’t help but be wowed by spectacular views of all kinds: Longtails arching from sheer cliff faces. Red dawn lifting over the glass-like surface of Harrington Sound. Sapphire depths of a favorite swimming hole. Smith’s has as much to offer as any of the parishes, yet, without a single big-buzz attraction, the parish maintains an out-of-the-way quietude, a rural modesty that lets one imagine Bermuda as it used to be.
Getting to Smith’s Parish
There are no scooter rental outlets or ferry services in Smith’s. Scooters can be rented elsewhere and are a good way to scoot around the parish, especially off the main thoroughfares. Buses are also an efficient way to travel the main arteries of Smith’s. Bicycles, rentable from hotels and liveries, are great for exploring the Railway Trail.
Buses travel all three routes through the parish: South Shore Road, North Shore Road, and Middle Road. Take the No. 1 for South Shore Road destinations (Hamilton–Grotto Bay/St. George’s, buses run every half hour). Take the No. 3 for points on Middle Road (Hamilton–Grotto Bay/St. George’s, every half hour), traveling through Flatts Village and along picturesque Harrington Sound Road.
The Nos. 10 or 11 are your buses for North Shore Road (Hamilton–St. George’s, every 15 minutes). Fares from Hamilton to points throughout Smith’s are $3 for adults, $2 for children 5–16, and kids under 5 ride free.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition