Explore English Harbour in Antigua - historic Nelson's Dockyard, dining, shopping, and anchoring options. Perfect for sailors and tourists.

English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda

Explore English Harbour in Antigua - historic Nelson's Dockyard, dining, shopping, and anchoring options. Perfect for sailors and tourists.

Matt and Britney Weidert

Matt Weidert

English Harbour, located on the southern coast of Antigua, is a historic and vibrant destination renowned for its rich history, excellent amenities, and stunning natural beauty. This harbor is a must-visit for sailors and tourists alike, offering a blend of maritime heritage, modern conveniences, and picturesque scenery.

Where is English Harbour located?

English Harbour is situated on the southern coast of Antigua, within the parish of St. Paul. It is part of the Nelson's Dockyard National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is adjacent to the equally famous Falmouth Harbour.

History of English Harbour

English Harbour has a storied past, deeply rooted in maritime history. Established in the 18th century as a strategic naval base, it played a crucial role during the age of sail. The harbor is best known for Nelson's Dockyard, named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was stationed there from 1784 to 1787. This historical dockyard has been meticulously restored and now serves as a marina, cultural center, and museum, showcasing the rich nautical heritage of Antigua.

Boating and Anchoring at English Harbour

English Harbour offers several options for docking and anchoring, catering to different preferences and needs:
  • Nelson's Dockyard: For those who prefer docking, Nelson's Dockyard provides facilities for stern-to docking, allowing yachts to moor next to some of the world's most luxurious mega yachts. The dockyard offers modern amenities, including water, electricity, and Wi-Fi, set against the backdrop of historical architecture.
  • Freeman Bay Anchorage: For those who prefer anchoring, Freeman Bay is a popular choice. Located nearby, this anchorage offers more room and is well-protected, making it a favored spot for many sailors.
Nelson's dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

What to do at English Harbour

  • History and Culture: Explore Nelson's Dockyard and immerse yourself in the maritime history of Antigua. Visit the Dockyard Museum to learn about the harbor's historical significance and its role in the British Royal Navy.
  • Shopping and Dining: English Harbour boasts a variety of shops and restaurants. From local boutiques offering unique souvenirs to gourmet restaurants serving delicious Caribbean and international cuisine, there's something for everyone. Popular spots include The Admiral's Inn, which offers a blend of history and fine dining, and Catherine's Café, known for its beachfront ambiance and exquisite menu.
  • Provisioning: The harbor is well-equipped for provisioning, with several stores offering a wide range of supplies for yachts and visiting boats. You'll find fresh produce, dry goods, and other essentials to restock your vessel.
  • Water Sports and Activities: The calm and clear waters of English Harbour are perfect for a variety of water sports, including snorkeling, diving, and paddleboarding. The surrounding reefs and marine life make it an excellent spot for underwater exploration.
  • Events and Regattas: English Harbour is famous for hosting international sailing events, including Antigua Sailing Week and the Classic Yacht Regatta. These events draw sailors and spectators from around the world, creating a lively and festive atmosphere.


English Harbour in Antigua & Barbuda offers a unique blend of history, modern amenities, and natural beauty. Whether you're exploring the historic Nelson's Dockyard, enjoying a meal at a waterfront restaurant, or anchoring in the tranquil waters of Freeman Bay, this harbor provides a perfect setting for an unforgettable experience.
  • Docking: Stern-to docking at Nelson's Dockyard with modern facilities.
  • Anchoring: More spacious anchorage available at Freeman Bay.
  • Activities: Historical tours, shopping, dining, water sports, and attending sailing events.
For a detailed account of a recent visit, check out our Antigua Bareboat Charter Trip Report.

Antigua and Barbuda charter planning?

Consider booking with the Yacht Warriors.