Southampton Parish, Bermuda Travel Guide
Southampton Parish Summary
- Home to some of Bermuda’s best beaches and coves, such as Church Bay and Horseshoe Bay
- Challenging golf courses with scenic views
- Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast-iron lighthouse in the world, boasts jaw-dropping panoramic views
- More nightlife than neighboring Sandys Parish
- Easy access to Marie Celeste, a haunting shipwreck with many tunnels to explore
- Wide array of accommodations, from luxurious resorts to cute, colorful cottages
- Seymour’s Pond Nature Reserve is a good spot to watch the over 200 bird species that visit Bermuda every year
- No ferry docks (but a short drive to several of them in neighboring parishes)
- Less intimate and secluded than Sandys Parish (but more centrally located)
- Few attractions aside from the outstanding beaches and the historic lighthouse
- Horseshoe Bay is packed year-round
What It's Like
Southampton Parish is a good pick for those who come to Bermuda to get a great suntan on a gorgeous beach. The south shore, with its gorgeous sandy beaches, is lined with resorts, most of which also have their own private stretches of sand. The north, however, is quieter and preserves the relaxed Bermuda vibe. Here, colorful houses perched on rolling hills and surrounded by lush gardens overlook both the Atlantic and the Little Sound, offering some of the most beautiful views in Bermuda.
Horseshoe Bay, the most photographed and acclaimed of the pink-sand beaches in Bermuda, is arguably also the most congested stretch of sand in the archipelago -- cruise ship companies bus visitors straight to this beautiful beach upon docking in Sandys Parish. But the neighboring beaches and coves remain pretty empty and quiet. For example, Church Bay, a few minutes' moped ride from Horseshoe Bay, feels secluded and intimate.
The main attraction in this area is the historic Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, the world's oldest cast-iron lighthouse, built in 1846. Bermuda has many excellent vistas due to its craggy terrain, but nothing compares to the jaw-dropping panoramic views one gets from this beautiful lighthouse.
There are few other attractions aside from that; many tourists prefer to bake on the beach during the day and then head to one of the expensive restaurants in the area. But Southampton is also a great destination for golf lovers, with a couple of challenging courses, like the scenic Fairmont Southampton Golf Club and the Port Royal Golf Course.
Where to Stay
The north and south shores have very distinct characteristics. The south is where the beaches are, and resorts of all types. This is also where the restaurants, golf courses, tennis courts and water sports facilities are. The north is quieter, more relaxed, and has a more local vibe than the touristy south, but there are no beaches within walking distance. However, the island is less than a mile wide in this parish, and everything is within a short drive (there are some steep hills and there are no sidewalks, so walking is not recommended).