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Royal Naval Dockyard, Sandys

Ireland Island
Bermuda MA02's insider take:

A fascinating remnant of Bermuda's role in the British–American conflict, this massive compound of 19th-century buildings on the tip of Bermuda's western hook was once the largest British naval facility outside the U.K. But though huge cannons and stacks of cannonballs are everywhere around the Dockyard, a shot has never been fired from any of them. The grounds are so expansive they never feel crowded, and wandering around inspecting the bastions and fortresses is a lovely way to spend an afternoon (and burn off some of the calories from last night's daiquiris). Some of the most beautiful views on the island can be found here—even when you look down, you'll be able to see huge blue parrot fish and other sea critters beneath the crystal-blue water. You might also encounter a matted sheep flock, kept on site to trim and fertilize the grass (the sheep are particular experts in the latter, so don't wear nice shoes). If taking home a souvenir is essential, stop by the on-site Bermuda Art Centre (; 441-234-2809) and the Bermuda Craft Market (4 Freeport Rd., Cooperage Building; 441-234-3208), where the work of resident artists is for sale.

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