Basseterre and Brimstone Hill - St. Kitss Heritage Tour
Duration: Half Day
Not only is the beautiful island of St Kitts blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Caribbean, but it also boasts a rich culture and heritage that will fascinate visitors. This tour will take you back in time to the British and French colonial periods as we visit former sugar plantations and great houses before reaching the historic Brimstone Hill Fortress.
Starting from Basseterre, St Kitts’ capital, we travel along the scenic coastal road towards the west of the island in the direction of Brimstone Hill. On the way we will stop at several places of historical interest, the first being Fairview Inn, an early 18th century French Great House that was rescued when it became a Historical Inn. Located in a tranquil, tropical setting overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the house was often enjoyed by Royalty, and it was also the headquarters of the commanding officer of the French Army at one time.
Moving onwards, we stop at the ancient Church of St. Thomas in the town of Middle Island. Named after Sir Thomas Warner, the founder and first English governor of St Kitts, this was the first Anglican Church built on the island. He died in 1648 and his tomb can be seen in the churchyard cemetery.
Continuing along this route, we make our way to Romney Manor, a former sugar plantation great house and the home of Caribelle Batik. Once owned by Lord Romney Marsh, this is one of the oldest estates on the island and is now used as a factory and showroom for exquisite hand-made batik fabrics. You can see the work of a talented batik artist here as she demonstrates the traditional Indonesian method of painting on delicate cloth with wax before dyeing it, creating some beautiful, brightly-coloured designs. Caribelle has become one of the Caribbean’s most sought after batik products, and the factory is often visited by the rich and famous.
Romney Manor is set in approximately 10 acres of majestic grounds, which are a delight to explore. Take a stroll through the lush botanical gardens and admire the vibrant tropical flora and exotic giant trees, including the famous Saman tree which is over 350 years old and covers almost half an acre. This tranquil oasis is one of the most beautiful gardens on the island.
We finally drive onwards to the most important historic site on the island, Brimstone Hill National Park. Also known as "The Gibraltar of the West Indies", this ancient fortress was built between the late 17th and 18th centuries and is considered one of the finest examples of British military architecture in the world. The site was occupied by both the French and English at different periods. Because of its historical and cultural importance, Brimstone Hill was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.
The fortress sits majestically atop an 800ft hill in magnificent surroundings. The climb to the top will reward you with spectacular panoramic views of dense forest, cultivated fields and the historical town of Sandy Point, and you can also see St Kitts’ neighbouring islands across the Caribbean Sea. This is a wonderful opportunity to relive history whilst enjoying some of the most beautiful vistas on the island.
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In a joint partnership with British Airways, St Kitts has branded ten London taxis with images of the St Kitts' Scenic Railway, and put them on the streets of London. The campaign will run for 12 months and will promote the Caribbean nation to Londoners going about their daily lives. Promotional initiatives will take place throughout the year including social media activities and competitions.
Following the success of this year's festival, St Kitts and Nevis in the eastern Caribbean has announced that it will host the second Nevis Blues Festival next 14-16th April 2016, showcasing the best blues talent from around the world in the idyllic setting of Nevis' Oualie Bay beach.
The St Kitts Tourism Authority has announced that the annual St. Kitts Music Festival will take place from 25th to 27th June, 2015. This year's event will feature live music from RandB, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, rock, calypso, gospel and contemporary music artists, and previous headliners have included John Legend, Lionel Richie, and Shaggy.