If you take Cavendish Road out of Hamilton continuing east via Middle Road (Bus Route 3), you’ll end up in the heart of Devonshire. From here, you can explore the parish’s diverse nooks and crannies, where many of the sights are not posted attractions, but the comings and goings of regular daily life.
Montpelier Road and Frog Lane lead to North Shore Road, passing circuitous Happy Valley before climbing past the grand National Sports Centre (a multi-million-dollar work in progress, though the track is open for runners and major events are held at the complex). Frog Lane connects with Dock Hill, a short, steep exit onto North Shore Road.
Take time to hang out at the former military cargo port now a public dock where dreadlocked fishermen gather in the afternoons to cut up their catch and sell fresh fillets of snapper, rockfish, and other sweet-meated specialties from roadside coolers.
Many of the ancestral homes in this area—some garnished with gingerbread verandas, gazebos, even a crenellated tower—belong to the Dill family, built in the 1700s by privateers and merchants. All along the North Shore, far less affluent homes boast rich traditional features, including front-door fanlights, keystones, parapets, and welcoming-arms stairways.
Staying on Middle Road will lead you past farms, churches, and inland neighborhoods. Rolling Orange Valley, largely consisting of age-old family estates, connects to major Palmetto Road, or switches back along delightfully rural Parsons Lane towards Devonshire Marsh and Jubilee Road, Old Devonshire Church, Locust Hall Nature Reserve, and Vesey Street’s equestrian areas.
If you head east along the South Shore, you can stroll the gardens of Palm Grove or Devonshire Bay—another public park and swimming area where some of the best fresh fish is sold straight off the commercial fishing boats on Fridays. Look for the hand-drawn roadside sign.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition