Planning Your Time
Unless you’re ensconced in a resort, it’s likely you will pass through the central parishes of Devonshire and Paget many times on your way into or out of Hamilton, or moving between the East and West Ends. Both parishes provide a highly scenic passageway, but both also offer sights, restaurants, bars, and beautiful outdoor spaces in their own right and are certainly worth dedicated visits.
Buses run several regular routes through Devonshire and Paget, and ferries are a scenic way to explore Paget’s harborside and beyond. The old tribe roads in both parishes also make for interesting tangents, linking east–west main roads via these skinny north–south divisions past red fields of newly sown soil, schoolyards, or Bermudian backgardens.
Devonshire, the more rural of the two, with few shopping or lodging options, is an oasis of historic family estates, tracts of farmland and forest, a marsh protected as a nature reserve, and an 18-hole golf course, with the majority of land comprised of residential property. While Paget also lays claim to important natural spaces, the parish houses the island’s major hospital, King Edward VII Memorial, with its expanding medical environs; several major hotels, beaches, bars, and restaurants also lie within the parish. Wrapped around the bottom of Hamilton Harbour, it is closely connected to the city physically and philosophically.
Outdoor and sports enthusiasts will find plenty to do in both Devonshire and Paget, thanks to numerous resorts’ tennis facilities, two nine-hole golf courses (at Ocean View Golf Club and Horizons), and walking, riding, and running trails, not to mention two of the island’s most expansive public parks, the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Stretches of the Railway Trail in both parishes are great for exploring the countryside.
Either parish is good for simply sampling Bermuda’s garden-like atmosphere. Buy sunflowers or fresh honey from a farm stand on Saturday morning. Stop for a “Foot of the Lane” picnic along Pomander Road’s harborside, or walk the Railway Trail from Barker’s Hill, the glistening North Shore panorama laid out before you like a movie backdrop.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition