One of the region’s loveliest views can be had from a quiet bench atop Fort Scaur (Scaur Hill, Somerset Rd., open sunrise to sunset daily, admission free), overlooking the whole Great Sound and Dockyard . A telescope allows you to see as far as Fort St. Catherine and St. David’s Lighthouse. The West End fort and its surrounding 22 acres of parklands comprise one of the island’s most scenic and well-preserved fortifications.
Built in the 1870s, the fort was intended to guard the crossing at Somerset Bridge —and to thereby protect against a landward approach by an enemy toward the Dockyard. It was used through the 1920s; later the American 52nd Coast Artillery mounted two eight-inch railway guns at Scaur Park. The fort, with ramparts, cannons, and gun placements, is surrounded by a defensive ditch, which extends across the length of Somerset Island. There is a steep trail leading eastward through the woods to the Railway Trail on the shoreline below. You can also walk into the galleries flanking the hillside and go through the sally port into the ditch—an impressive feat of engineering. Picnic tables and lawns invite relaxation in the adjoining park.
A property on the left as you descend the other side of Scaur Hill, heading out of the West End, is The Parapet, the mustard-colored home where artist Georgia O’Keeffe stayed during her visit to Bermuda in the early 20th century. O’Keeffe was recovering from depression at the time, but her charcoal drawings of a banyan tree and banana flowers helped restore her creative energies.