With its laidback vibe, superb weather and picture-perfect tropical island landscape, Bermuda has always been a popular destination for those looking to 'get back to nature'. In my job helping clients find the perfect Bermuda accommodation for their holiday, after the beaches (of course), the most common question I get asked is about the opportunities to get up close and personal with the nature and wildlife. |
Nature plays a big part in the daily lives of the locals and there's always been a concerted effort to both preserve and enhance the island's extensive natural attractions. A great deal of the landscape is protected and, for an area of such modest proportions, there is a huge ratio of nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and man-made parks and gardens. For those who choose Bermuda accommodation in Paget parish, whether the intimate resort of Elbow Beach or the laidback grounds of the Coco Reef Resort, I always recommend an excursion to explore the magnificent Botanical Gardens. I've personally spent many happy, relaxing hours in this lush haven of nature.
Explore the Beauty of the Botanical Gardens
An iconic and very tranquil presence since its opening in 1898, the gardens encompass 36 acres of land, planted with an extensive array of flower, tree and shrub species found around the island. For those with an interest in botany, all the species are clearly labelled, but even if you don’t know your Apocynaceae from your Arecaceae you'll still be able to appreciate the variety.
Don't Miss The gardens are beautifully arranged and paths are clearly marked, so the best idea is to start at the entrance and simply stroll around where your feet and your heart take you. That said, make sure you don't miss these highlights in your blessed-out state:
• The rose garden • The frangipani collection • The palm garden • The hibiscus garden • The massive ficus tree • The sculptural banyan trees • Cacti and orchid greenhouse • The aviary
Garden for the Sightless
As well as the areas above, even for those with 20/20 vision, the Garden for the Sightless is a fascinating place to explore. Designed specifically for the vision-impaired, all the signs are in Braille, but it's the delicately scented floral blooms and aromatic herbs that make it such a unique sensory experience.
The grounds of the gardens are also home to the excellent Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, whose collection of more than 1,200 pieces is entirely from artists inspired by the local landscape – including Georgia O'Keeffe, Henry Moore and Marsden Hartley.
Also set within the surrounds of the gardens, Camden is the official residence of the island's Premier – although in reality it's reserved for official functions. It's open to the public between 12-2pm on Tuesdays and Fridays and the curator will give you a free tour if you ask. The interiors of the eighteenth-century building include an impressive staircase, a stunning Waterford crystal chandelier and a huge collection of antique furniture crafted from local timber.
An Inspiring Environment
The gardens are a lovely place to bring a picnic lunch and spend the day. If you're a painter, writer or creative of any other persuasion, you're in good company in this inspirational environment. After spending time here in 1980, John Lennon named his next album 'Double Fantasy' for a magnificent local flower he fell in love with.
Even if you choose Bermuda accommodation beyond Paget parish, it's worth making a short trip (because nothing is ever too far away here!) to visit the wonderful Botanic Gardens.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury Bermuda accommodation, as well as holidays to Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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