Anguilla is small island within the Leeward Islands, in the Caribbean. It is a lot smaller that her sister island of Antigua, and can be accessed in a number of ways from the UK. Typically the best connections to the Caribbean are from London airports, although you can fly from the North on an indirect flight. You can fly into Antigua or St Maarten and catch an air or sea transfer to the Island of Anguilla.
Taxis are readily available and hiring a car to explore the island is recommended; they drive on the left like us in the UK so getting around is easy. Bicycles are also on offer at most hotels and resorts, and cycling is a great way to get around the island.
Here are some of Anguilla’s main areas to discover:
This was the traditional heart of Anguilla’s tourism industry, home to many of the island’s traditional five star resorts (see hotels below)
It is also where Anguilla’s culinary fame was born, led by iconic restaurants such as Blanchards, and followed by establishments like Jacala, Mangos, Straw Picante, and Trattoria Tramonto.
A sleepy village by day, party central at night, Sandy Ground is one of the entertainment centres of Anguilla. The colourful beach bars, fun and casual restaurants come alive with music, dancing and lively conversation.
Road Bay at Sandy Ground is the entry port for private yachts and small luxury cruise ships that anchor off shore. Customs and Immigration clearance takes place here, and many of the yacht services and local provisioning agents are based at this location.
Sandy Ground is also the staging area for many of the boat races that are an essential element of most holiday weekends in Anguilla; and the festive beach parties that last well into the wee hours of the morning.
The Blowing Point Ferry Terminal is the point of entry for most visitors arriving via the public or private ferries from St Martin/St Maarten.
The surrounding area is also home to some of the island’s finest villa estates at Little Harbour and Lockrum.
The Valley is the island’s capital – the home of government and commerce, the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport, and the Anguilla Tourist Board. Here you will also find the island’s only surviving plantation house. The beautifully restored Wallblake House, built in 1785, offers a glimpse into Anguilla’s colonial heritage.
The legendary Lloyds B&B, in operation since the 1950s, a selection of Charming Escapes, DaVida bar and grill, and the luxury villa resort CeBlue overlooking Crocus Bay are all situated in and around The Valley.
The East End of the island is rapidly developing as an alternative tourism centre to the West End. Blessed with the magnificent Shoal Bay East beach, it is location for Shoal Bay Villas, Serenity Cottages, the Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa, the Manoah Boutique hotel, Fountain Apartments and a number of villas. The area also boasts a host of popular restaurants and beach bars, and a day spa.
Anguilla’s quaint fishing village, Island Harbour, sits on the East End of Anguilla. Colourful boats moor in this protected cove.
Island Harbour is home to the annual Festival del Mar on the Easter weekend, a celebration of all things from the sea that includes a seafood festival, culinary competitions, swimming and fishing tournaments, lots of music and the national pastime, boat racing.
Here too is one of Anguilla’s signature restaurants, the Hibernia Restaurant and Art Gallery.
There are also a number of small local beach restaurants: the very cool, Artisan Pizza Napoletana, Falcons Nest, Palm Grove and gorgeous Scilly Cay and the latest arrival Lime Keel House, home to Surf AXA.
There are six islands nearby that belong to Anguilla:
Scrub Island is the largest of the offshore cays, and is undeveloped. Activities here include: birdwatching (over 34 species of birds that have been recorded); snorkelling with turtles, fish and stingray; and swimming in emerald-coloured lagoons. The trip to Scrub Island takes approximately 20 minutes from Island Harbour.
Sombrero Island has been designated an important bird area by Bird Life International because of its breeding seabirds, and the surrounding waters are feeding areas for Hawksbill turtles.
Dog Island. Also identified as an important bird area, Dog Island is home to large populations of nesting seabirds, mainly sooty terns (over 100,000 pairs), along with nine other species. A large colony of magnificent Frigate Birds nest on the eastern end of the island, along with flocks of Masked and Brown Boobies. It is also an interesting dive location; but for experienced divers only because of strong currents.
Sandy Island, a five-minute boat ride from Sandy Ground with Captain Jojo, is the home of Anguilla’s newest music festival, Livin’ the Sun, which takes place in November. An amazing restaurant, resident masseuse, hammocks, lounges and spectacular snorkelling make a trip to Sandy Island a truly memorable experience.
Prickly Pear Cay is a small pair of uninhabited islands popular for their abundant marine and bird life. There are two restaurants: Agatha’s and Johnno’s at Prickly Pear. Both offer a great selection of cocktails and seafood, beach chairs, snorkelling gear, thatch umbrellas and stunning vistas of turquoise seas.
Anguillita Island is the southernmost of Anguilla’s cays, a small, rocky uninhabited island that has good snorkelling and scuba diving conditions.
So despite Anguilla being a smaller of the Caribbean islands, there is plenty to see and do, with many gorgeous hotels to stay at and restaurants to try the local cuisine.
Hotels In Anguilla