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Antigua, the largest of the Eastern Caribbean Leeward Islands that are English speaking, is located north of Guadeloupe and Montserrat, and has St Barts, St Kitts, St Martin and Nevis to its west and north. The island is 11 miles wide and 14 miles long, and its highest point is the 1319 ft high Boggy Peak, situated on the island's south-western corner.
Historic sites and attractionsThe evocative, graceful historic district of Antigua, the English Harbour, is also well worth a visit during an Antigua holiday. Focused mainly on Nelson's Dockyard National Park, which was originally used as a naval base during the turbulent period of the late 18th Century, this district contains the world's only remaining Georgian dockyard, as well as some outstanding buildings, including Clarence House. Above the harbour is Shirley Heights, which can be reached via the Look-out Trail, a scenic forest walk, and offers spectacular views as far as Montserrat and Guadeloupe, as well as featuring an array of military buildings, gun emplacements and the Dow's Hill Interpretation Centre. This centre enables visitors to see a most impressive media presentation centring on the history of Antigua and features observation decks with excellent views over the harbour. Barbecues, reggae and steel band music and rum punch are typically available here on Sunday afternoons.
The cemetery close to Shirley Heights features an obelisk dedicated to 54th regiment soldiers. At the far side of the bay, the ruins of Fort Berkely draw many Antigua visitors and also make an excellent view point over the harbour, which is of particular advantage during the Antigua Sailing Week. Another attraction worth taking in during an Antigua holiday is the Sea View Farm Village, where Antiguan folk pottery is fashioned and sold. In Brown's Bay, located at Nonsuch Bay, which forms the centre of the arts community of Antigua, the Harmony Hall Art Gallery exhibits continually changing local art and is the host of the Craft Fair and the Antigua Artist's Exhibition each November. The nearby Sugar Mill Tower has been converted into a bar, and offers patrons some of the best panoramic views to be found on Antigua, including some stunning views over Nonsuch Bay.
BeachesAntigua has an array of beautiful beaches. In total, there are 365 beaches, most of which are located on the calm Caribbean side of Antigua. Some of the most popular beaches include Dickenson Bay, Runaway Bay, Fort James, Deep Bay, Galley Bay and Hawksbill, a combination of four crescent shaped beaches, in the north-west; Darkwood Beach, Fryes Bay, Doigs Beach, Rendezvous Bay, Pigeon Point and several beaches on Johnson's point in the south and south-west, as well as Half Moon Bay, now a national park, and Long Bay in the east.
Activities You can enjoy hiking among the island's stunning natural surroundings, jogging, bird watching, Eco tours, golfing, hunting and bike, jeep and helicopter tours, zip line tours, boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming with stingrays, snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, safaris and seafaris, tropical adventure tours and more. In short, an Antigua holiday will have something suitable for anyone, from adventure seeking singles to families looking for some fun or simple relaxation.
WeatherAntigua is one of the sunniest among the Eastern Caribbean Islands, with annual rainfall being as low as 45 inches. The nearly constant north-east trade winds only flag a little in September, but keep temperatures at a comfortable range in the mid-seventies during the winter months and the mid-eighties during summer. Humidity is low throughout the year, so whenever tourists arrive, they will find pleasant conditions with plenty of sunshine.