Bermuda is a British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean known for its pink sand beaches, rum swizzles, and friendly locals. While all these things are a great reason to visit this tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic, the best way to see Bermuda is by hiking the Railway Trail.
Bermuda’s Railway Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world because of its proximity to the coastline, the unexpected viewpoints, and the adventure you will have along the way.
Here’s my complete guide to Bermuda’s Railway Trail with all my tips for planning an unforgettable walking getaway!
About Bermuda’s Railway Trail
Open for 17 years in the mid-19th century (1931 – 1948), Bermuda’s Railway Trail, also known as the Old Rattlesnake, served as an easy and affordable way to get from one side of Bermuda to the other (it started in St. George’s and ended in Somerset Village). The train was situated along Bermuda’s coast, making the Railway Trail a beautiful hike.
The railway closed in 1948 because it was not making enough money to pay for the upkeep. In 1964, the Railway Trail was born. Today, the Railway Trail is a 22-mile scenic path perfect for hiking or biking.
Map Of The Railway Trail
While the Railway Trail is a super easy hike, it can be confusing to follow, and the trail has many breaks. While I was researching the trail, I could not find a map or a list of all the breaks. So, I made one here.
Best Places To Stay In Bermuda
Every memorable trip starts with excellent accommodation options. Before we dive into what you must see in Bermuda, let’s explore the hotel and resort options.
These are 11 of the top-rated hotels in Bermuda. We’ve organized them by luxury, mid-range and budget.
Luxury Bermuda Hotels
- Hamilton Princess – The Hamilton Princess is probably the most well-known hotel in Bermuda. Known for its pink walls and luxurious accommodations, the Hamilton Princess is an excellent option for staying in a hotel rather than a rental. You will find shopping, tennis, multiple pools, golf, watersports, restaurants and more. The Princess is located in Hamilton, so you will have great options for dining and shopping on Front Street. There is a break in the Railway Trail in Hamilton, which you can find at Palmetto Park Railway Trailhead north of Hamilton or off South Road south of Hamilton.
- The Reefs Hotel – The Reefs Hotel is located just west of the famous Horseshoe Bay. At The Reefs Hotel, you will find stunning waterfront views, a fantastic beachside restaurant, and an infinity pool that overlooks the water. This pink hotel offers comfortable apartment-style rooms with views of the Reef’s Private Beach.
- Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa – Located just a nine-minute walk from Mangrove Cove and a twelve-minute walk from Long Bay Beach, the Mangrove Bay Resort has something for everyone. The hotel has a mixture of rooms and suites, sleeping up to ten people comfortably in a three-bedroom cottage.
- Rosewood Bermuda – Located in Hamilton, this resort has two outdoor swimming pools, a beach with a beachfront bar and an 18-hole golf course. The 89 rooms are a mix of king rooms, harbor view rooms, ocean view rooms and rooms that sleep up to three people.
- Prince Alfred Terraces – Perfect for anyone looking to hike the Railway Trail because of its fantastic location and amenities. Located in Sandy’s Parish, the beautiful Prince Alfred Terraces are three-bedroom two, two-bathroom condos with access to a private dock where you can swim, snorkel, and sunbathe. You will not have a problem finding the Railway Trail from Sandy’s Parish as the trail runs through the island.
Mid-Range Bermuda Hotels
- Royal Palms Hotel – This boutique hotel is located close to Fort Hamilton, just a ten-minute walk from Front Street and the Hamilton Ferry Dock. The hotel has 32 rooms, which are all individually furnished and it also has an outdoor swimming pool.
- Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Club – Complete with two restaurants, a full-service spa, an 18-hole golf course, a poolside bar, an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace. This hotel is located in Paget Parish.
- Pompano Beach Club – Located right on the beach, this hotel has an 18-hole golf course, a beach bar, a spa and an outdoor pool for guests to enjoy. The hotel is located close to Rockaway Ferry and Robinson’s Marina.
Budget Bermuda Hotels
- Willowbank Resort – Located near Scaur Hill Fort, this unique oceanfront hotel offers everything guests need for a great stay. The hotel has three room options: oceanfront rooms, garden view rooms and ocean view rooms, all sleeping up to three people. The hotel also features an outdoor tennis court, swimming pool and free self-parking.
- Coco Reef Bermuda – This hotel is located on the beach in Paget Parish, close to Elbow Beach, Front Street and Fort Hamilton. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, bike rentals, two tennis courts, and a private beach with sun loungers and windsurfing.
- The Oxford House – Located in Pembroke Parish, The Oxford House is within walking distance of the Hamilton Ferry Dock, Front Street and Fort Hamilton. The boutique hotel offers 12 individually furnished rooms which are available with a queen bed or a king bed.
Day One Hiking The Railway Trail
Somerset Village To Bermuda’s Botanical Gardens
On the first day of hiking the Railway Trail, I started my morning at De Island Shack, a lovely coffee shop in Somerset, next to the start of the trail. I got a coffee and oatmeal with fresh berries to give me energy for the long day of hiking.
I started my walk in Somerset Village after breakfast. This part of the hike has more trees and greenery than the other parts. There is a paved path that is easy to walk on, and there are no breaks until you get to Vesey Nature Reserve. The first break in the rail trail is from Vesey Nature Reserve to Greens Guest House, so for about half a mile, you will have to walk on Middle Road. While walking on Middle Road, you will come across Watsons Farm. If you need any food or water or want to pet the cute farm animals, it’s a perfect stop. I decided to grab a cinnamon bun and water at Watsons Farm.
After Wadson’s Farm, I hiked to Gibbs Lighthouse. If you are hungry, there is a restaurant at Gibbs Lighthouse.
Once you get to Gibbs Lighthouse, you will be close to the famous Horseshoe Bay. If you take a little detour, you can take a short taxi to Horseshoe Bay or walk. If you don’t choose to take the detour, Horseshoe Bay should be on your list for another time.
From Horseshoe Bay, I walked back to the rail trail until I got to the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, where the first section of the trail ends.
Eleven miles later, I was exhausted, so I took the Dockyard bus back to Sandy’s and jumped in the water.
Day Two Hiking The Railway Trail
Coney Island To Palmetto Park
On the second day of hiking, I woke up bright and early to catch the 8am ferry from Dockyard to Hamilton. Once I made it to Hamilton, I grabbed a coffee and egg sandwich at a cozy coffee joint called Brew on Front Street.
The bus station is a short walk away from the ferry terminal. I took the bus to St. George’s to start the second half of the Railway Trail.
The trail starts at a little nature reserve called Coney Island. Take some time to explore Coney Island if you can. There are unexpected lagoons and trails all over this tiny 14.5-acre island.
Walking south of Coney Island on the Railway Trail, you will find bridges above the bluest water, waves crashing against rocky cliffs, and hole-in-the-wall snack shacks that you must try.
My favorite bridge on the Railway Trail is Bailey’s Bay Bridge. Be careful resting your hand on the railing because it is made of plexiglass!
Once you approach Flatt’s Village, the trail can get very confusing. At the same time, a bridge is being built to make getting over to Flatt’s Village easier; as of now, you will have to walk to the North Shore Road bridge through Flatt’s Village. If you are hungry, there are plenty of places to eat in Flatt’s Village; I loved Village Pantry.
From Flatt’s Village, I followed the rail trail south and ended my hike at Palmetto Park.
Once you get to Palmetto Park, you will be close to Hamilton, so you can easily catch a bus or ferry or explore Hamilton.
Things To Do In Bermuda
1) Visit the Crystal Caves
Crystal Caves is one of the most famous attractions in Bermuda. Located in Hamilton’s Parish, the crystal caves were discovered by two local boys. The history of Bermuda’s Crystal Caves is fascinating, and you can learn all about it on a tour. Be sure to book ahead because the Crystal Caves will book up weeks in advance, especially during the summer.
2) Explore St. George’s
Once the capital of Bermuda, St. George’s, founded in 1612, is the oldest part of this tiny self-governing English territory. St. George’s has lovely restaurants, shops, and resorts. My favorite things to do in St. George’s are visiting Catherine’s Beach, Tobacco Bay, Drew’s Bay, The Unfinished Church, St. Peter’s Church, King’s Square, Wahoo’s Bistro and Cooper Island Nature Reserve.
3) Go shopping in Hamilton
When in Bermuda, you have to visit Hamilton. Hamilton has all of the best shops and restaurants. Explore the colorful Front Street and pop in a few shops. I also loved seeing Bermuda’s Botanical Garden in Hamilton.
4) Visit Dockyard
It is common for cruise ships to dock at a Dockyard, so you can imagine that it is tourist-friendly. You will find restaurants, ice cream shops, and boutiques for tourists. I stayed near Dockyard during the off-season and noticed that the shops and restaurants are only open if there is a cruise ship docked, so keep that in mind when planning your visit.
The Frog and Onion Pub stays open during the off-season.
5) Spend some time in Horseshoe Bay
Horseshoe Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The sand is pink and feels like baby powder. A little path connects Horseshoe Bay, Hidden Beach, Jobson’s Cove and Warwick’s Cove. The path makes seeing all these beaches easier in one day.
6) Go Crystal Kayaking
Once you arrive in Bermuda, you will immediately notice how clear the water is, so, of course, doing crystal kayaking in Bermuda is fantastic! You can do Crystal Kayaking at BDA watersports.
Best Places To Eat In Bermuda
- Intrepid – Located at the Hamilton Princess, Intrepid is one of the best options for fine dining on the island. Enjoy unique cocktails and delicious seafood while overlooking the Hamilton Harbor at Intrepid.
- Pearl – Located on Front Street in Hamilton, Pearl is a lovely sushi restaurant. I loved the Shake Maki roll and the Fried Dynamite Pearl.
- Woody’s – Woody’s is a local spot that serves the best Bermudian fish sandwiches. You will find a younger crowd and a fun environment at Woody’s. When the bell rings at Woody’s, it means free drinks!
- Village Pantry – Village Pantry is a lovely seafood restaurant in Flatt’s Village. You can also find an attached cafe at Village Pantry.
- Swizzle Inn – The Swizzle Inn is a famous bar and restaurant in Hamilton Parish. It is a must-visit when in Bermuda. Make sure you try the famous Rum Swizzle.
- Brew – Brew was my go-to coffee and breakfast shop while in Bermuda. Located on Front Street, Brew serves up amazing lattes and pastries. Brew is a great place to get work done, as there is a lot of seating.
- De Island Shack – Another great coffee and breakfast joint is De Island Shack in Somerset Village. The causal, De Island Shack, has a walk-up window to order from. It is perfect if you need a quick coffee.
- Birdcage – The Birdcage is a great place to grab some fantastic cocktails. Located on Front Street, the Birdcage has an extensive menu and serves no food.
How To Get To Bermuda
Most people visit Bermuda by plane or by cruise ship.
There is only one airport in Bermuda, the L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA). Bermuda is in high demand, making it very expensive to fly to. Here are all of the airlines that fly to and from Bermuda.
How To Get Around Bermuda
There is no Uber in Bermuda! So you will have to rely on taxis if you don’t want to use public transportation. To order Taxis on demand, download the Hitch Customer app. The taxis are expensive! (About $100 from one side of the island to the other)
There are four ferry routes you can take:
- Blue Route – Hamilton to Dockyard
- Pink Route – Hamilton to Paget
- Orange Route – Dockyard to St. Georges
- Green Route – Hamilton to Rockaway
Since I was located in the Dockyard, I took full advantage of the ferry. Taking the ferry from Dockyard to Hamilton is $5 and takes about 20 minutes. While I was in Bermuda, the ferry schedule was unpredictable. There may not be a ferry if there is no cruise ship on the island. The Ferry saved me a ton of money and time while in Bermuda.
The bus also saved me lots of money while in Bermuda. You can take a ride on the bus for 5 dollars. The bus goes from St. Georges to Dockyard with stops every few minutes. Buses stopped operating at 11pm while I was on the island.
Tourists are not allowed to rent cars in Bermuda.
Twizzy’s are like a mix between a moped and a car. You can rent Twizzy’s in Bermuda for $175 a day. Twizzy’s are 3-wheel vehicles that fit three people.
What To Bring On The Railway Hike
- Hiking Boots – Overall, the Railway Trail is flat and easy to hike, so you can avoid wearing regular sneakers. However, bringing a pair of hiking boots is never a bad idea. I love these!
- Socks – If you are walking for an extended period, I always recommend compression socks to reduce the chance of any foot cramps.
- Water Bladder – A water bladder is unnecessary, but it is good to have if you plan on hiking for a long time.
- Raincoat – The weather in Bermuda can be unpredictable, so bring a raincoat or poncho just to be safe.
- Gummy Bears – If you get tired but still want to push through to the end of the hike, bring gummy bears or some sugar. I bring them on every hike and have one or two when I feel tired, and they keep me going.
- Sunscreen – While parts of the railway trail are shaded, other areas have full sun. I love this kind because it is environmentally safe.
Everything You Need To Know About Bermuda
You will find that when you get a change in Bermuda, you will get both US dollars and Bermudian dollars; they hold the same value. It is best to keep cash on you because buses, ferries, taxis, and some shops don’t take cards.
- Currency – Bermudian Dollar
- Language – English
- Plugs – Types A & B
- Safety – Bermuda is very safe! Just take normal precautions
Best Time To Visit Bermuda
Bermuda is a seasonal destination. The island is most popular with tourists from June to September but never gets colder than 60. For hiking the Railway Trail, I would recommend going in the winter for mild weather and inexpensive prices.
Prices in the summer are much more expensive because it is the tourist season. If you are looking for more of a beach vacation, then summer is your best bet.
Bermuda Railway Trail Wrap Up
The best way to see and experience Bermuda is by hiking the Railway Trail. You will meet friendly locals along the way, stumble upon incredible viewpoints that only the locals know about, and discover some of the best restaurants on the island by hiking the Railway Trail.
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Bermuda. If you have any questions or advice to share with our readers, please leave these in the comments below.
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