- Fort Scaur Hill Park is in Somerset Island located at the west end just a few meters after Somerset Bridge when you are heading towards the Royal Naval Dockyard. This is one of the best place to go to and be amazed with the panoramic views it offers.
The construction of the fort begun in the 1860s during the time of troubled relations between Great Britain and the United States. A short narrative on one of the exhibits inside the fort states:
“This fort was intended to protect the landward side of the Royal Naval Dockyard against any enemy attack from the south shore beaches.
Completed by the Royal Engineers in the 1870s, it was known as the Somerset Position (later Fort Scaur). This defensive work was in essence a massive dry moat that cut across the entire island. Virtually invisible from the sea, it was a hybrid of traditional “pentagonal” fort design and the new “open” battery system.
A central fort commanded the ditch and parapet. It was armed with two 64 pounders Rifled Muzzle Loader guns mounted on Moncrieff disappearing gun mounts. Defenders could also fire an attacking infantry from the protective parapet, counter scarp galleries and a small Caponier or guard house.”
What to do in Bermuda? Or in this case in Scaur Hill?
The park can be accessed for FREE, from sunrise to sunset through the main entrance via the Somerset Road. There’s a wide car park and picnic area on top of the hill. So you can bring your car or scooter or bike with you.
Or you can have a hike through a short nature trail via the Railway Trail. It’s a nice and perfect way to get your exercise even if you are on a tour.
Within the complex, there are various underground rooms within the complex. They used to be a barracks for soldiers and storage rooms for supplies and ammunition.
You can go and explore the rooms. Lights are installed for easy access. There are exhibits in some of them, others are just filled with empty spaces. The underground rooms remain cool even if it’s hot outside.
I did not see any dungeon or maybe there’s one but I just don’t know where it is located. The fort was built to defend the island against possible attack from the Americans that did not happen. A few years after, the Americans are stationed in the fort to defend the island in World War II.
Aside from the historical significance of the fort, it is now one of Bermuda’s scenic garden offering so many views. Bring your picnic mats and foods and you will definitely find your own perfect spot. Around March-April, just before winter ends and spring just started, you can see seasonal flower blooms. Mostly white colored flowers, but there are some violet and yellow as well.
You can spend the rest of the day sitting in various wooden benches scattered around the fort and within the surrounding garden. The views from the fort is breath taking and relaxing at the same time.
A lot of Photogenic Spots
Prepare your camera and memory sticks. You will never run out of picture perfect corner. The park is open daily so if you have the chance, don’t skip Scaur Hill Fort Park in your itinerary.
Just bring your own drinks and food. There are no vendors within and outside the park. Bermuda is not your typical tourist destination where in every inch of square, there are vendors walking around. The park offers a clean restroom too. So no worries when you feel the urge of nature calling you.
How to get there?
Coming from the city of Hamilton or the Royal Naval Dockyard, take Bus #7 or #8 and let the bus captain know you are getting-off at the bus stop nearest to Fort Scaur Hill. If you will get-off near the Somerset Bridge, you can choose to walk through the main entrance facing Ely’s Harbour or walk through the Railway Trail facing the Great Sound.
Have a few more bucks to spend? Then you can take a taxi, hire a scooter or an electric mini car and drive yourself all the way to the park.