Brimstone Hill – 4

Extract from Julian’s Journeys

Heading north from Brimstone Hill, the visitor next comes to the second largest town on St Kitts, Sandy Point, which was the focal point of the island’s tobacco trade and many of the old tobacco warehouses are still standing. Further along the coastal road is Rawlins Plantation, a great place for a lunch stop. The landscape is dotted with derelict sugar cane plantations that give some idea of the scale of the island’s former reliance on sugar. Dieppe Bay, the next village, is the start of the Atlantic Coast. The Black Rocks nearby are solid pyroclastic lava formations right by the water and are St Kitts’ outstanding natural sight. Ottley’s Plantation Inn on the way back to Basseterre makes another excellent food and rest stop after a day’s sightseeing.

Basseterre is the capital of St Kitts and Nevis. There are two Cathedrals, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral dating from the 1920’s and the older Anglican Cathedral, named after England’s patron saint St George. The independence fountain was built on the site of a former slave market and was a gift from Queen Elizabeth II in 1983 to commemorate St Kitts and Nevis’s independence. At the centre of town is The Circus, a roundabout containing the Berkeley Memorial Clock, which is modelled on Piccadilly Circus in London. It’s worth walking around town to see the traditional skirt-and-blouse houses where a solid stone ground floor is surmounted by wooden floors to allow more airiness during summer heat.

Most visitors just see the shiny new harbour facility, Port Zante, where cruise ships berth and which contains duty-free shops and souvenir stores. If you are on a cruise, a great way to see the island is on the Scenic Railway, which takes passengers on a 3-hour 30-mile tour around the island. 60% of the tour is on a train and 40% on a bus. The railway transported sugar cane from the sugar plantations to the factory in Basseterre.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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