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Places to Visit

Places to Visit

St Helena has a wide variety of fascinating locations.  Jamestown, the island’s capital, can keep you well occupied for most of the day, however venturing further afield you will discover many reasons why St Helena is well known for its natural beauty and history – once an important and strategic location for many years.

Longwood House
Longwood House

Napoleon

For many visitors one name is linked to St Helena – Napoleon.  The French Emperor was exiled here from 1815 until he died in 1821.  Napoleon spent his first two months on the island at The Briars Pavilion and the last five and a half years, before his death in Longwood.  Visitors can experience for themselves how Napoleon lived and spent his time on the Island and walk in his footsteps.

Plantation House, St Helena

Plantation House

Plantation House is the residence of the island’s governor, as well as that of Jonathan, the oldest land vertebrate in the world – estimated to be around 186 years old or more.  Plantation House is also open for house tours.  The tour takes visitors on a viewing of both the ground and first floor, with a look at Jonathan and his companions.

Cenotaph Jamestown
Cenotaph Jamestown

The Cenotaph. Jamestown

A war memorial located at the seafront displaying names of islanders who lost their lives in World War II and a plaque listing crew names of those who lost their lives on the RFA Darkdale which was torpedoed off Jamestown by a German submarine, killing 41 people.

The Castle Gardens

Castle Gardens

From the Grand Parade walk straight and follow Main Street towards the centre of town.  On the left are the Castle Gardens, originally the garden of the East India Company.  Colourful plants and flowers bloom here, including some of the island’s endemic plants – like the rediscovered island ebony.  In the garden is a memorial to the Brig of war Waterwitch and her royal navy.  The middle of the gardens houses a fish pond and offers a nice area to relax and enjoy a picnic.

archive books

The Archives

Established in 1972, the archives holds records dating back to the earliest days of the East India Company and on to the crown administration.  They also comprise council and government records, newspapers and can offer the necessary information for family research.  For those interested in their family roots on St Helena, the archives can provide a tracing service, although this is done at a fee.

Jacobs ladder

Jacob’s Ladder

Built in 1829, as an inclined plane, which was used to haul manure up from town and send goods down. The ladder is 600ft high and has 699 steps, once you reach the top the location offers a good vantage point of lower Jamestown and sea views. Once you have completed the ladder, make sure you buy your souvenir certificate from the museum.

St James Church, St Helena

St James Church

The oldest Anglican church in the southern hemisphere dates from 1774.  This church stands near or around the site of the first chapel that was built on the island.  The interior of the church is quite large with high ceilings and above the alter.  Sun can be seen streaming though the stained glass windows.

St Helena Museum

The Museum of St Helena

Beautifully restored in a late 18th century building – opened 21st May 2002 to mark St Helena’s 500th anniversary.  The museum has two levels, which has an upper storey and downstairs levels including a small shop.  Exhibitions include local crafts, maritime and East India Company.

The Run
The Run Jamestown St Helena

The Run

This delightfully named channel, walled and concreted and no doubt continuously improved at every period of history, is presumed to follow the line of the original stream which watered the valley of Jamestown.  The run was paved with stone in 1857 and was built with a dual purpose – as a sewer for the town and to accommodate the water course.  It offers an alternative view of Jamestown.

Heart Shaped

Heart-Shaped Waterfall

A delightful waterfall located at the top of James Valley.  A trail has recently opened through the wild mango and scrub giving access to the foot of the waterfall.  The trail starts from Drummond’s Point on the Barnes Road track.  The flow over the fall is seasonal. It is possible to continue up the Barnes Road pathway to reach Francis Plain.

St Helena Distillery
St Helena Distillery

St Helena Distillery

The St Helena Distillery is located in Alarm Forest. Discover the delights of locally made Tungi spirit, White Lion rum, Midnight Mist coffee liqueur, and the island’s own ermuda Juniper flavored gin and see how they are made.

Castell-collection

The Castell Collection

The Castell Collection is located at Princes Lodge, the collection consists of a very interesting and vast collection of old lithograms and prints of St Helena.  Pre-arranged viewings are essential with an admission of £2.

St Paul's Church and Cemetery
St Paul's Church and Cemetery

St Paul’s Cathedral and Cemetery

Built in 1851 and became a Cathedral church of the diocese of St Helena in 1959, this church is surrounded by burial places for Anglicans, past Governors, Bishops, Clergy as well as military personnel dating back hundreds of years and other religious denominations.

observatory

Maskelyne’s Observatory

Site of Dr. Neville Maskelyne’s observatory.  He came to the Island in 1760 to study the transit of Venus over the sun’s disk.  He was later Astronomer Royal.

Dianas and cucold peaks

Diana’s Peak National Park, The Central Peaks

Diana’s Peak rises 823 metres above sea level and is the highest point on St Helena.  It is here in the national park that many of the island’s endemic plant species find refuge.  The endemic blushing snail also lives here.  On a clear day the views from the peaks is magnificent.

Justine's daughter looking out from Flagstaff

Deadwood Plain

The site of the Boer Prisoners of War camp, once previously surrounded by three barbed wire fences and guarded outside by patrolling soldiers.  The two main camps were Deadwood and Broadbottom which contained some 6000 prisoners, although the commandants were allowed to live outside the camp in comparative freedom, with few restrictions being placed on their movements.  Initially the prisoners lived in tents with cedar trees planted between the tents to act as wind breaks. Some of these windblown trees still survive today.  Deadwood is also home to the island’s only endemic bird, the wirebird.

Millennium Forest

Millennium Forest

Almost 5000 gumwood trees were planted as a conservation initiative to mark the millennium.  You can help to make this forest the great wood it once was by planting a gumwood tree, which is organised by the National Trust.

Boer-cemetary

Boer Cemetary, Knollcombes

Cemetery of the Boer prisoners that were imprisoned on St. Helena and died between 1900 and 1902 during the Anglo Boer War in South Africa. There is also a Baptist chapel whose cemetery has the grave of St Helena’s first local governor, Hudson Janisch.

high knoll fort

High Knoll Fort

The present fort dates from 1874 on the site of the original citadel that was built in 1798. It was built as a redoubt for the island’s population in the event of an invasion. High Knoll Fort commands superb views across much of the island. Some tour providers offer fortification tours where High Knoll is featured – please contact the Tourist Office for details.

halleys Observatory

Halley’s Observatory

Site of Edmund Halley’s observatory.  The famous Astronomer who arrived to St Helena in 1673 to map the stars of the southern hemisphere.  The Observatory is a revived star gazing site which also provides great land views of Longwood.  He set up a small stone observatory to catalogue the southern starts and observe the transit of mercury.  The location offers views of the South East of the island and the area now includes a sheltered area in which offers a more comfortable and safe viewing point.

Sandy Bay -

Sandy Bay Beach

Sandy Bay Beach has remains of fortifications and lines of rusting cannons lining the beach – which hints at the vulnerability of the island.  There is also evidence of St Helena’s lime kiln built so that limestone discovered here in the early 18th century could be fired and converted to lime to mix with mortor.

Shape Centre

SHAPE Centre

St Helena’s Active Participation in Enterprise (SHAPE).  Opened in late 2008, this centre is the headquarters of a new initiative which employs people with disabilities to produce local, quality crafts.  All money made from sales is put back into the enterprise, thus making it self-sustaining.  There is also a shop located at the market which sells souvenirs and gifts made by Shape clients.

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