Life on Anguilla is slow and easy, with the main attraction for a holiday here being the superb beaches which are perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The island’s most stunning beaches include Meads Bay, Sandy Ground and Shoal Bay - regularly referred to as the world’s best beach.
There are plenty of water sports on offer including scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking and sailing, the island’s national sport. Many of the resorts on Anguilla have facilities offering motorised and non-motorised water sports.
On dry land, horse riding is available at one of the island’s two stables. Cuisinart Golf Club is an 18-hole championship golf course overlooking the south coast with views of St Martin.
Politician and island notable, Sir Emile Gumbs, leads walking tours to remote places on Anguilla and talks about the island’s history (tel: 264 497 2711).
Anguilla is a great place for Bird watching - the salt ponds around the island provide and excellent habitat for some 136 species of birds including great blue herons, sandpipers and snowy egrets.
The Anguilla Sea Turtle Project is committed to preserving four varieties including the leatherback and loggerhead turtles who arrive on the beaches between April and November to lay their eggs - visitors can witness the nesting and hatching of these sea turtles.
Children and adults alike can swim with dolphins at the Dolphin Discovery Centre, where there are a variety of packages on offer which include at least 30 minutes in the water.
Visitors can go on boat trips to visit the many cays and beaches that are only accessible from the water. A popular excursion is to the nearby Scrub Island, an uninhabited island with a beautiful white sand beach, fascinating sea caves and a more wild interior which is home to an old airstrip and abandoned resort.
See ‘When to go’ for more information about local events.
Anyone interested in the history of the island should take a little time out to visit the Anguilla Heritage Museum. Founded and maintained by Colville Petty OBE, an authority on Anguilla's history, the museum is a journey through time via an impressive array of archeological and historical artifacts.
Most architectural places of interest are located in and around The Valley, Anguilla’s capital city. The Anguilla Heritage Trail takes in 10 historic sights across the island, including historic homes, the former Court House and the old Cotton Gin House. Visitors can follow the trail with a map, roadside markers and plaques at the places of interest.
Anguilla offers a range of outstanding dining options, from beach shacks to award-winning restaurants offering creative cuisine in a sophisticated setting. Local specialities include rice and peas, barbecued crayfish with hot Johnny cakes and fried fish sandwiches.
Some of the best restaurants in Anguilla are found within the luxury resorts, while other highly recommended dining venues include intimate and romantic Veya, characterful Tasty’s and sophisticated Blanchards. Just next door is Blanchards Beach Shack, set right on Meads Bay and serving typical Anguillan dishes in a more casual setting.
As with most Caribbean islands, rum punch is a popular drink that is found in nearly every bar. Malliouhana boasts one of the Caribbean’s largest wine cellars and offers regular rum and wine tasting sessions with experienced members of staff who allow guests to taste and learn about different varieties.
Nightlife on Anguilla is mainly centred around the beach bars. On Friday and Saturday nights Sandy Ground is a popular hang out, often with live music, whilst the Sunday lunchtime session is mellower!