Time difference: GMT - 4.
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar (although US Dollars are widely accepted).
Population: Approximately 15000.
Visa information: Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory so holders of a British passport can stay for 3 months without a visa.
There are no direct flights from the UK to Anguilla so travel is usually via Antigua - fly from the UK to Antigua with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic (flight time approximately 8 hours) then onwards to Anguilla with a local airline (flight time 45 minutes).
It is also possible to fly to St Maarten via Paris with Air France (total flight time approximately 12 hours) then take a ferry to Anguilla (travel time 25 minutes.
Visitors to Anguilla can easily get about the island by taxi, with drivers who make excellent tour guides. It is also possible to hire a car but it is necessary to buy a temporary driving permit. Driving is on the left and roads might be bumpy with few street signs.
It is believed that Arawak Indians have lived on Anguilla for more than 3000 years. The island was not permanently inhabited until 1650, although there were occasional attempted settlements in the early years of European presence in the Caribbean, by the French in 1564, Spanish & latterly the Dutch from Sint Maarten, but these never became established.
It took the British six hard years of fighting local Amerindians as well as the occasional foray by the French & the Irish before the island became truly settled. But due to the poor soil and lack of water on the island the sugar and cotton economy was never established, with settlers and later slaves following emancipation relying on fishing & subsistence farming.
In 1825 Britain decided to annex Anguilla to St Kitts and Nevis, much to the reluctance of the local Anguillans. Despite the British rule, the locals were neglected and in 1967, when Britain attempted to create an Associated State of St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, forcing on Anguilla the prospect of Independence in association with the other two islands, they finally erupted! The Anguillians were emphatically against this and there was a peaceful revolution, forcing the St Kitts police off the island, blocking the runway and manned the ports. As the political situation deteriorated and after years of negotiations the island was invaded by British paratroopers, who in turn found themselves welcomed! On December 19, 1980, Anguilla finally became a separate Dependent Territory of Britain. Anguilla is now a British Overseas Territory.
The Culture of Anguilla is a unique combination of British traditions and colourful Caribbean spirit.Christianity is the predominant religion, with the majority of islanders being Anglican or Methodist.
The creative arts are all important parts of life on Anguilla. There is a flourishing local music scene, with live bands regularly playing calypso, reggae and soca at bars and nightclubs. Anguilla is home to a number of unique art galleries including one showcasing sculptures made from driftwood and another focusing on contemporary Caribbean pieces.
Sailing is the national sport of Anguilla, with a number of annual races taking place during the racing season which runs from April to August. These are lively events with barbecues, live music and dancing on the island’s beaches.