Sandys Parish is the westernmost parish of Bermuda and was named for Sir Edwin Sandys. Sir Edwin Sandys helped to colonize the parish in the early 1600s. Sandys is pronounced simply “sands.” The parish is made up of five islands which are connected by bridges, with a main road running through them: Ireland Island North, Ireland Island South, Watford Island, Boaz Island, and Somerset Island. Somerset Island is the biggest island and was named for Sir George Somers who, with his crew, were the first settlers of the island. Sandys Parish has a population of just under 8,000 and covers an area of two and a quarter square miles. The Royal Naval Dockyard, located at Ireland Island North, is where the majority of cruise ships anchor.
The beaches of Sandys Parish include Hog Bay Beach, Daniel’s Head Beach, Somerset Long Bay Beach, Parson’s Bay, Black Bay, and Snorkel Park. Hog Bay Beach is quite secluded and does not receive many visitors. Snorkel Park, as the name indicates, is an excellent beach for snorkeling. There are many amenities at this beach, making it a great choice for families with children.
There are numerous attractions in Sandys Parish, particularly at the Royal Naval Dockyard. Attractions here include the Bermuda Maritime Museum, Dolphin Quest Bermuda, Bermuda Art Center, and Dockyard Glassworks. The Bermuda Maritime Museum showcases Bermuda’s maritime heritage in a 19th-century fortress. Visitors can swim with dolphins and feed them at Dolphin Quest Bermuda. The Bermuda Art Center is a workshop for local and resident artists. Visitors can see glassware items made right before their eyes at Dockyard Glassworks. There are no golf courses located in Sandys Parish, but there is a mini-golf course in the Dockyard called Bermuda Fun Golf.
Somerset Bridge is the smallest drawbridge in the world. Built in 1620, it is located just north of Hog Bay Park. Fort Scaur, located in Somerset, was built in the 19th century for the purpose of defending Bermuda from the United States.
There are a number of restaurants in Sandys Parish, many at the Royal Naval Dockyard. Café Amici, Beethoven’s Restaurant and Bar, Freeport Seafood Restaurant, and Bonefish Bar and Grill are all located at the Dockyard. The Frog & Onion Pub and Restaurant is located at the Kings Wharf Dockyard and is one of the oldest pubs in Bermuda. Salt Rock Grill in Somerset specializes in serving locally caught fish and sushi. The Tamarisk Dining Room is a fine dining restaurant located at the Cambridge Beaches Resort.
There is really only one major hotel in the Parish: the Cambridge Beaches Resort. Cambridge Beaches Resort is a luxury resort featuring 94 cottage style rooms and suites spread out over a 30-acre peninsula which overlooks Mangrove Bay and Long Bay. The resort has five private beaches, three restaurants, two heated outdoor pools, a spa, three tennis courts, a putting green, and croquet. Somerset is within easy walking distance of the resort. The only other available accommodations in Sandys Parish is the Garden House Bermuda with three apartments and two cottages available.