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Fort James

Admire the view of the Caribbean Sea and St. John’s and examine the powder magazine and gun emplacements of this beachside fort.

Fort James comprises the remains of an 18th-century military structure that overlooks Fort Bay Beach. An array of intriguing artifacts remain from its time as an active colonial base built to defend the island against a French invasion. Piece together parts of Antigua’s rich history from the remnants of this fascinating fort.

Inspect the preserved cannons and imagine them being fired over the endless blue ocean. Snap photos of the excellent views of the verdant coast and the town of St. John’s. Walk beside the remaining foundation of the wall of the fort and see the powder magazine for a rough idea of the structure’s appearance centuries ago. It was initially constructed in 1706, before more buildings were added in 1739.

Note that the fort takes its name from King James II of England. The barracks lodged 75 men and contained 36 gun emplacements. Soldiers here fired daily gun salutes to friendly ships as signals at sunrise and sunset during the 1800s.

Dine at one of the small restaurants where the fort area meets the southern end of Fort Bay Beach. Try the seafood and chat with friendly staff. Younger members of the restaurant’s family often sell bracelets and souvenirs.

Make use of the restrooms and shower facilities on the stretch of sand. Although the beach is generally tranquil and has few structures, you can walk to another restaurant farther north along the beach. The beach and fort are free to visit and open to the public at all times.

Find Fort James at the southern cape of Fort Bay Beach on a promontory that juts out from the southwestern outskirts of St. John’s. Take a taxi from the cruise terminal and arrange your return pick-up time with the driver. Visit nearby sights, such as the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, Runaway Beach and Blackburn Park.


Guide to Exploring around Fort James


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Best Lodging Options Near Fort James

See all 306 properties near Fort James
Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa – All Inclusive
Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa – All Inclusive

Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa – All Inclusive

Five Islands VIllage, St. John's, Saint John
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly St John's resort is located by the ocean, within a 5-minute walk of Leeward Islands and Galley Bay. Hawksbill Beaches and Deep Bay Beach are also within 2 miles (3 km).

    Starfish Halcyon Cove Resort Antigua-All Inclusive CA $215
    Starfish Halcyon Cove Resort Antigua-All Inclusive

    Starfish Halcyon Cove Resort Antigua-All Inclusive

    Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Nestled on the beach, this Dickenson Bay resort is just steps away from Leeward Islands and Dickenson Bay Beach. Runaway Bay Beach and Marble Hill are also within 2 miles (3 km).

      Heritage Hotel CA $146
      Heritage Hotel

      Heritage Hotel

      Heritage Quay, St. John's, Antigua
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of St John's, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Leeward Islands and within 3 miles (5 km) of Fort James and Dickenson Bay Beach. Westerby Memorial and King's Casino are also within 5 minutes.

        Touch Therapies Guest House CA $130
        Touch Therapies Guest House

        Touch Therapies Guest House

        Fort Road, St. John's, Antigua
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Runaway Bay, this spa apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Leeward Islands and Fort James. Dickenson Bay Beach is 2 mi (3.3 km) away.

          Antigua Village Beach Resort CA $271
          Antigua Village Beach Resort

          Antigua Village Beach Resort

          Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Nestled on the beach, this Dickenson Bay hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Leeward Islands and Dickenson Bay Beach. Fort James is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) away.

            Shades of Grey
            Shades of Grey

            Shades of Grey

            Corner of Fort Road and Bay Street, St. John's, Saint John
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Runaway Bay, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Leeward Islands and Fort James. Dickenson Bay Beach is 2 mi (3.3 km) away.

              Yepton Estate Cottages CA $343
              Yepton Estate Cottages

              Yepton Estate Cottages

              Yepton Estate, St. John's, Antigua
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated on the waterfront, this cottage is within a 10-minute walk of Leeward Islands and Fort Barrington. Deep Bay Beach and Galley Bay are also within 2 miles (3 km).

                Siboney Beach Club CA $342
                Siboney Beach Club

                Siboney Beach Club

                Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Nestled on the beach, this St John's hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Leeward Islands and Dickenson Bay Beach. Runaway Bay Beach and Marble Hill are also within 15 minutes.