Tuesday, 12 April 2016


I'm just back from Anguilla in the northern Caribbean 
Just when you think you know a region like this, you find another island that turns everything you thought you knew on its head.
Anguilla wasn't that easy to get to - I flew from London to Paris, Paris to St Martin and then took a ferry to the lovely, old-fashioned ferry port at Blowing Point, Anguilla.
As soon as I stepped ashore I knew the journey was worth it.
The island is tropical, with swaying palms, white beaches and turquoise seas - but it differs from other Caribbean islands.There is a quietness here, a friendliness and an unspoilt feeling. There are no big hotels or chain restaurants. even the capital, called The Valley, has a sleepy atmosphere and the liveliest place turns out to be a row of simple food stalls called The Strip where locals and tourists alike enjoy barbeque.
The island has built a reputation for being the cuisine capital of the region because of the numbers of eating establishments and the quality of the food – you can dine in sophisticated restaurants like Veya at Sandy Ground and Da ‘Vida restaurant at Crocus Bay as well as the simpler home-style bars such as Blanchard's bech shack and stalls at The Strip such as Ken's BBQ .
But my favourite place to dine out is looking out to sea on Sandy island,  just a few minutes by sea shuttle from Sandy Ground pier, but it could be millions of miles away from civilisation with just some beach beds, the sound of the waves and a ‘sandy seafood salad’. This is just one of Anguilla’s little off shore islands and cays which are perfect for a day’s escape – others include Scilly Cay, uninhabited Prickly Pear cays or Sombrero Island.
Sailing is part of the island’s heritage and an experience not to be missed is a sail on a traditional West Indian sloop like ‘Tradition’ with the wind in your hair.
Back on the island, I make a visit to the slightly eccentric Heritage Museum where I meet local historian and personality Colville Perry who has stuffed the small building with photographs, objects and curios.
For more information visit the Anguilla Tourist Board: www.ivisitanguilla.com
Getting to Anguilla
Flights to Antigua start from £617. Fly via Paris with Air France to St Martin and then take the ferry to Anguilla, www.funtime-charters.com
Or fly to Antigua with BA or Virgin. Liat have now introduced a daily connection flight from Antigua to Anguilla which starts from $269 return www.liat.com

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