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Bahamas

Fort Fincastle Nassau Visitor Tips

Aerial view of Fort Fincastle
Aerial view of Fort Fincastle. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

A walking tour of Nassau Bahamas may include a brief stop at Fort Fincastle on top of Bennet’s Hill next to Queen’s Staircase.

The fort is about three-fourths of a mile from the Nassau cruise terminal.

Although it pales in comparison to other Caribbean forts, a visit to Fincastle is quick and somewhat worth the time in combination with Queen’s Staircase, which is less than 100 yards away. The dark and eerie staircase is 65 narrow steps carved deeply into solid limestone.

Fort Fincastle also was built out of limestone and erected in 1793 on top of Bennet’s Hill for a strategic view of Nassau and its harbor, according to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. It has the shape of a paddle-wheel steamer, and it acted more as a watchtower than a fort.

Like Queen’s Staircase, entry is free, although donations are encouraged. Daily guided tours are available between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The tours have more details about the fort’s history for anyone with the time and interest.

We were among several dozen visitors to the castle on the day we toured it. We decided to visit both the castle and the Staircase as something to do while walking around Nassau. It was a nice break from shopping.

The fort has a handful of old cannon and signs that offer details about its history. The best part of the visit for some people is the photographic views of Nassau and the harbor.

Between the fort and Queen’s Staircase, we found this side trip from the Nassau tourism district a decent although not spectacular use of our time. Even better, both attractions were free. It may offer appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of the island.

How to Get There

Fort Fincastle Location Map

Walkers will find getting there requires a moderate upward climb from the cruise docks. To reach the fort, take a right outside of the terminal and a quick left onto Parliament Street.

Pass Shirley Street and go left onto Hill Street and then right onto East Street. Finally, take a left onto Prison Lane. Take another left when Prison Lane reaches Greenwich Street. Parking is available for anyone who drives.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
August 25, 2021