Anguilla the Best of British in the Caribbean

The island nation of Great Britain is no longer as great as it once was, when the British Empire was the largest the world had ever seen. Over several hundred years the British sailed to, conquered and kept many places around the world. Most of the old empire has long been independent, but Britain still holds dear a number of, generally small, places that are still colonies of the Old Dart.

Anguilla, a group of just 21 islands and cays in the Caribbean is one of those. It is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles and is almost directly north of St Maarten/Martin (so named because one half of the island is Dutch, the other French).

As is common in the Caribbean, the majority of the population are descendants of slaves. The locals objected when, in 1976, the government of Great Britain arbitrarily decided, without any local consensus whatever, to include Anguilla in a new dependency with St Kitts and Nevis. The locals protested, expelled the St Kitts police and went independent for a while, until Britain sent in the paratroopers to restore order and now it is an overseas territory, effectively a colony of Britain.

Anguilla is, however, a pretty good place to vacation, even if it is a bit ritzy these days. The fact is, that if you are looking to rest in a good hotel by a beach for a while, then Anguilla does brilliantly match those demands.

There are 33 beaches on Anguilla, most of which are pristine and some of which have been described as being amongst the world’s best beaches. Bear in mind that the main island of Anguilla is just 26 kilometres (16 miles) long and 5kms (3 miles) wide. One of these beaches, Shoal Bay, is an exceptionally pretty beach and is considered to the best in Anguilla.

Although Shoal Bay is the busiest of Anguilla’s beaches, it is not busy in the sense of having huge masses of people try to crowd themselves on the beach. In Anguilla “busy” simply means that there are more than a few people on the beach.

Getting to Anguilla can be a bit of a hassle as there are no direct air services between the island and Europe or continental America. The island does have an airport, but it services nearby islands such as Puerto Rico, St Kitts, St Maarten/Martin and Antigua, with St Maarten/Martin being just a seven minute flight away.

The other way to reach Anguilla is by ferry from St Maarten/Martin.

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