Royal Naval Dockyard on Bermuda’s West End may be rich in history, but this hub of activity continues to stay at the forefront of modern trends. Once known as the “Gibraltar of the West,” Britain’s largest naval base outside the United Kingdom is now filled with adventure, local culture and luxury. West End Development Corporation (WEDCO) has been guiding the development of Dockyard since 1982 and strives to continually develop the area as a world-class destination built proudly on the past, with a clear view of the future.
On the heels of Dockyard’s distinction as the home of the 35th America’s Cup, this former 19th-century working dockyard continues to up the ante as a one-stop shop for almost anything a visitor to Bermuda should desire. Diving Into History After losing the American War of Independence in 1783, and with no American ports at their disposal, Britain sought a port in the mid-Atlantic, between Halifax and the West Indies, from which it could face off America and France and also easily access its interests in the Caribbean. Bermuda’s central geographic position, as you might
guess, made it a prime choice.
In 1809, slaves laid the first local stones that would become Royal Naval Dockyard’s foundation; and convicts from Britain followed as the next wave of labourers after emancipation. From the War of 1812 until just after World War II, Royal Naval Dockyard and the base played an integral role in strategic defence for Britain. It wasn’t until 1951 that the Royal Navy officially pulled out from Bermuda. And in the first years after the Bermuda government purchased Dockyard in 1953, the area saw little use and began to fall into disrepair. But soon enough, plans were set in motion to preserve Dockyard as a public gathering ground and park.
In a move that will bring the latest technology to this historically distinct site, visitors will soon be able to experience an immersive virtual reality environment at Royal Naval Dockyard. Guests will be whisked away and fully engrossed in a virtual world, made even more real by the sensations of movement and other sensory influences that truly engage the user in a digitally constructed environment. Another popular form of entertainment, the escape room, is available at Royal Naval Dockyard. At Locked on the Rock, visitors race against the clock to decipher clues leading to their release from the room, which features uniquely Bermudian themes like Casemates Escape, The Tucker Cross and Cupmatch Hangover.