The Essential Guide to Bermuda's Horseshoe Bay Beach

A wide shot of Bermuda's Horseshoe Bay Beach
••• Michael DeFreitas / robertharding

If you go to only one beach in Bermuda, make it Horseshoe Bay. The stretch of sand is arguably Bermuda’s most iconic, with gentle turquoise water, jagged cliffs, and that signature pink sand. 

Beach & Water

This is Bermuda’s most famous beach, so expect some crowds (especially when cruise ships are in town). People tend to cluster right at the entrance, near the Rum Bum Beach Bar; venture east for a little more space, provided a longer walk to the restrooms and café isn’t an issue.

Families with small children should camp out on the western edge of the beach at Horseshoe Bay Cove, a natural shallow pool that’s perfect for toddlers who want to splash and wade. 

More adventurous beach-goers can walk farther east, around the first rock formation, to Butt's Beach. The small sandy cove is protected on either side by cliffs, which keep major waves at bay and create a calm pool for floating. You can walk for more than a mile along the shore, exploring tidal plung epools, calm inlets, and practically deserted sands.  

Facilities & Logistics

  • Horseshoe Bay Beach is a free, public beach. 
  • Chairs and umbrellas are available for daily rentals at Rum Bum Beach Bar; chairs cost $18 and umbrellas cost $15 for the day.  
  • A package of four chairs, two pop-up tents, and a bucket of ice water costs $150 for the day. 
  • Public restrooms and foot showers are available next to the café.
  • Lifeguards are on duty during the summer high season.  
     

    Food & Drinks

    The no-frills Rum Bum Beach Bar serves beach standards—hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream bars—as well as local favorites like fish & chips and fish cakes. Grab your snacks to go at the quick-service counter, then sit at one of the nearby picnic tables, stake out a spot at the neighboring bar, or bring the grub back to your beach towel.

    The bar itself often has live music and serves up umbrella drinks galore. We recommend a rum swizzle or a dark and stormy, both made with Bermuda’s own Gosling’s Black Seal Rum; cold beers and ciders, mini bottles of Prosecco, and plenty of frozen drinks—both alcoholic and virgin—are also for sale. Drinking is allowed on the beach, so feel free to grab your cocktail to-go or ask for six-pack to take back to your chair. The bartender will package the brews up in a bag with ice, so you don't have to leave your chair until it's time for a dip in the water. Credit cards are accepted.

    Transportation

    Public transportation makes it easy to get to and from Horseshoe Bay. Bring cash for minibuses, taxis, and single-ride public bus fares. 

    • Local minibuses cost $7 a person to and from the Royal Naval Dockyard. If you’re lucky, a friendly local driver will narrate the ride with fun facts and history about the island. Plenty of buses are available in the afternoon, especially around 3 p.m., when cruise-shippers head back to their boats. A note for cruisers: Many cruise ships sell shore excursions to Horseshoe Bay that include transportation to and from the beach, but the minibuses are readily available both at the dockyard and at the beach; you can easily DIY the excursion—just allot enough time on the return so that you don't miss embarkation. 
    • Public buses start at $3.50 per person. The Route 7 local bus connects Hamilton and the Royal Naval Dockyard (where many cruise ships dock), with stops along the south shore beaches, including Horseshoe bay. Unlimited public transportation passes start at $19 (for one day) and go up to $69 (for seven days). Passes for public buses are available at local post offices, visitor information centers, the Royal Naval Dockyard, the Hamilton Ferry Terminal, and at some hotels. 
    • Government-regulated, metered taxis are available across the island; there are typically a few waiting in the Horseshoe Bay parking lot.
    • Scooter parking is available at the bottom of Horseshoe Bay hill, near the beach entrance.

    Pro tip: Whether you ride a scooter, hail a taxi, or hop on a public bus to Horseshoe Bay, make sure to look over your shoulder at the top of the hill for a perfect photo-op of the beach.

    The aerial view shows off the beach's namesake shape, and the pink sands pop against the turquoise of the water.