Caribbean Tourism

Scarborough

The town is pleasant but perhaps not worth an extended visit. In Scarborough itself the Botanic Gardens on the hill behind the Mall are worth a visit. There are also some interesting buildings, such as the House of Assembly on James Park (built in 1825), and Gun bridge, with its rifle-barrel railings.


New development has included a new deep water harbour and cruise ship terminal. Scarborough Mall is modern, concrete and rather tatty but most activity is around here: the tourist office, post office, library and bus station as well as the market, where you can find local varieties of fruit and vegetables, clothing, meat and fresh coconut water. There are banks on Main St. Just off Main St, George Leacock has turned his home into a museum, quite interesting.

Above the town is Fort King George, which is well-maintained and has good views along the coast. This fort reflects the turbulent history of the Caribbean. Building commenced in 1777, continued under the French in 1786 (Fort Castries), renamed Fort Liberté in 1790 after the garrison revolted, recaptured by the British in 1793, returned to France in 1801 and when the island was ceded to Britain in 1802, it was named Fort King George in 1804. It was decommissioned in 1854. There are two of artist Luise Kimme’s huge wooden figures in the middle of the parade ground which are very attractive. You can visit her workshop on Sunday but its best to ring first, T6390257.

At the Barrack Guard House is the Tobago museum, with an excellent display of early Tobago history including Amerindian pottery, shells, military relics, maps and documents from the slave era. Mon-Fri, 0900-1700, doors close 1630, adults US$0.50, children US$0.15. The gardens are attractive and well kept and there are excellent views over Scarborough. There are a number of historic buildings here which can be seen apart from the museum. Buildings include the Officers’ Mess, the Magazine (almost hidden under an enormous silk cotton tree), the Bell Tank (still with water in it and an amazing echo), a fine arts centre which has displays by local artists as well as a permanent exhibition. A number of cannon mounted on metal garrison gun carriages can also be seen. At the same location is a hospital through which you have to drive to get to the fort.

If you are driving around Tobago, the 1:50,000 map, usually available from the tourist office in Scarborough, at US$3.50, is adequate, although note that many of the minor roads are only suitable for four-wheel drive. If you are hiking, get the three 1:25,000 sheets, not currently available in Tobago but obtainable from the Lands and Survey Division, Richmond St, Port of Spain, or a good map shop abroad. It is possible to walk anywhere. There is book of trails.


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