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Where Did Bermuda’s Beaches Get Their Names

You probably know something about Bermuda's beaches - that pink sand, the crystal clear waters, the evocative coastal cliffs. But do you know the stories behind the names of Bermuda's beaches? We've rounded up some of the most interesting tales.

West Whale Bay

| Credit: Vlad Klikfeld

West Whale Bay Beach

Located at the western end of Southampton Parish, West Whale Beach offers a calm, scenic escape, with craggy cliffs surrounding a stretch of Bermuda's classic pink sand. Its name comes from the fact that it was near the island's whaling grounds in the 18th century. Happily, whaling is long gone from these shores – but West Whale Beach remains one of the best places to spot migrating humpback whales in the spring.

Horseshoe Bay Beach

Turquoise water and pink sand at Horseshoe Bay

This one is easy. Horseshoe Bay Beach, thought by many to be Bermuda's signature beach, is in fact shaped like a horseshoe. The best way to get a glimpse of its romantic, pink sand curve is to clamber up the rocks on either side of the beach that jut out into the water. A perfectly "Bermudaful" photo op! 

Jobson's Cove

Jobson's Cove on Bermuda's South Shore

Bermuda's most beautiful beach? Maybe! This secluded, sheltered spot was named for William Jobson, an early colonist who owned this part of the island in the 17th century. William passed away all the way back in 1688, but the beach that bears his name still attracts thousands of people every year, who love Jobson's Cove for its great snorkelling opportunities and refreshing serenity.

Chaplin Bay Beach

Chaplin Bay Beach

You might think of Charlie Chaplin when you hear the name Chaplin Bay Beach, but this lovely spot on the South Shore actually got its name from one of Bermuda's earliest settlers, Edward Chaplin, who arrived here in 1635 at the age of 20. Chaplin distinguished himself for his work in the local militia and was rewarded with ownership of the area now known as Chaplin Bay Beach. Of course, Charlie Chaplin does have a Bermuda connection – the beloved entertainer's wife, Oona O'Neil, was born here, and their family visited regularly.

 

Elbow Beach

Elbow Beach

Another easy one – Elbow Beach is shaped like the curve of your elbow. But don't worry, there's plenty of elbow room on this mile-long stretch of pink sand and gentle surf. 

Tobacco Bay

Tobacco Bay Beach

Bermuda's first inhabitants found many unfamiliar things when they arrived on the island in the early 1600s: Pink sand! Wild hogs that made unearthly noises in the night! And tobacco plants! Tobacco was a novelty to Europeans, though it would become a major part of the New World economy. In honor of the bountiful crop, the colonists named this lovely slice of sand Tobacco Bay Beach – though Summer Friday bonfires generate the smoke here today.   

 

Stonehole Bay

Stonehole Bay

An extremely pretty South Shore destination, Stonehole Bay earned its unusual name from … well, a hole in a stone! There's a gorgeous coral rock formation on top of a cliff here that provides a natural "framed" view of the beach. 

 

John Smith's Bay

John Smith's Bay Beach

Captain John Smith led quite a life – he was renowned as a soldier, author, explorer of the New World, and most famously, the paramour of Pocahontas. But in Bermuda he's remembered primarily as a cartographer. Smith drew the one of the first maps of the island. And for his efforts, Bermudians named a beach and bay after him.