ST HELENA is a subtropical island in the midst of the South Atlantic Ocean – one of the remotest islands on Earth.
At just 47sq. miles, the island is less than a third of the size of the Isle of Wight. And yet mountainous terrain and microclimates have created an entire world’s worth of landscapes and wildlife within this small space. It’s a paradise for keen walkers.
In one day you can go from the misty, Jurassic-like heights of Britain’s last cloud forest, to warm and gentle rolling
pastureland, to stark and sunny cliff-side scrambles that end in natural ocean rock pools and waterfalls. You can stroll through centuries-old fortifications and wonder at geological formations dating back millions of years. You can spot 500 plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth – including the Wirebird, whose total population of 602 is found only on St Helena.
Plus, with a population of just 4200 and relatively few tourists, you can explore in peace and tranquillity as one of few people, or the only person, on the path.
Post boxes & the pound
St Helena’s 21 ‘Post Box Walks’ showcase the island’s breath-taking diversity. Having completed all 21 is a title every visitor strives to get under their belt. The difficulty of terrain varies greatly for each walk – St Helena offers something for everyone.
And the walking is paired beautifully with the overall St Helena experience. As a British Overseas Territory, the island is comfortingly familiar. English is the spoken language. Pound is pegged to the pound sterling and the two currencies are used interchangeably on-island. St Helena is on GMT year-round, and the power supply is the same as the UK’s.
And yet the island is also heartwarmingly different. The Saints (as St Helenians are known) are renowned for being friendly and welcoming. British traditions like Sunday roast are coupled with island twists, like Saint curry. The pure
remoteness, the melting-pot history and culture, the globally important environment – there is no place on Earth like St Helena.
With weekly flights resuming from October 8th, and COVID restrictions lifting from August 8th, it’s the perfect time to book yourself a ticket out of UK winter and into this bucket-list, subtropical destination.