Sandy Bay is a valley in the south of the island, leading south-east from the heights of the Diana’s Peak range to the sea. Although you might expect its exposure to the Trade Winds would make it an uncomfortable place, the angle of the valley seems to give Sandy Bay a calm and gentle climate. The upper reaches are lush and farmed – much of the island’s coffee is grown here, as are bananas; the lower extent is arid. Many fish from the rocks either side of the beach.
Only 5% of the island’s population live in Sandy Bay, making it the second least populous district (after Blue Hill).
Geological features in Sandy Bay include the rock promontory Lot and also along the cost Lot’s Wife and the Asses Ears. A short (but not particularly easy) walk along the coast leads to Lot’s Wife’s Ponds, where it is normally safe to swim.
Sandy Bay is the home of SHAPE, which is housed in the old school buildings. Apart from that and the tiny Baptist Chapel, the main reason for visiting Sandy Bay is to go to the beach.
SANDY BAY BEACH
Beaches are in short supply on St. Helena; mostly the land meets the sea in a vertical cliff. Jamestown has an area known as the Seaside, but there is no sand, only rocks, and most of the area is taken up with the wharf. Rupert’s also has a small beach but because of the industrial nature of the valley is is used mostly as a barbecue venue. Sandy bay has a large sandy beach – albeit with black volcanic sand – which is ideal for beach activities such as a family picnic though there is a dangerous undercurrent which makes swimming inadvisable.
Also to explore in the immediate area are the old fortifications, mostly restored, and a restored Lime Kiln.