Leisure & Recreation

Football on Francis Plain

There’s plenty of opportunity for the whole family to relax and enjoy St Helena life, from activities on the island itself to adventures on and in the sea. 

St Helena’s volcanic landscape makes hiking one of the most popular activities, one that offers quite spectacular views.

Post Box Walks

There are numerous footpaths and 21 ‘Post Box’ walking trails etched out for exploring the island, each with varying difficulty, length and scenery.  Proper footwear is essential and a guide is recommended for the challenging routes.

Whale Sharks

Surrounded by ocean, the Island is visited by whale sharks, humpback whales, is home to dolphins, devil rays, and a variety of fish which makes for great diving, boat trips, snorkelling and fishing.

Swimming in the Sea

Beaches however, are in short supply and because of strong currents and undertows, swimming in the sea is considered safe only, off the wharf in Jamestown, and from the black sand beaches at Rupert’s Valley and Lemon Valley, popular on weekends and holidays. 

Sandy Bay beach is fine for picnics and barbeques but is not safe for swimming.  The public outdoor swimming pool in Jamestown is open year-round. 

Activities such as Kayaking and Paddle boarding are possible in certain locations and recreational fishing is popular on the island.

Yacht Club

There is a small yacht club, for a small membership fee, you will have access to club house facilities on the seafront.

Dive Clubs

There are two dive club on the island, they offer a mixture of diving and fishing excursions as well as training opportunities.

Jonathan the tortoise


The island has a football and cricket league (new players always welcome), golf and skittle competitions, shooting, archery, badminton, tennis, squash, go-carting, boot camp, yoga and indoor gym facilities.

Tourist Attractions

Let’s not forget the main tourist attractions; Jonathan the 191-year-old tortoise (in 2023) the world’s oldest living land animal and oldest chelonian (ever), Napoleonic history, and the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder.

Home Entertainment

There are no cinemas, but there are a few DVD hire shops and it is advisable to bring a hard drive library of movies and box sets. With the upgrade of internet connectivity since October 2023, access to online streaming services has become more easily accessible.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Island restaurants and eateries offer a choice of casual dining to silver service, street food and takeaways.  It is advisable to book restaurant meals in advance as some open only on bookings.

The Inside St Helena app contains an extensive list of food venues, with details that include a description of the meals served, address, opening times and interactive phone, email and website/social media links.

Comprehensive listings can also be found on the St Helena Tourism website.

Local Media

There are two local radio stations; SAMS (South Atlantic Media Services) and Saint FM.  They run a radio service which broadcasts local programmes including news, announcements and advertisements and relay BBC World Service programmes.  They also compile weekly newspapers, the ‘Sentinel’ and ‘The Independent’ which contain local news, advertisements, etc.

Swimming with whale sharks

Swimming with whale sharks

There is a Public Library in Jamestown.  Whilst new books are purchased from a very limited budget, books are also donated from time to time.

Hair & Beauty Salons

There are a number of hairdressing salons, offering cuts, styling and colouring services. Salon’s do not currently offer the service of hair extensions/weaves. 

There are a couple of beauty salon’s offering massages, waxing, facials, manicures, pedicures and nail treatments.

A Peaceful Place

St Helena is a small Island, with a slow-paced lifestyle and is very remote from the ‘rest of the world’.  With this in mind, be prepared to catch a bout of island fever aka cabin fever; ‘claustrophobic irritability or restlessness from being stuck on an isolated location for an extended period of time’ (Wikipedia).  To help, it would be advisable to enjoy and explore the outdoors and get involved in the island community and activities. 

In this small community, it can be a case of everybody knows everybody, people are inquisitive of newcomers and generally likes to know what’s happening within their community.  Saints are known for their friendliness.

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