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Lemon Valley Bay - A view from our expert author


This sheltered bay with its calm, clear waters is justifiably popular with swimmers and snorkellers, and is a great place for rock pooling.

The valley was probably named for the abundance of lemons found here by early visitors to the island, though sadly no more. It has also served as a base for liberated slaves and a quarantine station, the ruins of which can still be seen behind the narrow stony beach. Today, the sheltered bay with its calm, clear waters is justifiably popular with swimmers and snorkellers, and is a great place for rock pooling. Natural rock ledges provide at least some shade, and cover for a few basic barbecues, so it’s a good spot for a picnic, too. It’s all pretty rudimentary – but then that’s part of the appeal. Toilets, though, are basic in the extreme. Most people access the bay by sea – either by motorboat or by kayak. For a small boat (up to four passengers), you can expect to pay about £30 return, or £100 for something larger. The alternative is to descend from near Rosemary Plain along the fairly strenuous Lemon Valley Postbox walk (6/6; 2hrs 45mins). The walk itself starts in Sarah’s Valley, a pleasant meander downhill with beautiful views across the valley, before it becomes steeper, with loose rocks making it potentially hazardous. If you don’t fancy the strenuous climb back up in the heat, you could arrange for a boat to pick you up later in the day.

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