The Nassau Queens Staircase is a set of steps located on Nassau Island, and is a prominent part of any Nassau tour for guests. The set of 65 steps was carved out of the natural limestone wall that once rested in its place by slaves between 1793 and 1794. The Queens Staircase is 102 feet tall, and was so named in honor of Queen Victoria.
Originally, the Queens Staircase was built to provide British troops a protected route to Fort Fincastle, and the slaves used were local peoples from the island. Fort Fincastle was built on the highest point of the island as a lookout by the British captain Lord Dunmore in 1793. The Queens Staircase and Fort Fincastle were inspired by a desire to watch for encroaching marauders and pirates, however, none ever attacked and the fort is now a lighthouse that tourists can view.
The Nassau Queens Staircase also provides access to: Gregory Arch, a tunnel cut right through the hill in 1850, St. Andrew's Kirk, the Government House, Prospect Ridge, Straw Market, the Christ Church Cathedral, the Vendue House, and the old Graycliff hotel. As a part of any Nassau tour by foot, the Nassau Queens Staircase is the gateway to most of the best Nassau tour sites.
To plan a walking tour of the Queens Staircase and the other historical sites that it leads to, guests may pick up walking tour maps at the main Nassau Island tourist center. Tourists looking for a guided tour are also in luck. Nassau tourist guides are available for walking tours of these historic sites, and tours may be booked through the main tourist center or usually through your hotel's concierge service. One of the advantages of seeing the sites with the leadership of a Nassau tourist guide is having access to the knowledge of the Nassau tourist guide. Seeing these sights while you are provided with a little history and additional information about the area can be helpful and educational.
To reach the Queen's Staircase and the rest of these great sites, you'll likely want to start in New Providence, in Rawson Square. This way, you can also see some of the old town. If you do start in Rawson Square and make your way to the stairs, through the sites, and back to the square, you should expect to spend about 2 hours, depending on how quickly you walk, roundtrip. Weekends are the busiest times for visiting most of these locations, so if you are hoping to escape the crowds, you will want to take your tour during the week. Businesses such as the straw market will usually close down around 4pm, so take your tour during the day if you'd like to shop or visit a cafÉ. If you plan to book any other Nassau Island tours, such as the dolphin encounter or sea walking, you may plan them during the second part of your day.