The seaward turn-off from Shirvan Road at Buccoo Junction runs past a small supermarket and into BUCCOO village, haphazardly built around the calm and beautiful bay that shares its name. Fishing remains a major industry here – the day’s catch is cleaned and sold next to the beach when the boats return in the late afternoon – but this close-knit community is best known for the weekly Sunday School shenanigans and for the annual Easter goat races, now held at a smart purpose-built track and pavilion behind the new Buccoo Integrated Facility, a rather incongruously large concrete complex just back from the beach which encompasses a dancefloor used for Sunday School, an upstairs seafood restaurant, craft vendors’ booths, a rather desultory tourist information kiosk and a big car park.
The beachfront immediately in front is primarily the preserve of fishermen and not really a place to swim, but the undeveloped, palm-lined western fringe of the bay is gorgeous, with clean water and plenty of shells and coral fragments to collect. Trees and mangroves separate the beach from the Bon Accord Wetland, and if you walk right to the end of the sands and clamber into the bush, you can explore the remains of the house that Britain’s Princess Margaret stayed in during a Tobago sojourn in the late 1950s. Note that many of the coastal trees here are toxic manchineels; offenders have a white strip painted around the trunk.