With the exception of the UK there is probably no country with a stronger link to James Bond than Jamaica. Ian Fleming fell in love with the former British colony while attending a naval conference there during the Second World War and decided immediately to build a holiday home there when hostilities ended.
Following the war he located plot of land suitable to build his dream home that was located on the north shore of the island near Port Maria. There he built the rather basic villa he named Goldeneye where for the rest of his life he would escape the London winter every year for two months and where, in February 1952, he started to write Casino Royale.
Today the original house is part of the Goldeneye complex owned by Christ Blackwell’s Island Outpost, which in addition to Fleming’s house has added a number of other homes in the grounds. In many respects it is a shame to have done so, but it does make staying at the resort a little more affordable than Fleming’s house itself, which is still furnished with his writing desk. Access to the resort is controlled, although you may be allowed in to wander the grounds.
Fleming set part of Live And Let Die in Jamaica, as well as Dr No, The Man With The Golden Gun and the short story Octopussy; you can use these stories as the basis of your explorations. In each he travelled by road, and you can hire a car and follow a similar route, as we’ve previously written about.
The capital of Jamaica is Kingston, and here you can visit a number of locations from Dr No, including King’s House and the Liguanea Club, which was used to shoot the Queen’s Club scenes (and the Three Blind Mice). Also be sure to check out the Bob Marley museum.
Wander about Kingston Harbour and and dine on lobster and steak, as Bond and Quarrel do in the novel Dr No, or simply broiled lobster and champagne at Morgan’s Harbour Hotel just like Bond and Mary Goodnight in The Man With The Golden Gun; you’ll also recognise it as the bar in which Bond fights Pussfeller in Dr No.
You can do as Ian Fleming did on his first visit to Jamaica and stay in Blue Mountains, where Bond pays Miss Taro a visit. While you’re in Jamaica be sure to sample the famous Blue Mountain coffee, which is among the best in the world.
When Fleming first came to Jamaica it was far off from the tourist destination it is today. For the true 007 experience head to the north shore and the area for Goldeneye so that you can get an idea of the kinds of view that inspired the James Bond books, as well as a number of locations used when filming Dr No and Live And Let Die. Heading west along the coastal road you will eventually get to Seven Mile Beach and the town of Negril.