Picture a maritime fishing village in your mind, complete with a rugged coast, once-colorful but now faded clapboard buildings, a church with a steeple, and of course, a lighthouse, and you’ve just pictured Peggy’s Cove. This little village on the Atlantic coast, not far from Halifax, is everything you could hope for. I only wish I had more time to spend there.
Peggy’s Cove is located on Route 333, part of Nova Scotia’s scenic Lighthouse Route. You can get there two ways: either via Trunk Route 3 and Route 333, or by Highway 103 and Route 333. Both ways will take about 45 minutes, since Peggy’s Cove is on the far side of the peninsula.
The sky was getting cloudy,and the sun was about to set, as I closed in on Peggy’s Cove. Coming from Lunenburg, it’s a slow ride on Trunk Route 3 as you navigate around every inlet.
Just a couple kilometers north of Peggy’s Cove, you can catch your first glimpse of the town…
… at a roadside memorial to the lives lost on Swissair Flight 111. The flight took off from Halifax on September 2, 1998, and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near this site.
The crash victims are memorialized on this granite sculpture, just a short walk from the parking area.
After paying my respects, I continued on into Peggy’s Cove, where the obvious place to stop…
… is at the lighthouse at the end of town. Peggy’s Point Lighthouse dates back to 1914. The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society suggests it might be the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
In other words, it’s a very popular tourist destination. And as such, you’ll probably have a hard time taking a picture of it without a dozen other tourists bobbing in and out of the frame.
I had some luck hiding the people behind some rocks, while catching the lighthouse’s reflection in one of the pools of water on the rocky shoreline.
The possibilities for photographing this lighthouse are almost endless, and I barely had time to scratch the surface as the daylight faded.
The coastline around the lighthouse is wonderfully hike-able, and you can do a lot of boulder-hopping as you explore. Just keep in mind…
… the lighthouse itself carries this warning, that death rewards the careless sightseer. Well that’s a bit of a downer.
Near the lighthouse, there’s a popular restaurant and gift shop, which provide ample parking near the rocks. I didn’t have time to eat there, but judging by the crowds, it must have been good.
I spent the final few minutes of daylight driving back through the village…
… where even more photo locations await.
In addition to the houses that overlook that perfectly-still, glassy water…
… you’ll also want to see the town’s church. St. John’s Anglican Church was constructed in 1894.
But as you can see… it was getting very dark.
I left Peggy’s Cove and continued the loop around the peninsula on Route 333, headed towards Halifax and my motel in Dartmouth. I saw a dozen more places I would have liked to photograph, but it really was too dark. So much of this road passes alongside calm inlets with mirror-like water. It would have been a joy to photograph. I did make one final stop…
… at the town of Bayside…
… where this boat seemed to float in mid-air.
Here’s a look at the drive around the peninsula on Route 333, including my stops in Peggy’s Cove:
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The Bottom Line
If you’re planning a visit to Halifax, I’d strongly recommend taking the time to drive the Route 333 loop, and including a stop in Peggy’s Cove. It’s one of Nova Scotia’s most recognizable and iconic landmarks, and it’s fun to visit. Try to allow some time for wandering around on the rocks and exploring the rest of the village.