In the footsteps of... Ian Fleming

Retrace the steps of James Bond author Ian Fleming in Jamaica and discover his Goldeneye bungalow on the Caribbean island

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Published 25 Oct 2014, 11:00 BST, Updated 1 Jul 2021, 14:44 BST

In 1946, James Bond creator Ian Fleming snapped up 15 acres of land on a hill above a small cove in Jamaica. On this scenic spot he built a bungalow, which he christened Goldeneye, and from then on resided here every January and February until his death in 1964, writing a new Bond novel each year in the Caribbean sunshine.

Today, his bungalow — renamed the Fleming Villa — is part of the luxury GoldenEye resort. And to commemorate the recent release of a book on Fleming's Jamaica (see below), it's introduced a special Footsteps of Fleming package. Guests are given a guided snorkelling tour of the author's favourite reef plus the chance to meet the resort's gardener, Ramsey Dacosta, who used to work for him. Those who opt to stay in the Villa can also have dinner at the British writer's favourite spot, the Sunken Garden; sit at the desk where he wrote all 14 Bond books; and relax on Coral Beach, where he and his friends swam every morning. In addition, guests will visit Firefly, the Jamaican home of Fleming's long-time neighbour and friend Noël Coward.

The Bond creator set three of his 007 novels in Jamaica — The Man with the Golden Gun, Live and Let Die and Dr No. The movie of the latter was also filmed on the island — its most famous scene, where Ursula Andress emerges from the sea in a white bikini — was shot at Laughing Waters beach, at the bottom of Dunn's River Falls.

Where Bond was born

Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born

, by Matthew Parker, puts the spotlight on Fleming's love affair with Jamaica. It focuses on the island's clique of literary figures and Hollywood giants, of which Fleming was a part, and contrasts their extravagant lifestyles with the poverty and prejudice experienced by many of Jamaica's black residents in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. The book draws on extensive interviews with Fleming's family, his Jamaican lover, Blanche Blackwell, and many other islanders. RRP: £20 (Hutchinson).

Published in the November 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)




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