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Stanley, formerly known as Port Stanley, is the capital of the Falkland Islands. This city was founded in 1843, and as of 2012 the town had about 2,100 inhabitants (about 3/4 of the archipelago's inhabitants).
Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, Stanley was a major repair stop for boats travelling through the Straits of Magellan. The rough waters and intense storms found at the tip of the continent forced many ships to Stanley Harbour, and the ship repair industry helped to drive the island economy. Later, support for the Antarctic sealing and whaling boats became a major industry. Today, the vast majority of the town's residents are employed by the government, with tourism also being a major source of employment; on days when two or more large cruise ships discharge their passengers by tender, the tourists may outnumber the local residents.
It's rainy and cool around the year with strong westerlies, so pack warm and weatherproof clothes. Located in the Southern Hemisphere, seasons are inverted from Europe or North America, however hot summer days or double-digit negative temperatures during the winter are practically unheard of. Also, monthly amounts of precipitation are pretty much the same with 11 to 17 rainy days each month.
- See also: Falkland Islands#Get in
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Arrivals to Stanley either come by boat or from the airport. Most large cruise ships will discharge their passengers by tenders (the lifeboats) near the centre of town and allow passengers time to roam the city and possibly take trips by vehicle to nearby wildlife sites.
When arriving by air, passengers will come in from Mount Pleasant airport, which is located 56 km from town. As of 2016 LAN flies there from Santiago de Chile, Punta Arenas and Rio Gallegos and the Royal Air Force also takes passengers on their flights from Brize Norton, Oxfordshire via Ascension. Taxis and a shuttle bus can drop passengers off anywhere within the town. The smaller airport located just outside of town is used for domestic flights by Falkland Islands Government Air Service, although it is possible to land on an international flight at Mount Pleasant airport and then take a domestic flight to Stanley.
Stanley is a small town, so walking is probably the best option for seeing the sights.
There are two taxi services operating within Stanley that service the town and the surrounding area.
- Bonners Taxis, Tel: 51126
- Town Taxis, Tel: 52900
- The Falkland Islands Museum, ☎ . Extensive information about the 1982 conflict, as well as history of the Falklands and some exhibits on Falkland Islands flora & fauna.
- Christ Church Cathedral. This cathedral is the southernmost cathedral in the world. The much-photographed arch in front of the cathedral is made from the jawbones of two blue whales, and was made in 1933 to celebrate 100 years of British rule on the islands.
- St. Mary's Church, 12 Ross rd. The wooden cathedral from 1899 is the only Catholic church on the Falkland Islands. On the western wall there are oil murals by the local artist James Peck.
- Government house. The mid 19th-century residence of the governor is listed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, and was also where the explorer Shackleton stayed during his Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
- 1982 memorial. Falklands War memorial, erected to the memory of the British troops. There are several other Falkland War memorials around the town.
- Stanley Cemetery. The final resting place for islanders who died in both World Wars and British Falklands War casualties. Also features a war memorial.
- Gypsy Cove. A fifteen-minute drive from town that can be easily arranged by taxi, Gypsy Cove is often the first place that visitors to the Falklands will encounter penguins.
- Community centre. The town's community centre has a sports centre including the only public swimming pool on the islands, a library and a grass football pitch with regular games.
The majority of shops in central Stanley cater to the huge number of cruise ship passengers that pass through the town in the summer. There are a lot of souvenir shops.
- FIC West Store, Dean St. Mo-Fr 8:30AM-8PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 9AM-5PM. Open seven days a week and offering food, toiletries, phone cards, and other essentials.
- Capstan Gift Shop, Ross Rd. Located across from the West Store, offers all manner of Falkland Islands gifts.
- Philatelic Bureau, Ross Rd (Town Hall). Falkland Islands stamps and first-day covers are known throughout the world and can be purchased directly from the Philatelic Bureau. Also, the Town Hall with the Post Office and British telephone booths outside is a sight in itself.
- Malvina House Hotel, 3 Ross Rd (across the street from Government Jetty), ☎ . Dinner reservations may be required, especially during weekends.
- Shorty's Diner, Davis St East, ☎ . 1000-2030 weekdays; 1000-2000 weekends. Chargrilled burgers, steaks, curries, local fish and chips, local organic produce, homemade desserts.
- Tasty Treats, John Street (Waverley House). Snack bar and bakery serving breakfast, fast food and snacks.
- Woodbine Cafe, 29 Fitzroy Rd, ☎ . Fish & chip shop, also offering pizzas, burgers, chicken, empanadas, and a selection of beers.
- Deano's Bar, 40 John Street. Reportedly a Stanley institution since over 20 years, with a wide range of bottled beers. On Friday and Saturday nights it becomes a night club.
- Globe Tavern, Crozier Pl, ☎ . Located one block up the hill from the public jetty, offering beers as well as pub food such as fish and chips. Ask to meet all the lovely ladies that often pop in, and also go for the Karaoke on a Sunday night which is always good fun.
- Victory Bar, 1A Philomel Hill, ☎ . Beer as well as hot food.
Compared with nearby South America lodging in Stanley can be quite expensive. If you are on a strict budget inquire about pitching a tent; if allowed by the land owner the costs are often considerably less than paying for a room.
- Kay McCallum's B&B, 14 Drury St, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Clean and cozy, and Kay is very helpful with travel information and arrangements.
- Malvina House Hotel, 3 Ross Rd (across the street from Government Jetty), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Top-end accommodation including sauna room. Accepts credit cards. Rates vary by season and room type with prices from £84-£220.
- The Paddock B&B, 38 Davis St, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Operating October-March and owned by the Waterfront Hotel. 5 rooms with self-catering facilities. £85-150.
- Waterfront Hotel, 36 Ross rd, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Upscale hotel with 8 rooms. Rooms are equipped with TV and WLAN (separate fee charged for use), the cheaper rooms have shared bathroom. £75-£150, rates include breakfast.
During to lingering tensions from the 1982 war with Argentina, Spanish-speakers should avoid using Spanish names for places (for example "Puerto Argentino" or "Islas Malvinas"), as doing so will undoubtedly be offensive to those who lived through that event.
- Kidney Cove. Home to a small colony of Gentoo and King penguins, as well as several Magellanic penguins.
- Volunteer Point. A white sand beach that is home to King, Gentoo and Magellanic penguins.
- Pretty much anywhere else in the Falkland Islands; Stanley Airport just outside the town is the hub for Falkland Islands Government Air Service, flying to numerous places all over the archipelago.