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  • Writer's pictureShani



Woodford was once a British Settlement that consisted of slave quarters. Woodford is the name of a suburban town in England, and that was how they decided to give the community this name.

The five main sub-communities are Jackalyn, Cottage District, Happy Gate, Freetown, and Peter's Rock.

The Woodford community is nicknamed Cambridge because a bridge was used to connect Cottage, Happy Gate, and Peter's Rock to the rest of the community. Members of the community would use either name interchangeably.

The community is popularly known for farming. The main crops are coffee, banana, plantains, yam, catch crops, citrus fruits, apples, and mangoes.

There are rivers in the community but they are not easily accessible. The main one is called Power River. However, most community members usually prefer to go outside the community to get the river experience.

The land value varies between five to sixty million on average, with Peter's Rock being the most expensive.


The weather is generally cool throughout the year and warm during the summer season. At Christmas time the Christmas breeze allows for a very cold temperature between the months of November to January.


Early morning at any time of the year is the best time to hike to Holywell from Woodford. You will have the opportunity to view the entire city of Kingston! A few spots you are able to see are that of the Mona Reservoir, Kingston Harbour, Portmore, Red Hills, and even Stony Hill to name a few. You'll be able to see the ships docking and airplanes landing and taking off from this vantage point.

Another great thing about Woodford is that you are usually able to see the various fireworks around the city of Kingston as we Jamaicans ring in the New Year with our fireworks celebrations.

On average the hike to Holywell from Woodford is one hour and forty-five minutes from the town's square and this all depends on each individual's fitness level. The hike is a little over three miles. For some, this may seem very long and daunting but with the right company or group of friends, it will be a memorable and picturesque journey.

On reaching Holywell, where we ended up was pretty much the back end, so most people living or working in the area would traverse the route we took to get to Holywell.

Once we arrived at Holywell we soaked in the view and had light morning snacks of fruits from Woodford plantation which were tangerine and ripe bananas. Quite refreshing after that hike!

Holywell is a nice spot to sit and cool out with family and friends and it is a very popular location amongst many Jamaicans to visit throughout the year.

This hike from Woodford to Holywell wasn't a long one in comparison to hiking to the infamous Blue Mountain Peak in Jamaica.

The Hike was definitely made easy by two lovely friends who live in the Woodford Community Kimoy and Tina , whose families have lived there for years. They both shared the history of Woodford and the fond memories they had growing up in the community.

The Woodford community is a peaceful one and everyone seems to know their neighbors as they greet each other on the road which is very typical of our Jamaican culture, especially that of a close-knit community like Woodford.

Of note, if you are not planning to hike to Holywell from Woodford then the other alternative means of transport is a four-wheel drive. Those are the only vehicles able to manage the terrain of Woodford.


- Comfortable exercise clothes

- A good shoes for hiking

- A sweater especially for an early morning hike

- Water to hydrate of course

- Snacks if you get a little peckish

Have these and you will be set for the hike!

What I observed to be an interesting feature of Woodford is a special flower that you will see growing on either side of the road and up to a specific point along the hiking trail. Our friends call it the Christmas flower as they say it only blooms specifically around Christmas time each year in the community. They weren't sure of the original name so they just gave it that name which is also cool.

After doing some research it is actually known as a Mexican Sunflower!

Woodford felt like a hidden community in the hills and I'm glad I was able to experience a hike to Holywell from that angle in Jamaica.

Have you ever heard of the Woodford Community?

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