Sentosa Heritage Trail: 3 Nostalgic Routes to Uncover the Island’s History

Sentosa Heritage Trail: 3 Nostalgic Routes to Uncover the Island’s History

Visit 30 heritage sites and 10 trail markers to take a trip down memory lane.

Home to many fun-filled attractions, Sentosa is often the first location that comes to mind when locals think of a getaway without actually leaving our island’s shores. However, did you know that a long and rich heritage lies beyond its sandy beaches and thrilling theme parks? 

siloso pier

Image credit: National Heritage Board

Enter Sentosa Heritage Trail: the newest attraction to debut on the island, developed by Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) in partnership with the National Heritage Board (NHB). Visitors can expect an educational adventure into the island’s transformation from its humble beginnings as a coastal settlement to the leisure destination it is today.

Is your interest piqued already? Then, grab a buddy and embark on one of Sentosa Heritage Trail’s three thematic routes to explore the island’s fascinating history!

Also read: Sembawang Heritage Trail: 3 Routes to Discover the Coastal Town’s Storied Past

Discover Sentosa Heritage Trail thematic routes

1. Revisit Pulau Blakang Mati’s past settlements

sentosa village island

Image credit: Sentosa Development Corporation

Did you know that Sentosa’s earliest known inhabitants were the Orang Laut? The villagers made a living with their experienced fishing skills and were also known to engage in trading commodities like fresh water and fruit to passing vessels. 

The island was also known for its vast pineapple plantations, where fruits and leaves were harvested and used in the creation of pina cloths and fermented pineapple juices.

sentosa mess hall

Image credit: National Heritage Board

When Singapore became a British colony in the 1800s, a new barracks and quarters were built to house incoming British military personnel. While most have since been demolished to make way for new developments, you can still pay a visit to those that still remain — in the form of repurposed hotels and museums.

Total distance: Three kilometres

Estimated duration: Two hours on foot and with public transport

Famous sites: Former recreation ground and barracks, former officers’ mess and quarters, and former military hospital.

2. Understand the history behind one of Singapore’s most important military outposts

imbiah battery sentosa

Image credit: National Heritage Board

As a military defence outpost, the island was militarised with artillery batteries and forts that played vital roles during colonial times. Find a number of these sites hidden in plain sight while walking along the trail, including those belonging to Fort Siloso — Singapore’s newly gazetted national monument.

Total distance: Four kilometres

Estimated duration: Two hours on foot 

Famous sites: Fort Siloso, Imbiah Battery, and Fort Serapong

Also read: Sentosa Celebrates Golden Jubilee With Launch of Over 50 New Offerings

3. Reminisce the memories of old Sentosa

former monorail station

Image credit: National Heritage Board

Since its establishment as a leisure destination in 1972, Sentosa has been continually updating its attractions to meet the ever-changing preferences of visitors. Take a trip down memory lane as you make stops at the Former Sentosa Monorail and Siloso Beach — two former attractions that helped to shape current-day Sentosa.

Total distance: Two and a half kilometres

Estimated duration: An hour on foot 

Famous sites: Former Sentosa Monorail, Singapore Cable Car, and the former Musical Fountain

Are you pumped up yet? Download the companion guide and map at NHB’s heritage portal and Sentosa’s official website. Alternatively, you can get your hands on printed copies of the guide at the NHB headquarters at Stamford Court.

Now here’s something unique you can do aside from the usual fun and games in Sentosa.

Information extracted from a press release by National Heritage Board and Sentosa Development Corporation.

About Author

Jerald Ang

Jerald is always looking at aviation news and his favourite pastime is plane spotting. When he is taking a break, you'll find him either indulging in his Pokémon games or searching for his escape.