The Camp

Barren, flat Lafonia

The Camp is the term used in the Falkland Islands to refer to any part of the islands outside of the islands’ only significant town, Stanley, and often the large RAF base at Mount Pleasant.
It is a Spanglish term derived from the Argentine Spanish “campo”, for “countryside”.

The Camp contains various small settlements, such as Fox Bay, Goose Green, Darwin, and Port Howard, which are usually little more than several houses. Port Louis in the north of East Falkland is the oldest permanent settlement in the islands, established by the French in 1764.

Port Egmont on Saunders Island, now abandoned, is the oldest British settlement. The majority of the Camp population lives on East Falkland, followed by West Falkland.
Outlying islands such as Pebble, Sea Lion, West Point, Weddell and Carcass Island are inhabited as well. Camp is used in formal contexts; e.g., the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly has Stanley and Camp Constituencies.

There are also some British military installations such as RAF Mount Pleasant, Mare Harbour, and Mount Alice, and there is also the Bodie Suspension Bridge, the southernmost of its kind in the world.
Many parts are still landmined from the time of the Falklands War, particularly just outside Stanley.
Sheep farming is the main industry. Others include fishing, and tourism, particularly wildlife or war related tours.


Camp Settlements – East Falkland

Ajax Bay
Ajax Bay is a settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, It is on the north west coast, on the shore of San Carlos Water, a few miles from Port San Carlos. It was mainly a refrigeration plant, and was developed by the Colonial Development Corporation in the 1950s, which was also responsible for developing Port Albemarle. It was supposed to freeze Falkland mutton, but this was found to be economically unviable. Many of the pre-fabricated houses here were moved to Stanley.
During the Falklands War, the first British bridgehead was established on San Carlos Water. Ajax Bay was one of three landing points, and codenamed “Red Beach” as part of Operation Sutton. It was used as a military hospital during the Falklands War.


Bluff Cove
Bluff Cove is a sea inlet and settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, on its east coast. It was the site of secondary landings of the Falklands war 1982. It is on the Mount Pleasant highway overlooking a small harbour.
On the 8 June 1982, the 1st Welsh Guards were aboard RFA Sir Galahad also waiting to be landed at Bluff Cove when Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram were attacked by Argentinian Skyhawk fighters who proceeded to hit both ships. Sir Galahad was terribly hit and both ships caught fire, causing terrible casualties aboard Sir Galahad. Forty eight people, including thirty two Welsh Guards, were killed and many were wounded, many suffering from terrible burns.


Campo Verde
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Darwin is a settlement in Lafonia on East Falkland, lying on Choiseul Sound, on the east side of the island’s central isthmus, 4 km north of Goose Green. It was known occasionally (and still is from time to time) as Port Darwin.
Darwin was founded in 1859 as the centre for sheep farming in Lafonia, which it remained until 1922. The farm was then transferred to Goose Green, south of Darwin and separated by the Boca Wall of peat, which grew to overshadow Darwin. Attractions in Darwin include a corral, the Galpon building which was home to nineteenth century gauchos, the Argentine Military Cemetery, and birdlife both in the Sound and the pond.
It is named after Charles Darwin, who carried out a zoological survey of the Falkland Islands on the Beagle’s second voyage. Darwin and environs saw heavy fighting in the Falklands War during the Battle of Goose Green.


Douglas is a settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, on the west shore of Salvador Water.
Fitzroy is a settlement in Lafonia on East Falkland. It is divided into Fitzroy North and Fitzroy South. It is named after Robert FitzRoy who sailed with Charles Darwin on HMS Beagle, and is on the inlet known as Port Pleasant.


Goose Green
Goose Green Community Hall

Goose Green
Goose Green is a settlement in Lafonia on East Falkland in the Falkland Islands. It lies on Choiseul Sound, on the east side of the island’s central isthmus, 4 km south of Darwin. The settlement grew after it became the base for the Falkland Islands Company’s sheep farm in Lafonia in 1922.
It is now part of the Falkland Landholdings Corporation, a government managed company.

Goose Green was occupied by Argentine forces during the Falklands War. Over one hundred islanders were imprisoned in the community hall, while over 1,000 Argentine troops occupied the settlement and nearby Darwin. It was the subject of the first land battle of that conflict, as it was relatively close to the site of the British landings, San Carlos, and the British leaders were looking for an early victory, even if the site was not necessarily of military importance. The area is still heavily mined.

The population of the town has atrophied since the Falklands War. In 1982, there were a hundred residents. Now there are forty. Goose Green is home to a shop and a small airfield, while other attractions include the nearby Bodie Suspension Bridge and the Vicar of Bray shipwreck, which participated in the California gold rush.


Green Patch
Green Patch is a settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, It is on the north east coast, on the south shore of Berkeley Sound, a few miles south east from Port Louis, on Port Louis Harbour. It looks out onto Long Island and Hog Island.


Hope Place
Hope Place was the name of a small settlement in Lafonia in East Falkland. It was set up in 1846, by Samuel Lafone, a Montevideo merchant, on the south shores of Brenton Loch. It was mainly populated by gauchos brought in from continental South America. The area is now abandoned.
Johnson’s Harbour
Johnson’s Harbour is a settlement on the north east coast, on the shore of Berkeley Sound. There is a small store here. The FIGAS only lands here for emergencies. It is at the head of Chabot Creek, on Johnson’s Harbour, a bay of the same name. Surrounding hills include North Lookout (628 ft), Diamond Mountain and Hawk Hill.


Mare Harbour
Mare Harbour is a small settlement on East Falkland. It is mostly used as a port and depot for RAF Mount Pleasant.


North Arm
North Arm is a settlement in Lafonia. It is on the south coast, on the shore of the Bay of Harbours, and overlooks Sea Lion Island in the distance. It is the largest settlement on East Falkland south of Goose Green.


Port Louis
Port Louis

Port Louis
Port Louis is a settlement on northeastern East Falkland. It was established by Louis de Bougainville in 1764 as the first French settlement on the islands, but was then transferred to Spain in 1767 and renamed Puerto Soledad.
For a time, the town became the Spanish capital of the islands, which were claimed by Spain as part of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.
The Spanish abandoned the settlement in 1811 after Argentina became independent.

On 6 November 1820, Colonel David Jewett, an American sailor at the service of Buenos Aires, and captain of the frigate Heroina, raised the flag of the United Provinces of the River Plate (Argentina) at Port Louis. He warned the British and American sealing ships present that they did not have authorization to hunt seals in the area, and then returned to Buenos Aires; the sealers ignored his warning.
In 1823, Argentina granted fishing rights to Jorge Pacheco and Luis Vernet. The partnership of Pacheco and Vernet did not last, with Vernet forming a new company in 1825. An expedition in 1826 proved to be a failure; sailings to the Islands were disrupted by a Brazilian blockade and the boggy terrain of the Islands prevented the Gauchos catching wild cattle in their traditional way.

Vernet was well aware of British claims to the islands. Prior to both the 1826 and 1828 expedition, he approached the British consulate with the Argentine grant and obtained their stamp.
Whilst visiting the consulate he expressed the wish that if the British returned they would take his colony under their protection. Vernet also provided written reports on the suitability of the Islands for the British Government.

Vernet used Puerto Soledad/Port Louis as a seal hunting base. He had been granted a monopoly in the islands and he curbed sealing by others. Vernet later seized the American ship, Harriet, for breaking the restrictions on seal hunting. Property on board the ship was seized and the captain was returned to Buenos Aires to stand trial. Vernet also returned for the trial. The American Consul in Argentina protested the actions by Vernet, stating that the United States did not recognise Argentine sovereignty in the Falklands.
The consul dispatched the USS Lexington warship to the Puerto Soledad to retake the confiscated property, as well as the “Superior” and “Breakwater” which had also been seized. As a result, the USS Lexington destroyed Puerto Soledad/Port Louis in 1832, an act which was later condoned by the American ambassador in Buenos Aires, who declared the Falkland Islands free from any power.
Amid the turmoil, the British took over the settlement in 1833. In April of that year, Charles Darwin visited from the HMS Beagle, on the 15 March 1833. After they transferred the administration to Stanley in 1845, it became the quiet sheep farming settlement it is today, known for its nineteenth century houses, waterfowl and wading birds.
Port San Carlos
Port San Carlos is located on the northern bank of the San Carlos Water on the Western coast of East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands. it is sometimes nicknamed “KC” after former owner Keith Cameron. It is north of its namesake San Carlos. It is most noted for being the first landing place of British forces during the 1982 Falklands War, and was codenamed “Green Beach”, and was part of Operation Sutton.


Rincon Grande
Rincon or Rincon Grande is a settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, on the east shore of Salvador Water. It is one of the oldest settlements in the area.


Salvador Settlement
Salvador Settlement, also called Salvador or Salvador Settlement Corral, is a small harbour and settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, It is on the north east coast, on the south shore of Port Salvador. It is one of a handful of Spanish names in the islands, still in use.
It was founded by Andrés Pitalauga, a Gibraltarian, in the 1830s, who arrived via continental South America. His descendants still run the farm there, and because of this, it is sometimes referred to as “Gibraltar Station”.


San Carlos
San Carlos is a settlement in northwestern East Falkland, lying south of Port San Carlos on San Carlos Water. It is sometimes nicknamed “JB” after a former owner, Jack Bonner
It is named after the ship San Carlos, which visited in 1768, and grew in the early twentieth century around a factory which froze sheep carcasses.
San Carlos was the main British Army bridgehead during the Falklands War, when it was codenamed “Blue Beach”. A museum and the British War Cemetery commemorate that period.
Teal Inlet
Teal Inlet is a settlement on East Falkland, on the south shore of Salvador Water. It is overshadowed by Jack’s Mountain.


Walker Creek
Walker Creek is a settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, in Lafonia. It is on the shore of the Choiseul Sound, and overlooks Sea Lion Island in the distance. It is the second largest settlement on East Falkland south of Goose Green, after North Arm.


Camp Settlements – West Falkland

Albemarle, or Port Albemarle is a settlement on West Falkland. It is in the far south of the island, on the east side, at the southern end of Falkland Sound. Owing to its large harbour, Albemarle became a successful sealing station, during the late 19th century, and the ruins of the buildings are still to be seen. It was enlarged during the post-WWII period by the Colonial Development Company like Ajax Bay, and included its own power station, jetty and Nissen huts. It has since been vandalised by military personnel from RAF Mount Alice. These have all been abandoned, but there is still a sheep station here, run by Leon and Pam Berntsen. The Arch Islands are near here.


Chartres is one of the main settlements on West Falkland, it is on the west coast of the island, at the mouth of Chartres River, at the eastern shore of King George Bay. One of the two only proper roads on West Falkland runs between Chartres and Port Howard.


Dunnose Head
Dunnose Head is a small settlement on West Falkland, at the mouth of King George Bay. It is about 80km west south west of Port Howard, and does not have a proper road connection.
This is also the site of Dunnose Head Farm, run by Clive and Rosemary Wilkinson, which produces some of the finest wool in the Falklands.


Fox Bay, West Falkland
Fox Bay, West Falkland

Fox Bay (East & West)
Fox Bay is the second largest settlement on West Falkland. It is located on a bay of the same name, and is on the south east coast of the island. It is often divided into Fox Bay East and Fox Bay West making it two settlements, combined, these make the largest settlement on West Falkland, but when separated, Port Howard is the largest. It takes its name, like the Warrah River, from the extinct Falkland Islands Fox.

During the Falklands War Fox Bay was occupied by Argentine troops, around 900 men from 8th Motorised Infantry Regiment and elements 9th Engineer Company. Several minefields where sowed around both settlements by the troops and these still remain. It was strafed and bombed by British Harrier aircraft and bombarded by the Royal Navy several times during the war. Although Argentine casualties in these attacks where low, the first Harrier attack damaged the ARA Bahía Buen Suceso which was moored at Fox Bay East. The vessel remained at Fox Bay until the end of the war.
On 27 April, 14 people from Stanley whom the Argentines considered “undesirable” were sent to Fox Bay and placed under house arrest for the duration of the Argentine occupation, some of whom were members of the Falkland Islands Defence Force.
Fox Bay was liberated by HMS Avenger and Royal Marines from 40 Commando on 15th June 1982 and to this day this date is commemorated by residents as their liberation day.


Hill Cove
Hill Cove is the third largest settlement on West Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, in the north west. It is on the north coast, on the shore of Byron Sound, and overlooks Port Egmont on Saunders Island, the first British settlement in the islands. Behind the settlement is Mount Adam, which shelters it from southerly winds. It was one of the earliest settlements on West Falkland in the 19th century, which was not permanently inhabited until the 1860s.
It has the only “forest” in the islands, a wood which was planted in the 1880s, and enlarged in 1925. There is a smaller stand of trees on Carcass Island.


Port Howard, West Falkland
Port Howard

Port Howard
Port Howard is the largest settlement on West Falkland (unless Fox Bay is taken as one settlement, instead of two). Founded by JL Waldron in the late 1860s, Port Howard and is the centre of a 200,000 acre (800 km²) sheep farm, with twenty permanent residents and over 42,000 sheep. Sometimes this population is doubled by transitory residents.

The settlement has two airstrips which receive regular flights from Stanley, and it is also destined to be the West Terminal of the new East-West Ferry. Over the past 15 years the Falkland Islands Government has built a network of all weather roads around East and West Falkland, Port Howard is at the Northern end of the West Falkland network.

Attractions in the settlement include a golf course, a ford, large sheep shearing sheds, Mount Maria (part of the Hornby Mountains range) and a museum focusing on the Falklands War, when the settlement was occupied by around 1,000 troops.
Every three years, Port Howard hosts the West Falklands Sports.

This week-long celebration of the end of the shearing season combines serious horse-racing with other festivities. The Warrah River and Chartres River are nearby fishing rivers.


Port Stephens
Port Stephens is a settlement on West Falkland, in the Falkland Islands. It is on the far south west of the island, near Calm Head and Cape Meredith and Hoste Inlet is the nearest other settlement. Until recently, it was one of the Falkland Island Company’s largest sheep stations. While the harbour itself is sheltered, the surrounding area is frequently battered by Antarctic storms. The location is highly rugged, and considered to be amongst the most scenic in the Falklands. The settlement has no formal tourist facilities. It was one of the few settlements that were not visited or garrisoned by the Argentine military in the Falklands War. Nearby, thousands of birds including rockhoppers and cormorants, breed on the coast.


Roy Cove
Roy Cove is a settlement on West Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, in the north west. It faces southwards, onto King George Bay.