Things To Do in Barbados

Lucky you! Your spend­ing time in the trop­i­cal par­adise of Bar­ba­dos. Local or vis­i­tor there are many things and places to see and visit, and hope­fully you will have just enough time to expe­ri­ence the many faces of the island. Below are a few of our sug­ges­tions on how you can make the most out of your holiday.

Bar­ba­dos Parks

Our year-​round sunny weather allows you to make the most out of out­door activ­i­ties. There are a few parks across the island that gives you fan­tas­tic views of its land­scape, while fea­tur­ing a few inter­est­ing mon­u­ments. These parks can be per­fect for a fam­ily pic­nic, or as part of a relax­ing day in Bar­ba­dos.

Farley Hill IMG 7381Far­ley Hill National Park
This Park is located at a cool 900ft above sea level and sits on approx­i­mately 17 acres of lush land. It is a pic­turesque spot, per­fect for pic­nick­ers. The Far­ley Hill Great House, once said to have 99 win­dows, has been rav­aged by hur­ri­canes and fires. Some of its coral walls still stand, and adds a rus­tic effect to the Park.
Tel: (246) 4223555
Open­ing Hours: Open Daily from 8:30 am – 9:00 pm

Queen’s Park
Also called the ‘Lungs of Bridgetown’, this beau­ti­ful Park fea­tures an old great house, man­i­cured lawns, and even a children’s park. Per­haps the most strik­ing nat­ural fea­tures in Queen’s Park are its two baobab trees. Shipped to Bar­ba­dos in 1738 from Guinea, Africa, these baobab trees remain the only two baobab trees in Bar­ba­dos, with one approx­i­mately 61 12 feet (18 m) in cir­cum­fer­ence, mak­ing it one of the largest trees in Bar­ba­dos. Please note that Queens Park Gallery has moved to Pel­i­can village.


951829ff50f143168f6bf5150d088f6c1Folke­stone Marine Reserve
Unlike the other Parks listed above, Folke­stone is a marine Park, with the ocean tak­ing the place of grass! This marine park is well known for its arti­fi­cial reef, cre­ated by the delib­er­ate sink­ing of the ship Stavronikita. This reef is located less than half a mile from the shore and is 120ft deep. These deep crys­tal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea makes this is an excel­lent spot for expe­ri­enced scuba divers to explore. There is also an inshore reef found in the Recre­ational Zone of the Reserve. This area is mostly uti­lized by snorkel­ers
Tel: (246) 4222314
Open­ing Hours: Please call for their open­ing times

Other parks that you may be inter­ested in vis­it­ing are Three Houses Park and King George V Park, both located in the parish of St. Philip.


His­toric Buildings

Bar­ba­dos boasts of sev­eral build­ings that were erected in the 18th and 19th cen­tury and are still stand­ing today. With archi­tec­ture vary­ing between Gothic and Gre­go­rian, these build­ings tell part of the story of Bar­ba­dos’ his­tory. These are great sites to see espe­cially for the archi­tec­turally inclined, and dur­ing your week here you are almost cer­tain to hap­pen across sev­eral of these build­ings in passing.


codringtonCodring­ton Col­lege
This Angli­can the­o­log­i­cal Col­lege has a few things to boast of. Not only is it located in the pris­tine coun­try­side of St. John, on a hill over­look­ing the cap­ti­vat­ing Atlantic Ocean, sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful lush veg­e­ta­tion, jew­elled with a breath­tak­ing lily pond, Codring­ton Col­lege also is the old­est Angli­can the­o­log­i­cal col­lege in the West­ern Hemi­sphere. – ST. JOHN
Tel: (246) 4231140

St. Nicholas Abbey
Bar­ba­dos is home to two of the last three Jacobean style houses in the West­ern Hemi­sphere– Drax Hall and St. Nicholas Abbey. St. Nicholas Abbey is located in St. Peter and was built from bricks and lime­stone. Some of the most pro­nounced fea­tures of this archi­tec­tural rar­ity include its curved Dutch gables, chim­ney stacks, Chi­nese Chip­pen­dale stair­case, cedar pan­el­ing and coral finials. Inside this man­sion you will also find antiques and old china. Con­trary to the name, St. Nicholas Abbey was never a reli­gious abbey. Sugar has been grown on the plan­ta­tion since 1640 and there is still the evi­dence of the mill and sugar mak­ing edifices.
Tel: (246) 4225357 | (246) 4228725
Open­ing Hours: Sun­day — Fri­day from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm, CLOSED on Saturdays
Admis­sion: Adults — $30BDS; Chil­dren (12 yrs and under) $20BDS

St. George Parish Church
Con­structed in 1784, this Angli­can Church is the old­est eccle­si­as­ti­cal church in the island. Its archi­tec­ture is one of its most fas­ci­nat­ing fea­tures, and is more Gre­go­rian with just a few Gothic fea­tures. Arguably how­ever, its most fas­ci­nat­ing fea­ture is an out­stand­ing res­ur­rec­tion paint­ing by Amer­i­can artist, Ben­jamin West– “Rise To Power”.
Tel: (246) 4368794 (Church)
(246) 4290371 (Church office)

Sun­bury Plan­ta­tion House
This beau­ti­fully restored old great house is more than 300 years old, orig­i­nally built around 1660 by Matthew Chap­man, an Irish/​English planter. All of its rooms are open for pub­lic view­ing, and a tour through this great house is like a step back in time.
Tel: (246) 4236270
Open­ing Hours: Open Daily from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Admis­sion: Adults — $20BDS, Chil­dren (412 years) — HALF price, Under 4 years — FREE
Mor­gan Lewis Wind­mill
This his­toric wind­mill is located in the lush, hilly ter­rains of the coun­try­side in St. Andrew. Its loca­tion affords a spec­tac­u­lar view of Bar­ba­dos’ East Coast, and it is sur­rounded by land used for dairy farm­ing. Built in 1727, it remains one of two intact, restored wind­mills in the Caribbean. The other wind­mill is at Betty’s Hope Estate, Antigua. How­ever, Mor­gan Lewis Wind­mill remains the only wind­mill in the world that is operational.
Tel: (246) 4227429
Open­ing Hours: Mon­days to Fri­days from 9:00 am — 5:00 pm
Admis­sion: Adults — $10BDS, Chil­dren — Half Price


Mil­i­tary Attractions

Bar­ba­dos car­ries with it a very strong mil­i­tary his­tory, and this is evi­denced in the plethora of mil­i­tary mon­u­ments scat­tered across the island. As you have a week in the island, a day tour around to see these attrac­tions can help you gain a bet­ter under­stand of Bar­ba­dos and how the cul­ture was shaped.

Sig­nal Sta­tions
These were mainly con­structed after Bar­ba­dos’ major 1816 slave rebel­lion and were ‘look-​out’ points across the island, used to warn the mil­i­tary base at Gar­ri­son Savan­nah of approach­ing ships or slave rebel­lions. The Grenade Hall Sig­nal Sta­tion was also used in bygone days to com­mu­ni­cate to Bridgetown busi­nesses of the arrival of mer­chant ships, and was also used to sum­mon mem­bers of the Governor’s coun­cil to meet­ings. Sig­nalling was done by flags, and the sta­tion accom­mo­dated two sig­nal­men. With the intro­duc­tion of tele­phone ser­vices, these Sig­nal sta­tions became a relic of the past.
Grenade Hall Sig­nal Sta­tion — St. Peter
Dover Fort Sig­nal Station
Gun Hill Sig­nal Station
Cot­ton Tower Sig­nal Station
High­gate Sig­nal Station
Mon­crieffe Sig­nal Station

resizeIMG 0597The Bar­ba­dos Ceno­taph
Located in National Heroes Square, Upper Broad Street, Bridgetown, this four-​sided war memo­r­ial was orig­i­nally built in 1921 to com­mem­o­rate the Bar­ba­di­ans who died in World War I (19141918), but has since also been inscribed with the names of Bar­ba­di­ans who died in World War II (19351945).

The Lord Nel­son Statue
Another one of Britain’s per­vad­ing influ­ences can be seen in the Lord Nel­son Statue in National Heroes Square, Bridgetown. This bronze like­ness was erected in March 22, 1813, mak­ing this statue older than the Nel­son Col­umn in Trafal­gar Square in Lon­don by just under 30 years. Inter­est­ingly, National Heroes Square was for­merly called Trafal­gar Square, before it was renamed in 1999.

Garrison Savannah resize2St. Ann’s Gar­ri­son
One can­not think of Bar­ba­dos’ mil­i­tary with­out includ­ing St. Ann’s Gar­ri­son. The British built a num­ber of forts all along the eas­ily acces­si­ble west coast and built a Gar­ri­son close to Bridgetown. It is impor­tant to also note that Bar­ba­dos’ Gar­ri­son was the first and largest Gar­ri­son in the British colonies around the 18th and 19th cen­tury. Dur­ing this time period the Gar­ri­son was the base and head­quar­ters for mem­bers of the British West Indies Reg­i­ment in Bar­ba­dos. The Gar­ri­son is located about 2 miles south of National Heroes Square in Bridgetown. A large main area, 30 acres, of the Gar­ri­son is the Savan­nah, which now stands as the island’s only race­track. Notable mil­i­tary sites to visit while tour­ing the Gar­ri­son are:

The National Can­non Centre
The Gar­ri­son Savan­nah Racetrack
The Main Guard House and Clock Tower
St Ann’s Fort
Charles Fort
Bar­ba­dos Mil­i­tary Cemetery
Need­hams Point Lighthouse

Speight­stown Forts
Speight­stown is one of the four major towns of Bar­ba­dos. Offi­cially set­tled in 1630, Speight­stown quickly became the island’s main port and com­mer­cial cen­tre, export­ing items such as tobacco and cot­ton, and later, sugar. The town was named after William Speight, who owned the land on which the town was built, and who was a for­mer mem­ber of Bar­ba­dos’ first assem­bly (Gov­er­nor Hawley’s Par­lia­ment). There are four forts that you can see while in this his­toric town:

Orange Fort - Site of the present-​day fish mar­ket, located in the cen­tre of the town
Dover Fort - Over­looked the town from the cliff to the East
Fort Den­mark - The site of the new Speight­stown Esplanade
Hey­woods Bat­tery - Sit­u­ated just north of the town

Hole­town Mon­u­ment
This mon­u­ment com­mem­o­rates the first Eng­lish land­ing in Bar­ba­dos, marked when Cap­tain John Pow­ell arrived here in 1625 and claimed the island on behalf of King James I. It is in the shape of an obelisk and it was part of the 300th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the dis­cov­ery of Bar­ba­dos in 1905. It is inter­est­ing to note that this mon­u­ment has the date of 1605 as the year of dis­cov­ery, although a plaque was placed at the base of the mon­u­ment in 1975 cor­rect­ing this date to 1625. It was placed in Hole­town as this town is the area where the first Eng­lish Set­tlers landed.

Culpep­per Island
After all the seri­ous­ness of vis­it­ing those mil­i­tary sites, a good way to unwind while still tak­ing in Bar­ba­dos’ unique lands is to take a trip to see Bar­ba­dos’ only island– Culpep­per Island. This tiny island is located a lit­tle over 250 ft off Bar­ba­dos on the east­ern coast­line of St. John. It is in the Atlantic Ocean, and it is pos­si­ble to wade over to this island in low tide. Swim­mers are cau­tioned to be care­ful as the cur­rent here can be very strong. Culpep­per Island is 220 ft x 75 ft and rises approx­i­mately 20 ft out of the water. It is a fan­tas­tic island to see, and a great adven­ture to those who get across. Be sure to walk with your cam­era as its view is sim­ply stunning.


Beaches

With a week to spend in Bar­ba­dos, you have many, many hours of sun­light that you can spend tan­ning on one of our golden-​sand beaches. Depend­ing on what you want to expe­ri­ence, be it water-​sports or a quiet roman­tic beach, Bar­ba­dos surely has what you are look­ing for. Below you can view beaches by coast or parish, depend­ing on what is con­ve­nient for you. And remem­ber, relax! A beach in Bar­ba­dos is paradise!



Nat­ural Attractions

Once you are in Bar­ba­dos you can­not ignore the nat­ural beauty of the island. A good thing to do while on the island is to take a tour around to see just how beau­ti­ful and trop­i­cal Bar­ba­dos really is. Below are a few of our favourite sites, guar­an­teed to show you Bar­ba­dos at its nat­ural best! Prices may vary, so depend­ing on your bud­get, and time, you may not be able to visit all of the sug­gested. Be sure to tele­phone, or inquire at front-​desk, ahead of time to con­firm prices and open­ing hours. You can spend a half-​day, or even a whole day, sim­ply vis­it­ing the island’s trea­sure drove of attractions.

Har­risons Cave
This beau­ti­ful liv­ing cave fea­tures stun­ning views of sta­lag­mites, sta­lac­tites and other under­ground won­ders. It is located in St. Thomas, almost in the dead cen­tre of the island, and is one of the main nat­ural attrac­tions on the island. You can explore the Cave in a tram, or you can even get down and dirty while trekking through its refresh­ingly cool waters. This is a must see espe­cially for nature lovers, and gives an inside look on Bar­ba­dos’ nat­ural lime­stone rock for­ma­tions. ST. THOMAS
Tel: (246) 4173700

Welch­man Hall Gully
This gully, formed from the col­lapsed roof of caves, is still con­nected to the island’s largest main cave– Har­risons Cave. Along your walk in this gully you will be able to still see evi­dence of sta­lag­mites and sta­lac­tites. Welch­man Hall Gully has a vast and inter­est­ing assort­ment of Bar­ba­dian and exotic plants and wildlife and is rich in nat­ural his­tory. The grape­fruit, orig­i­nally from Bar­ba­dos, is also said to have been started in this gully. Located in St. Thomas and is a three-​quarter mile long gully. This is also a great loca­tion to spot some of the island’s Green Mon­keys. ST. THOMAS
Tel: (246) 4386671
Admis­sion: Adults BDS$ 24.00 (book­let included); Chil­dren BDS$ 12.00 (5 to 12 years old); Under 5 years old free
Group Rates avail­able on request

Ani­mal Flower Cave
This sea cave offers spec­tac­u­lar views of the untame­able Atlantic Ocean while trap­ping this sea water into its nat­u­rally formed pools. How­ever, this is not its main attrac­tion. This cave is home to sea anemones, or ‘ani­mal flow­ers’. The flower con­sists of ten­ta­cles that can sting and par­a­lyze a pass­ing fish in the larger vari­ety of species. The ten­ta­cles retract into the stalk or stump for safety on con­tact with an alien object like a stick. The flower then waits a while before com­ing out of the stalk again to allow dan­ger to pass. These ‘ani­mal flow­ers’ are truly amaz­ing to see, cou­pled with the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean. ST. LUCY
Tel: (246) 4398797
Open­ing Hours: Open Daily from 9 am – 4:30 pm
Admis­sion: Adults $20BDS; Chil­dren $10BDS

Androm­eda Gar­dens
Per­fect for nature-​lovers, these scenic tran­quil gar­dens fea­tures over six hun­dred dif­fer­ent species of plants adapted to a range of trop­i­cal envi­ron­ments, along with a few small ani­mals. This makes it the most exten­sive col­lec­tion of trop­i­cal plants in Bar­ba­dos. This breath­tak­ing scenery is fur­ther enhanced by a stream that runs though the prop­erty, form­ing serene water­falls and pools. ST. JOSEPH
Tel: (246) 4339454
Open­ing Hours: Open Daily from 9 am – 5 pm
Admis­sion: Adults $25BDS; Chil­dren HALF PRICE

These are just a few sites that we rec­om­mend for your hol­i­day. Other nat­ural attrac­tions include Orchid World, the largest and most exten­sive orchid col­lec­tion in the Caribbean, the Flower For­est and the Bar­ba­dos Wildlife Reserve.


Shop­ping

While in Bar­ba­dos, you should take some time out to do some shop­ping. There are many areas you can find great pieces of arts and craft that make fan­tas­tic sou­venirs. Bridgetown has an abun­dance of stores, and you can find duty-​free shop­ping here eas­ily. Pel­i­can Vil­lage, located very near the Port in Bridgetown, is an area des­ig­nated for Bajan arts and crafts, and you can find a vari­ety of items here includ­ing jew­ellery, bas­ketry, glass art, wood sculp­tures, among oth­ers. Hole­town and Speight­stown also have a num­ber of stores and malls, and you will be able to find many street ven­dors who you may be able to bar­gain with.

Another great place to stop off for sou­venir shop­ping is Tyrol Cot Her­itage Vil­lage. Once the fam­ily home of one of the found­ing fathers of Bar­ba­dian democ­racy, Sir Grant­ley Adams , and his son, sec­ond Prime Min­is­ter of Bar­ba­dos, The late J.M.G.M. “Tom” Adams, Tyrol Cot Her­itage Vil­lage cur­rently stands as a her­itage house and craft vil­lage. You can get in a bit of sight-​seeing here, and end your tour with shopping.

There is no lack of inter­est­ing places to shop and things to buy in Bar­ba­dos. The cre­ativ­ity of Bar­ba­di­ans is alive in the things that are wrought here with their own hands. It is a great idea to com­mem­o­rate your week vaca­tion on this trop­i­cal island with a sou­venir fit­ting to the island. And remem­ber, you can always take a break from your shop­ping to have a drink at a beach bar, or soak in some sun on one of our many beau­ti­ful beaches.
Tyrol Cot Her­itage Cen­tre — Tel: (246) 4242074


Bajan Food

You have a whole week in Bar­ba­dos to taste our authen­tic Bajan food! You can par­take in an Oistins grilled fish on Fri­day or Sat­ur­day night, as these times tend to be the liveli­est, and taste the deli­cious freshly-​caught fish offered. Sat­ur­days are pop­u­lar days in Bar­ba­dos for Pud­ding & Souse, a deli­cious meal com­pris­ing of pick­led pork and sweet potato pud­ding. If you have a sweet tooth you might want to try a Coconut Bread, or snack on some Tamarind Balls or even Fish Cakes. In Bar­ba­dos we love good food, and you are almost cer­tain to find a Bajan meal that suits your tastes. Don’t be shy! Part of the Bajan expe­ri­ence is the Bajan food!

Aver­age cost for a Bajan meal, includ­ing drink– $25BDS


Nightlife

A week in Bar­ba­dos means you have quite a few nights to spend with us, so why not make the most of it! You can enjoy din­ner at one of our many restau­rants on the island, offer­ing food from Greek, Ital­ian, French, right down to Bajan style! If you are look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle bit more fes­tive and nois­ier, we have a num­ber of bars and clubs scat­tered all across the island.

Per­haps the most pop­u­lar nightlife spot on the island is St. Lawrence Gap located on the south coast. This stretch of road fea­tures many clubs and bars to choose from, and often times many peo­ple ‘club-​hop’ from one place to the next along this Gap. You will also find here many vis­i­tors and locals, all enjoy­ing the sights, sounds and smells of the Gap. There is food, drinks and music in abun­dance here, and there is also a strong police pres­ence to ensure order.

On the west coast, right by Hole­town, is also a very pop­u­lar spot for nightlife on the week­ends. Sec­ond Street is filled with bars and clubs, and is a favourite place to go for many locals and vis­i­tors. Right across the road is also Limegrove Lifestyle Cen­tre– an excel­lent place to also shop. Here at this Cen­tre there is a cigar lounge and a bar that is very pop­u­lar and active on the weekend.

You are sure to have a great time expe­ri­enc­ing Bar­ba­dos at night, and it is also a fan­tas­tic way to inter­act with the locals, and hear about other vis­i­tors’ expe­ri­ences on the island. There is some­thing for everyone.

RELATED ARTI­CLES
Bar­ba­dos UNESCO Her­itage Build­ings & Loca­tions
All Things Ocean
Nat­ural Won­ders
Bar­ba­dos Nightlife
Sight­see­ing
Shop­ping & Ser­vices
Cur­rent Edi­tion of Caribbean Dreams Magazine

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