Caribbean Tourism

Beaches & Watersports

Excursions

Being the most easterly island and extremely difficult to attack, there are few defensive forts on Barbados. Instead the great houses of the sugar growing plantocracy give the island its historic perspective and most of its tourist attractions. Many parish churches are also impressive buildings. The island is not large but it is easy to get lost when...

The West Coast

The mass development of the west coast was carried out only recently. The beaches are easily eroded and can be covered with broken coral after storms. Pre-war, the area was regarded by the local Bajans as unhealthy. They preferred to go for their holidays to the east coast. Nowadays, the road north of Bridgetown on Highway 1 is wall to wall hotels. Highway...

Southeast Coast

The area around Six Cross Roads was where the Easter Rebellion of 1816 took place (see Easter). You can visit one of the great houses (Oughterson Plantation House is no longer in operation). Sunbury Plantation Turn north at Six Cross Roads for Sunbury Plantation. Some 300 years old, the house is elegantly furnished in Georgian style, much of it with...

The South Coast

Oistins Oistins, the main town in the parish of Christ Church, was named after Edward Oistine, a plantation owner in the area. It was important in colonial times as the place where the ‘Charter of Barbados’ was signed in 1652, giving the island to the Commonwealth Parliament. It is now the main fishing port. Christ Church parish church overlooks the town...

The Scotland District

St Nicholas Abbey Just to the northwest is St Nicholas Abbey which is approached down a long and impressive avenue of mahogany trees. Dating from around 1660, it is one of the oldest domestic buildings in the English-speaking Americas (Drax Hall, St George, open occasionally under the National Trust Open House programme, is probably even older). Three...

The Centre

Northeast of Holetown and reached from St Simon’s Church are Turners Hall Woods, a good vantage point. It is thought that the wood has changed little to that which covered the island before the English arrived. The 50-acre patch of tropical mesophytic forest has never been clear-felled (although individual trees were often taken out). You can walk over the...

The Atlantic Parishes

The five-mile East Coast Rd, opened by Queen Elizabeth on 15 February 1966 affords fine views. From Belleplaine, where the railway ended, it skirts Walker’s Savannah to the coast at Long Pond and heads southeast to Benab, where there is Barclays Park, a good place to stop for a picnic under the shady casuarina trees. A walk up Chalky Mount has been...

St Lucy

The road north of Speightstown is mercifully free of buildings and there is a good sandy beach on Six Men’s Bay. Go through Littlegood Harbour and notice the boat building on the beach. The jetty you can see is at Harrison Point. You are now entering the unspoilt (apart from Arawak Cement Plant) parish of St Lucy. Almost any of the roads off Highway 1b will...

Beaches & Watersports

There are beaches along most of the south and west coasts. Although some hotels make it hard to cross their property to reach the sand, there are no private beaches in Barbados. The west coast beaches are very calm, and quite narrow, beach erosion is a serious worry and the Government’s Coastal Conservation Unit is trying to sort it out. A swell can wash up...