Insider Guide to Barbados: Our 5 favourite sites

07 February 2018

Wondering what there is to do in Barbados? Discover five must-visit sites that our Travel Counsellors recommend!

Andromeda Botanic Gardens

Andromeda Botanic Gardens in Barbados

Created in 1954 by renowned horticulturist Iris Bannochie as a private family garden, these wonderful 6-acres started life as farmland and were created entirely from scratch. However, the gardens can be a little tricky to find, as Travel Counsellor Linda discovered when she visited Barbados, "Andromeda Botanical Gardens are supremely hidden to say that it's a six-acre site! Eventually, we found them hugging the steep winding roads surrounding Bathsheba."

Bequeathed to the Barbados National Trust in 1988, many of the plants were collected by Iris as she travelled across the globe. There are over 600 specimens to discover, as well as streams, ponds, and self-guided walks. Linda advises doing the walks when you're here - "we enjoyed it so much that we did them both!"

There’s also a delightful café on-site, so you can tuck into lunch while spotting hummingbirds, monkeys and dragonflies!

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, Barbados

Bridgetown might be bustling, but wander among the exquisite colonial buildings in the historic area, and you feel as though you could have been transported back to the 1800s. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, the area features beautifully ornate yet imposing buildings ordered by British colonialists in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Spend an afternoon here and learn about Barbados’ complex history as a major port since its settlement by the English almost 400 years ago.

Sunbury Plantation House

Sunbury Plantation House in Barbados

With its spectacular façade and carefully tended grounds, this delightful plantation house gives you a taste of life as the owner of a sugar plantation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Built around 1660 by one of the first settlers on the island, Matthew Chapman, and developed by subsequent owners, the house is filled with period furniture and antique prints. Once you’ve toured the house, stop off for a spot of afternoon tea in the Courtyard Restaurant.

Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd

Sugar Cane Plantation in Barbados

A trip to Barbados wouldn’t be complete without a little tasting of what is perhaps their most famous export, rum!

Head to Mount Gay Rum - established in 1703, making it the oldest rum distillery in the world - and learn all about how the liquor is made from sugar cane to the coral-filtered water that’s native to Barbados.

Travel Counsellor Diendra visited the distillery on a trip in January 2017 and said it was "such a fun experience", adding that "the ticket includes the cost of the entrance fee and one complimentary drink. I must say, once you taste the Mount Gay Rum, you'll want it more and more! The bartender at the distillery prepared some fantastic cocktails using this fine rum." Travel Counsellor Linda agrees that the Mount Gay Rum Distillery is a must-visit: "The guides are entertaining, the presentation is professional, the rum tasting has enlightened me that not all rums are the same - and some definitely deserve to be enjoyed ‘on the rocks’!"

Once you’ve discovered the heritage and craftsmanship that goes into making rum, step into the garden, enjoy a traditional Bajan lunch or try a cocktail mixing session!

Bathsheba Beach

Bathsheba Beach in Barbados

The wild east coast might not be suitable for swimming - the water’s too rough - but the rugged beaches along this stretch are mesmerising. This is Barbados’ top surfers beach so expect pounding waves and pro surfers as you walk along miles of untouched sand and giant rock formations.

Travel Counsellor Peridot explored the east coast and Bathsheba when she visited in November 2016 and loved the rugged coastline, saying Bathsheba is "a really amazing place and so different to the west coast." Peridot also recommends the beach café Dina's, which served "the best rum punch we've had, and lovely Bajan food!"

Heading to Barbados in November? Watch pro surfers at Bathsheba Soup Bowl, the international surfing competition held here.

Here, we’ve chosen a few of the sites we think you should see while you’re in Barbados. Discover more things to see, do and eat in Barbados with our destination guide or get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to plan a trip to Barbados!

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