20 September 2018
If you're wondering what to there is to do on the picturesque Caribbean island of Barbados, then discover these five must-visit sites that our Travel Counsellors recommend.
Created in 1954 by renowned horticulturist Iris Bannochie as a private family garden, this wonderful six-acre site started life as farmland and was created entirely from scratch. Bequeathed to the Barbados National Trust in 1988, many of the plants were collected by Iris as she travelled across the globe. There are now over 600 specimens to discover, as well as streams, ponds, and self-guided walks. Travel Counsellor Linda advises doing the walks when you're here: "We enjoyed the self-guided walks so much that we did them both." There’s also a delightful café on-site, so you can enjoy a spot of lunch while spotting hummingbirds, monkeys and dragonflies.
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.
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.
A trip to Barbados wouldn’t be complete without a little tasting of the island's famous elixr. Head to Mount Gay Rum which, established in 1703, is the oldest rum distillery in the world. Here you will 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: "Tthe 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 us some fantastic cocktails and I even got a bottle to take home." Travel Counsellor Linda agreedm saying: "The Mount Gay Rum Distillery is a must-visit. The guides are entertaining, the presentation is professional, the rum tasting has shown me that not all rums are the same and some definitely deserve to be enjoyed ‘on the rocks."
The wild east coast might not be suitable for swimming due to rough water, but the rugged beaches along this stretch are mesmerising. This is Barbados’ top surfing beach so expect pounding waves and surfers aplenty 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. " Bathsheba is a really amazing place and so different to the west coast. You should also head to the beach's café, Dina's, and try their lovely Bajan food and amazing rum punch."
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.