From exploring old plantation houses to discovering the local foodie haunts, we know what should be on your to-do list when visiting Barbados. Our Travel Experts have all the inside knowledge you need to get fully acquainted with this charming island.
An island steeped in English traditions, Barbados is renowned for its profound love of afternoon tea. Savour cream tea, dainty finger sandwiches and classic pastries under a shaded terrace, whilst being only moments away from the ocean. Cobblers Cove have been serving their gourmet afternoon tea everyday for over 25 years, served on bespoke Wedgwood china for an authentic touch.
Thousands of visitors from around the world descend on Barbados to celebrate the annual Crop Over festival, celebrating the island’s rich history of sugar cane production. Soca Royale is one of the main highlights, bringing together the top artistes of the two most popular music forms of the Crop Over festival (Sweet Soca and Party Monarch), elaborate costumes, dance routines and pulsating beats into one energetic show. From browsing the local food stalls, refreshments and crafts to watching the final carnival procession on Grand Kadooment Day, there are plenty of ways to join in with the festivities.
A must-visit for history aficionados, this Jacobean-style plantation house dates back to the 1600s. Guests are welcome to explore the steam mill and rum distillery, before taking home a personalised bottle of the island's signature spirit. The estate itself is immaculately landscaped, with flourishing flower and herb gardens and a reserve named Cherry Tree Hill that overlooks the rugged coast. New for 2019 is the Heritage Railway - passengers can board open-air carriages of a 1914 restored steam locomotive and journey through plantation fields, mahogany woodlands and a coral limestone quarry.
As one of the island's most revered attractions, Harrison's Cave is recognised for its spectacular stalactites and stalagmites — many of which have been forming for thousands of years. Whether you choose to partake in a tram or walking tour, you'll have the opportunity to witness the sheer beauty of these unique formations, as well as glass-like pools of water and cascading waterfalls.
Friday night plays host to one of the most popular nights on Barbados, taking place in the charming fishing village of Oistins. Numerous stalls serve up fresh helpings of tuna, mahi-mahi, flying fish, swordfish and marlin, whilst the colourful sounds of calypso music pervade the air. Relaxed and informal, the atmosphere is suitable for families with young children.
Firmly entrenched in the island’s heritage, rum is the staple spirit of choice on Barbados. As the world’s oldest rum, Mount Gay Rum has been refined and perfected for over 300 years, thus earning it the title of ‘the rum that invented rum’. Discover how this iconic spirit is made on an in-depth tour of the distillery, before enjoying a cocktail mixing session and sampling the island’s sweet nectar for yourself.