Day Trips - 11 Parishes in 1 Day
Sightseeing – Parish Hopping
If you are up to the challenge of getting a taste of the entire island in just 1 day, we are here to help. At just 166 sq miles, Barbados is small and relatively easy to traverse. The island is broken into 11 parishes and within each of these, there are numerous beauties and treasures to behold. We have made a few suggestions on places that are too good to miss. So Grab your significant other or a carload of friends and set out on your ‘parish hopper’ Barbados island adventure.
Bridgetown, St. Michael
The Capital city Bridgetown, established in 1628, is the commercial centre of the island. It is a hive of activity with Duty-free shopping, restaurants and a population of more than 90,000. Bridgetown and its surrounding Garrison were named UNESCO world heritage sites in June 2011.
While here, take a photo at the Museum of Parliament.
Gun Hill Signal Station, St. George
Since the 1800’s Gun Hill, Signal Station has been one of the best lookout points in Barbados, with panoramic views of the entire island. From this vantage point, early British soldiers could spot enemies coming from any direction and warn the troops across the island. As you leave the signal station, you may pass the ‘Lion at Gun Hill’; It was carved from a single stone by an officer at the signal station in 1868 to showcase Britain’s strength.
While visiting, take a photo sitting on/by the lion.
Welchman Hall Gully, St. Tomas
On clear days beautiful views await, atop the lookout point at Welchman Hall Gully. This enchanting tropical rain forest is ¾’s of a mile long and is teaming with wildlife. Here you will find a range of exotic plants and trees including bamboo, nutmeg & clove. Also look out for green monkeys that could be hiding around any corner.
Spot & take a photo of a wild green monkey
St. James Parish Church, St. James
Holetown is the home of the St. James Parish Church. There you will find beautiful stained glass windows, carvings & the oldest bell in Barbados (even older than the U.S. Liberty Bell), inscribed “God Bless King William 1696”. The church also boasts many of its original relics, including its original baptism font and historic hand-beaten silver pieces dating to the 1680s. It sits on one of the oldest parcels of consecrated land in the island and is only a few feet away from the beautiful Folkestone beach & marine park.
During your visit, be sure to take a photo by the bell.
Farley Hill National Park, St. Peter – take a photo by the ruins
Farley Hill is not only a great picnic spot but it is also an interesting area to explore. Travel to the top of the hill and look out to spectacular views of the east, or view the ruins of Farley Hill House. Once a stately mansion, it was featured in the International film Island In The Sun in 1965 but was soon after destroyed by fire. The ruins sit amongst a beautiful forest of mahogany trees and there is also a play park for the younger ones to enjoy.
Be sure to take a photo by the ruins.
River Bay, St. Lucy
River Bay is a popular picnic spot in Barbados. Upon arrival, you may not realize how special it is, but daring explorers sometimes carefully take the trek up the large rock formation to find a superb lookout point with spectacular views of the northern coastline. You can watch as the waves crash against the cliffs creating lovely sea sprays, stay long enough and you may even spot a whale. Hike at your own risk*
Take a photo of the lovely bay.
Cherry Tree Hill, St. Andrew
Offering magnificent views of the Scottland District and Barbados’ east coast, Cherry Tree Hill, sits over 800 feet above sea level. The scenic drive towards this lookout point is lined with a tunnel of gigantic mahogany trees, which filter the light. Imagine yourself driving through a tunnel and emerging to perfection.
Take a selfie with the view in the back.
Bathsheba, St. Joseph
Arguably, the freshest air in Barbados blows in the east. Bathsheba is one east coast communities which benefits from these cool breezes. Bathsheba is well known for its striking rock formations, which protrude along the coastline and for the “Soup Bowl” a coastal zone popular for large waves that attract international surfing competitions annually. Dine at one of the seaside restaurants or just picnic on the beach, the area is quite relaxing.
Capture a photo of yourself with one of the boulders in the background.
St. John Parish Church, St. John
This Gothic church was built in 1836 after the previous structure was destroyed by a hurricane in 1831. It sits atop a ridge in St. John and offers panoramic views of the east coast. It is said that on a clear day, the Church Tower can be seen from neighbouring islands. The church is rich history and is a popular tourist attraction.
While here, snap a photo of one of the church’s historic features, for example, the Westmacott sculpture or the sundial.
Harrismith Beach, St. Philip
Also known as Cave Bay, due to the hidden caves nearby, this secluded beach is truly a gem. This white, sandy bay hides amidst cliffs of the east coast. Though the water may look calm swimming is not advised due to the undertows. The seclusion and beauty of this beach make it a very romantic location. Atop the cliff overlooking the bay is the ruins of the Harrismith Great House which was built in the 1900s.
Be sure to snap a pic of yourself with the Great House in the background.
Graeme Hall Sanctuary, Christ Church – take a photo by the cafe
Graeme Hall Nature Sanctury, originally a part of Graeme Hall Swamp was created to promote the care for animals in their natural environment. The Sanctuary offers a unique view of the wetlands. The café opens daily and their manicured lawns and open space make it a perfect area to relax.
Be sure to take a photo by the open lake.
You can turn this activity into a fun record of your trip… after each location, there is a direction “take a photo…” Share them with us on f/caribbeandreamsmagazine.com
Other fantastic photo op spots are marked on the map.
Disclaimer: Be mindful to take every precaution to be safe on your tour of the island and avoid unnecessary risks. These suggestions are not intended to have you racing about Barbados but just aimed at adding fun to your experience.