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General

The dramatic differences between the east and west coast must not be missed. The east (Atlantic side) is less developed and ruggedly beautiful. The west coast is the Caribbean side, where there is more hotel development, but the coastline remains elegant and attractive. The sea is calm and clear and this is the coast where watersports come into their own. Barbados is actively promoting ecotourism. The Barbados National Trust has implemented programs to support this venture, owning and/or administering 10 sites that are open to the public. Various hiking, cycling and walking events are available and information can be obtained from the Barbados National Trust, Wildey House, Wildey, St Michael, Barbados.

Places of Interest

Bridgetown
The island was discovered by the Portuguese in 1536, but throughout its colonial history, which ended with the Declaration of Independence in 1966, Barbados was under British sovereignty. This is strongly reflected in the old capital of Bridgetown which has a decidedly English character; so much so that there is even a miniature of London’s Trafalgar Square, complete with a statue of Lord Nelson. The city is small and there are many excellent walking tours. Places worth a visit include the Fairchild Market, St Michael’s Cathedral (built in 1789), Belleville, Government House, the Barbados Museum, the Old Synagogue and the Garrison Savannah. Temple Yard has a Rastafarian street market.

St John
There is a breathtaking view of the east coast from St John’s Parish Church. The church’s cemetery contains the grave of Ferdinando Paleologus, a possible descendant of the Byzantine Emperors.

Codrington College
Situated near Consett Bay, and one of the oldest schools of theology in the Western hemisphere, built in 1745.

Morgan Lewis Mill
Also in the east, this is a splendid example of a Dutch windmill from the days of the sugar cane planters. It has been completely restored and is open to the public.

Newcastle Coral Stone Gates
Situated in St Joseph, these gates were erected by 20th Century Fox for the film Island in the Sun, and the area affords a commanding view of the magnificent east coast beaches.

The East Coast Road
One of the most exciting drives on the island, with the Atlantic crashing over treacherous reefs on to the rugged and beautiful coast.

Andromeda Gardens
The array of exotic plants grown along terraced gardens makes this the prettiest area of St Joseph.

Welchman Hall Gully
Owned by the National Trust, this botanic garden in St Thomas is home to many rare fruit and spice trees.

Holetown (St James)
The monument in the town gives the date of the founding of Barbados’ first settlement by the English as being 1605, although this event in fact took place in 1627. There are still a few structures dating from that time. St James, the first church, still retains a 17th-century font, and a bell inscribed ‘God bless King William, 1696’.

Harrison’s Cave (St Thomas)
This eerie, luminous cavern makes a spectacular excursion. Completely lit, one can see every part from a special train which takes the visitor on a mile-long ride underground. Stalactites and stalagmites are in abundance, among underground scenery boasting a crystal-clear waterfall and deep emerald lakes. It is open every day 9 am-4 pm.

Flower Forest
A 50-acre botanical garden in which can be found almost every plant that grows on Barbados. The grounds offer pleasant walks and spectacular views of Chalky Mountain, the Atlantic Ocean and Mount Hillaby.


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