Holidays to Barbados aren’t just about the beach. This island also serves up first-class shopping, rum-fuelled nightlife and a bit of British flavour.
Caribbean with a British twist
On the surface, Barbados ticks off all the Caribbean clichés – white sands, bright-blue waters, coconut palms. But look closer and you’ll find this little island’s got a British slant to it. Think afternoon tea on the terrace, cricket matches on manicured greens, and elegant colonial houses.
More than just beaches
Barbados has some first-class beaches to its name, but the island’s best bits aren’t confined to the coast. Head inland and you’ll stumble across sugarcane fields, pastel-painted villages and roadside rum shops.
When it comes to places to stay, one of the biggies is Christ Church, on the south coast. It’s a pretty big parish, and within it you’ll find beach resorts like Maxwell, Hastings and Rockley, as well as St Lawrence Gap – the party capital of Barbados. This is the place to be after dark – it’s packed with rum bars, Bajan restaurants and dance-all-night clubs.
Over on the west coast is the parish of St James. The pristine, pearly white beaches on this side of the island have earned it the nickname the Platinum Coast. Shoppers should make a beeline for Holetown – it’s home to 3 malls bursting with clothes stores and big-name boutiques.
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The dinky resort of Maxwell lies on Barbados’ south coast, sandwiched between the fishing town of Oistins and party-hard St Lawrence Gap. It’s a low-key place – aside from the beach, there’s just a handful of hotels, a smattering of restaurants and a few stalls selling crafty bits and bobs.
Tucked away on Barbados’ west coast, St James is a parish that pulls in the rich and glamorous, thanks to its white-sand beaches and posh beachfront mansions. Smack in the middle of the coast is Holetown, where you’ll find most of the action. It’s got a bit of history to it – back in the 1600s it was the first British settlement in Barbados. Nowadays, the town is one of the island’s biggest, offering up plenty in the way of shops, restaurants and Caribbean-style nightlife.
Hugging the shoreline in the south coast parish of Christ Church, St Lawrence has earned itself the title of Barbados’ liveliest spot. Most of the action centres around the ‘Gap’. It’s a 1.3-kilometre stretch of road that’s lined with bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as street stalls hawking everything from beaded necklaces to chicken and rice.
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