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.
Rockley is a quiet, laid-back patch on the island’s south coast. It’s a more residential neighbourhood than some of the other south coast spots, so you’ll get a taste of Bajan life – especially on weekends, when the locals make a beeline for Rockley Beach.
You’ll find Bridgetown – Barbados’ capital – on the southwest coast of the island, centred on a good-looking bay. The city’s a cheerfully colourful clash of old and new, and lines up vibrant bistros, a 135-year-old cricket oval, and a treasure trove of duty-free shopping. Make a beeline for downtown, and you’ll come across the area known as ‘Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison’ – a UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the 17th century.
This place is a million miles from its British namesake. Instead of a pier and pebbles, you’ve got a long stretch of powdery white sand. Other than that, Worthing keeps a small beach town vibe, with just one streets’ worth of bars-come-restaurants. Its nearest neighbour is more up-tempo St Lawrence Gap, and capital Bridegetown is a 15-minute taxi ride away.