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all about Barbados

Reasons to visit Barbados

Barbados is famous for its legendary golf courses. You will recognise many familiar English place names such as Brighton, Dover and Newcastle although Trafalgar Square in Bridgetown has now been renamed National Heroes Square. The island has a rich history as a former British colony and the people are very friendly and welcoming. 

We love Barbados for

  • Birdwatching
  • Coastal walks
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Diving
  • Gardens
  • Golf
  • Horseriding
  • Nightlife
  • Sandy Beaches
  • Surfing
  • Watersport

When to go to Barbados

The high season runs from mid December to mid April when hotel prices will rise and you will need to book up to a year in advance to get the best deals.

We recommend that you try travelling to Barbados at other times if you are not bound by school holidays, where you will find some great hotel and airfare deals. Check out our latest deals to Barbados with Virgin Atlantic.

Weather in Barbados

February to May are the driest months in Barbados. The average temperature during the dry season is 27°C and 29°C during the wet season from June to November. Hurricanes are most likely between June and October and July is the wettest month.

Planning your holiday

Family reunions and holidays to Barbados

When considering a trip to Barbados, many travellers choose to stay in famous resorts such as Sandy Lane, made famous by film stars who have frequented the islands over the years but you can find accommodation to suit most budgets on this laid back island. We recommend that you find the time to hire a car and visit the lovely Plantation houses, the orchid gardens, rum distilleries and take a walk along the northern and eastern Atlantic coasts. Most of the watersports are situated along the Caribbean coasts which are much more sheltered. The island has lots of sugar cane fields, rolling hills and charming old colonial buildings in the capital of Bridgetown which has lively markets.

Beach Holidays in Barbados

There is plenty of choice when it comes to sandy beaches and good places for snorkelling or water sports in Barbados.

Barbados for couples

The island is often seen as an upmarket romantic getaway with some great nightlife for couples celebrating their honeymoon or an anniversary and couple only hotels and resorts.

Places to stay in Barbados

There are many hotels in Barbados to choose from ranging from small friendly guesthouses, affordable apartments and hotels to the large all inclusive 5 star resorts, such as The Hilton. We recommend that anyone renting a private villa should ensure there is adequate 24 hour security on the site. We have a range of specially selected hotels in Barbados for our customers so do let us know how we can help.

Barbados for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions

If you are looking for help organising a trip to Barbados for a group, whether that’s for a special family occasion such as an anniversary or wedding just get in touch. We have organised many types of trips, including music tours for some of the most well known bands in the Caribbean.

Barbados for family holidays

Barbados has a lot to offer kids and whether that is snorkelling on the west coast at the Folkestone Park and marine reserve, turtle watching around Alleynes Bay or Gibbs Beach or horseriding. 

Cultural and Adventure Holidays in Barbados

There is a wealth of English, American and Jewish history and for anyone wanting to learn more about the island’s former visitors such as George Washington and its local heroes we recommend visiting the Barbados Museum in the Garrison Historical Area in Bridgetown. You can pick up a walking tour leaflet at the local tourist office for the National Heroes Square area.

Tracing the history of sugar production in Barbados

We also recommend a visit and tour of the Sir Frank Hudson Sugar Machinery Museum off Highway 28 which traces the history of the island’s sugar production. You could also visit the Springvale Eco-Heritage Museum in a former sugar plantation, showing life for an islander in colonial times. Sunbury Plantation on the south east coast also enables you to see the original servant quarters.

Getting to Barbados

There are regular flights to Bridgetown from Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Caribbean Airlines via Trinidad. There are also some charter flights with the package tour operators offering all inclusive deals during the peak season. You need to book at least a year in advance to travel during the Christmas period and also during the other busy time called Crop Over (from July – early August).

Getting around

We recommend hiring a car in Barbados as taxis are expensive but allow plenty of time to get around the island, as the roads are narrow and slow. Car rental makes it easier to see the main sights and we offer some great rates here.

Things to do and see in Barbados

Barbados Wildlife Reserve

Visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve in the Scotland district which has huge Barbados tortoises, green monkeys and a bird house.

Arbib Nature and Heritage Trail

You can take the Arbib Nature and Heritage Trail which starts in Speightstown (pronounced Spitestown) and is run by the National Trust. They offer two routes of around 3 and 4 miles. Anyone who is a UK National Trust member will be able to enjoy free entry to the National Trust properties on the island so don’t forget your membership card.

Oistins

Friday night is the liveliest in Oistins where you will find everything from dub music to ballroom dancing and lots of fish stalls.

Gun Hill

Gun Hill is an old restored signal tower with good views.

Welchman Hall Gully

Don’t miss the Welchman Hall Gully on Highway 2 which is a deep ravine with great views of the coast.

Party Cruise

You can take a party cruise on a tall ship both during the day and evenings near Folkestone Underwater Park or from Bridgetown harbour.

Water Sports

The south coast is great for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Graeme Hall Bird Sanctuary

Graeme Hall Bird Sanctuary in Worthing offers a great habitat for birds with its large inland lake and wetlands and it has a boardwalk for birdwatching.

Rum Tours

Take a rum tour and learn how it’s made at the following centres: Mount Gay Visitor Centre, Brandons at St Michael, Malibu Visitor Centre, Brighton, Banks Brewery, Foursquare Rum Factory and Heritage Park also has a pet farm and pony centre for children.

Events & Holidays

1 January - New Year holiday
2nd week January - Jazz Festival
21 January - Errol Barrow Day
January - Barbados Windsurfing World Cup
Late January/early February - The Waterman Festival (acrobatics)
February - The Holetown Festival
March -The Holders Season (outdoor theatre performances)
March - April Oistins Fish Festival
Late April - Congaline Street Festival
Easter - Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday.
28 April - National Heroes Day
1 May - Labour Day
May - Gospel Fest
July/August - Crop Over (Calypso, parades and music)#
1 August - Emancipation Day
First Mon in August - Kadooment Day
October - Blowin in de Windies, youth Jazz festival
November - NIFCA National Independence Festival of Creative Arts
30 November - Independence Day
25-26 Dec - Christmas Holidays







 

 

Useful Barbados travel information

Currency - The Barbados dollar is pegged to the US dollar at B$2 to US$1

Emergencies - Dial 211 for police emergencies and 311 for Fire and 511 for an ambulance.

Tipping - Restaurant and hotel staff expect 10-15% of the bill and a small amount if the service is already included.

Voltage - This varies from 110 to 220 volts depending on the hotel so best to check directly.

Time Difference - GMT -4 hours (Atlantic Standard Time)

Country dialing code is +246

Departure tax - This is normally included in the price of your air ticket.

Security in Barbados - Many visitors travel to the island each year and do not have any incidents however we recommend that you do not walk about in Nelson Street in Bridgetown at night and exercise caution at all times. Take advice from the locals as to any city areas you should avoid at all times and do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach. Use your hotel safe or security boxes to store your valuables. Avoid driving at night outside towns.

When taking a boat trip check that the boat operator has sails or oars in the event of an engine breakdown, a radio and lifejackets and equipment in the event of a fire. Accidents do happen and boats can break down.

Useful Links

Barbados High Commission in the UK
1 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3ND, UK
Tel: (020) 7299 7150.
www.foreign.gov.bb

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1700 Visa Section 1000 – 1600

Barbados Tourism Authority in the UK
263 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7LA, UK
Tel: (020) 7636 9448.
www.visitbarbados.co.uk

Handpicked hotels

 

Butterfly Beach Hotel
Bridgetown, Barbados

 

Bougainvillea Beach Resort
Christ Church, Barbados

 

Discovery Bay by Rex Resorts
Holetown, Barbados

 

Almond Beach Resort
Speightstown, Barbados

 

Time Out at The Gap
Christ Church, Barbados

 

Worthing Court Apartment Hotel
Christ Church, Barbados

 

South Gap Hotel
Christ Church, Barbados

 

Rostrevor Hotel
Christ Church, Barbados

 

The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa
Holetown, Barbados

Insider tips

Oistins

Barbados

Oistins is an active fishing town and is a hub of activity on weekend nights. On Friday night particularly, the big thing to do is go to the fish fry at Oistins Bay Gardens.

The food is the main draw - excellent fish, (tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, flying fish), lobster, chicken etc served in an extremely informal setting.

Lots of travelers recommend you forget about the swanky white-table cloth eateries come the weekend, when the smells of barbecued chicken and flying fish waft from southern Barbados and the Oistins Fish Fry. 

“...I was hesitant at first to start with, however when I started speaking to the staff and I heard the way they handle the customers I was very impressed. 18 Nov 14”

Susanne Mackie Hill - Read more