Beautiful Barbados Beaches

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Although we have only been to Barbados in the summer, it has an appeal throughout the year. The Caribbean is known for hurricanes but it is very rare for one to hit Barbados.

Barbados is a relatively flat coral island with an abundant supply of large gradually sloping beaches.

All beaches on the island of Barbados are considered "public", although some are harder to get to than others!

Over 79 miles of beautiful white and pink sand beaches await you on the island of Barbados – come on in, the water’s great!

Crane Beach
crane1 crane2 crane3 crane My personal favorite, of course, is the Crane Beach

Set on 40 acres of oceanfront land in the parish of St. Philip on the Southeast Coast of Barbados, The Crane is the island's oldest vacation resort. Conveniently located just six minutes east of Grantley Adams International Airport, the resort boasts a spectacular natural setting on a cliff overlooking the renowned Crane Beach. The Crane was recently awarded a Four Diamond rating from the Automobile Association of America (AAA). Today, The Crane is comprised of the original historic hotel building, built in the late 1700's and expanded in 1887, and a new all-suite development. Seven of ten phases of The Crane's new development are complete. On completion of the development, this world-class report will also feature a Bajan village offering retail shops, bar 1812, art gallery and museum; a full-service spa set in a coconut grove on the beach, a choice of gourmet and casual restaurants and flood-lit tennis courts.

Originally a harbor, Crane Beach is located at the famous Crane Hotel, and has been voted one of the ten best beaches in the world by "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". Bigger waves make it good for body surfing, but in the cove to the left there is safe swimming close to shore.

You will have to walk down to the beach or take the new elevator down the cliff.  There is a charge for parking, waived if you have lunch at one of the restaurants.

Nearby, about half a mile to the south is Foul Bay.  Despite it’s name (it just meant that it was hard for ships to make harbor) this is a spectacular beach that is usually quiet. There are no facilities, so it is best to take your own food and drink. A great place for a day picnic.

Bottom Bay

bottom Just north of the famed Sam Lord’s Castle, this bay is surrounded by high coral cliffs, and is the perfect beach postcard with lots of coconut trees, crystal turquoise water, and a large expansive beach area. It has medium waves, slight undertow, and a  favorite picnic spot with Bajans and visitors.

Take your own food and drink as facilities are not nearby. A very popular beach for surfers but beach lovers will find lots of secluded spots.


sam Sam Lord's Castle is closed now but has been bought by another hotel company and should reopen...sometime.

Sam Lord was a pirate way back but not the kind that went to sea. He stayed at home, in his castle (pictured left), and put lights on the coconut trees so ships would think that they were near Bridgetown. They came close, crashed on the cliffs and Sam added to his treasure.

Church Point 
long2 church
A very special beach, clean, not very wide and somewhat sheltered, the waters are almost always placid with no undertow and good snorkeling. This beach is in front of the stunning coral stone Heron Bay House, which is almost as beautiful to view as the pristine beach it looks upon.

Heron Bay has hosted many famous guests, including former US President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, and several movie stars. The house was built in 1947 by the late Ronald Tree, a member of the Winston Churchill British Cabinet.

The house is set on 20 acres of manicured gardens, including a small lake, and the property is often opened as part of the Barbados National Trust's annual Open House Programme.

Long Beach  long                                                              
Long Beach stretches for more than a mile and is very flat and narrow, a great find since it is secluded and private. The nearby long Beach Club has facilities here but this is a fairly private setting.

Long Beach is situated in a natural environment. The buildings that are visible from the beach are a blend of period and modern properties and very attractive. The natural beach environment consists of rocks and cliff faces and is stunningly beautiful.

The sand is very fine and has a bright, white color and the beach and water are very clean. The seawater is a beautiful shade of light blue and is crystal clear. 

The beach can only be reached by climbing a trail / by walking downhill. However, parking is available near the beach.

Dover Beach

dover Lying at the Southern end of the St. Lawrence Gap ’strip’ this is a popular beach among visitors to the south coast. Medium waves and a number of facilities close by add to its appeal.

This is charter-holiday territory, where families mingle on the sands with a procession of brides and grooms searching for that ultimate Caribbean wedding photo.


 cattle2 cattle This by far the longest beach on the island. It’s rough and rugged splendor make it a popular sightseeing and relaxing spot. It is several miles long and very often deserted. It is a perfect location for nature lovers.

This beach is a little north of Bathsheba and is a frequent “sight” on sight seeing tours. Its name defines it’s original function.

This area is a very popular get-away spot for Bajans, especially during the summer months. Although it is a very scenic and relaxing area, there are strong currents in the area and swimming in open water is not recommended. There are however many pools, surrounded by rocks where one can bathe safely.

bath There is usually a lifeguard and there are parking, changing, picnic and eating facilities. Medium to small waves and slight undertow close to shore make this a good swimming beach. 

Bath Beach is the perfect swimming beach, and there are plenty of shady trees to relax under with a picnic lunch.  There are no restaurants here, but changing rooms are provided.


Mullins Bay

mullins This is another popular hangout, a picturesque bay with a nice, placid beach almost all year round. Plenty of facilities, from parking and eating, Mullins are also a very good snorkeling area.  Located in a cove, the water is always calm, and crystal clear.

You'll find plenty of places to eat, especially Mullins Beach Bar, and parking is provided across the street. Beach chairs are available for rent.


Folkstone Beach

folkstone There are many water-related activities, along with fresh water showers and shops. There is an interpretive centre and museum. The underwater park zone extends from Sandy Lane to Colony Club and you can rent snorkeling equipment around the fringe reef, or hire a boat for diving.




Sandy Lane Bay

sandy The beach of Sandy Lane, the island’s most opulent resort is home to Villas on the beach, Barbados. This is a long, wide beach which is in pristine condition and well-maintained. Quite literally it can be a VIP spotting beach with many a celebrity holidaying here.

Winter on the Beach: Barbados

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's our favourite Caribbean destination for good reason – there's more to this island than sun, sea and sand. Kate Simon offers a guide.

The accommodation

The hot news from the east coast is the reopening of the Atlantis Hotel ( The venerable seaside lodgings have been turned into a stylish 10-room property by the team behind Little Good Harbour.

Further south on this coast, The Crane ( has expanded from the original 18-room hotel into a veritable village of 180 luxury suites. On the south coast at St Lawrence Gap, the all-inclusive Almond Casuarina Beach Resort ( has had a revamp, adding 95 sea-facing rooms and a shorefront pool.

The activities

Any self-respecting surfer should try their luck in the Soup Bowl off the east coast at Bathsheba. This world-class break, which hosts international championships, can be surfed year round. But Barbados isn't all about the beach or the sea. Go inland to find more thrills at the Barbados Aerial Trek Zipline Adventures (00 246 433 8966) at Walkes Spring Plantation, which whizzes across 100ft-deep Jack-in-the-Box Gully. And, of course, Barbados is well supplied with polo fields, a sport first played here by British cavalry officers. The most famous ground is Holders, but others under construction include a new one at Apes Hill Club (, the latest addition to the island's portfolio of private estates.

The urban scene

The lively capital, Bridgetown, with its busy shops and harbour full of leisure craft, reveals the well-heeled nature of this island. This is also home to the third oldest parliament in the world and National Heroes Square, with its statue of Nelson that predates the one in London's Trafalgar Square. Also call by Holetown, where the British first settled, and see the once neglected Speightstown, the first major port, which is now being given a makeover.

The beaches

This island's exclusive image is largely down to its "Platinum Coast" on the Caribbean side of the island. Here, you'll find the rich and famous enjoying barefoot luxury on white sands lined with sunloungers set out by the five-star hotels that sit cheek by jowl along this coast. Further south, on the more blustery seafront of St Lawrence Gap, the resort hotels spill out on to golden beaches. This is charter-holiday territory, where families mingle on the sands with a procession of brides and grooms searching for that ultimate Caribbean wedding photo. Over on the east coast, the Atlantic waves keep the atmosphere bracing. It's a joy for surfers, but dangerous for swimmers who should ask a local to show them the safe spots for bathing.

The restaurants

Still the island's top spot for a special meal, The Cliff ( serves a starry clientele exquisite food in a sublime clifftop setting. At the new Marketfive by John Hazzard (00 246 436 1485), the eponymous chef is creating exciting, contemporary Caribbean dishes in a stylish dining room in the unlikely location of the new Sanjay Bridgetown Centre in the capital. Meanwhile, the Fish Pot (littlegoodharbour at the northern reach of the west coast and Cafe Luna ( at the southern end, both continue to delight with fine food and romantic settings. But for dinner with a touch of fun, join the locals and tourists at Fish Friday in Oistins.

The sights

Don't miss St Nicholas Abbey ( in St Peter, one of just three Jacobean houses remaining in the Americas. Take a tour of Harrison's Cave ( and the extraordinary limestone caverns at Allen View. Look out for the Emancipation Statue – aka Bussa, after the slave leader – which shows a black man breaking his chains. It sits on a roundabout east of Bridgetown.

Compact Facts

How to get there

Kate Simon travelled to Barbados with the Barbados Tourism Authority ( Thomas Cook Signature (0844 879 8015; offers seven nights' at Tamarind Cove from £1,299 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights with Virgin Atlantic, resort transfers, and B&B.



The Barbados: Like to hike?; With an island paradise to explore, there's no need to waste time lazing about on the beach

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Canwest News Service

"People only come to Barbados to lie on the beach," declares a diminutive blond over rum cocktails on the beach. "Take a hike," say I, meaning it in the nicest possible way. Along with a perfect climate and wonderful beaches, Barbados boasts an English-style National Trust whose sites include 17th-century plantation houses, sugar mills, museums and a 1654 synagogue. Plus, every Sunday the National Trust offers free hikes – a fun way to explore the island.

I was lucky enough to be in Barbados for the Trust's Moonlight Hike, a once- a-month event. Here's how it worked:

At 5:30 p.m., our group – about 60 adults and kids – rendezvous at the St. Thomas Parish post office. Twenty minutes later we've left behind a rural village and its giggling children, who are amused by our twilight parade. On the outskirts we pause to admire exotic crops: cassava, breadfruit, sugar cane, guinea corn, pigeon peas.

Next comes Welchman Hall Gully, named for General William Asygell Williams. Island rumour has it that the shaddock (a.k.a. pomelo) and sweet orange spontaneously produced the world's first grapefruit (though the invention of the grapefruit is also claimed by Jamaica). Overhead, I hear the sound of birds, and ask the man next to me what kind they are. "Bats, actually." Oh.

As green monkeys crash about in the treetops, the group learns that the bitter bark tree yields a malaria treatment called Quashir's Remedy, and that Amerindians used the bark to make insect repellent for their crops. However, the swizzle-stick tree's purpose is obvious.

As darkness falls, National Trust Hike veterans – the ones with the walking sticks – now produce flashlights. Very smart.

On reaching a nutmeg grove, everyone stops and sniffs the spice-scented air – though it's no longer the spice-growing centre it once was.

Emerging from the gully, we loop across fields and meadows under a full moon. At a fence, helpers materialize, opening gates and hoisting us over. Stopping now and then, we examine unusual items such as the red sandalwood seeds that island schoolchildren rub on concrete until they get burning hot. We rest on a hilltop and gaze at the moon, Jupiter, Mars, Orion's Belt. The wind sighs through century-old cabbage palms that produce a delicious fruit, like heart of palm.

Three hours have sped by. Back at the parking lot, we have juice and homemade cakes. Organizers arrange my ride back to the hotel, and friendly voices calling out their goodbyes trail after me down the peaceful hillside.

– For more information, contact;