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    home >> barbados >> st james >> sightseeing & tours


BARBADOS - Sightseeing tours

    Brown's beach From Bridgetown heading north along Highway 1 you travel into the parish of St. James. Public transportation is readily available, buses and minibuses run regularly and bus stops are every couple of hundred metres. Services however stop around midnight but taxi hire is easily accessed.








    West coast beach

    Since the mid 60's this coast has seen a boom in construction, creating some of our most prestigious hotels and restaurants.










    West coast chattle house Amazingly they can be seen speckled between the original brightly painted chattle houses of the local Bajans, who despite been offered a fortune to move have insisted on staying and spending the rest of their days watching the sun sink into the same sea that their forefathers did generations before them.







    UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
    Established in 1948 our University is one of the top Caribbean centres of education.
    In the grounds you can find a large concrete wicket which was erected in 1995 to mark the spot where the ashes of our famous cricketer Sir Frank Worrell lies.





    PROSPECT
    Barbados west coast beach There is no hint of the opulence that is soon to come as our tour travels north into St. James, Prospect is a tiny village occupied by locals and the tourist are absent from these beaches which are preferred by the Bajans that live in Bridgetown.


 

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    BARBADOS POLO CLUB
    Barbados Polo Half way up Holders Hill on the left is the Polo Club. Parking is available at the side of the field and visitors can sit out with their picnics alternatively the club house is a favourite with a well stocked bar and refreshments available.



    Barbados Polo Matches are normally held on Sundays and start around 4.30pm. International visitors create an exciting match atmosphere and teams come from as far afield as the UK.

    Visit our great Polo Holiday site...

    Click here to enter.



    HOLDERS PLANTATION HOUSE

     

    This is the site of the annual Holders Season
    The grounds and gardens of this fabulous 18th century plantation house erupt in March for two weeks with theatre, opera, jazz and classical music.



    SANDY LANE

    Traveling north the coast road is overhung with lush vegetation, we now enter the gold coast!


    Sandy Lane Throughout the Caribbean, the name Sandy Lane is synonymous with affluence and grandeur. Originally built in the 1960's by Ronald Tree (a former adviser to Sir Winston Churchill and the joint founder of the Barbados National Trust) no expense was spared in creating this winter retreat for the British upper class.
    Many of Tree's friends purchased property around the hotel and its famous golf club.
    More recently it was purchased by Irish-born financiers John McManus and Dermot Desmond.

    Sandy Lane Golf Club with its 9 holes was built in 1962 and another 9 holes added in 1972. Construction is underway for two more 18 hole courses, designed by the famous, American golf course architect, Tom Fazio.

    Visit our golf holiday and real estate site

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    SUNSET CREST

     

    A sprawling complex of small villas, apartments and shops create this busy little area just south of Holetown. Great beaches



    Great beaches, rustic beach bars and fab night life...



    Many stores from Bridgetown have opened branches in this popular shopping area. Visitors and locals alike can be seen here mingling amongst the various shops.
    Sunset Crest experienced a face lift in the late 1990's and its Super Centre has installed the first on-line shopping service in the Caribbean.
    Groceries on-line with free delivery.



    CHATTEL HOUSE VILLAGE

     

    Brightly coloured, chattel house Opened in 1998 and like its sister in St. Lawrence, this interesting and attractive shopping centre is housed in a cluster of quaint, brightly coloured, chattel houses. In the chattel shops there is something for everyone, from T shirts to gift items and local souvenirs and crafts. Brightly coloured, chattel house

    After swimming and diving on the west coast why not check out some great shops clustered here... Lazy Days, founded back in 1978 as an excuse to go surfing everyday, Lazy Days has gradually gained a reputation for excellence in swimwear, beachwear and surfwear, beach toys and games, surfing hardware and accessories; everything you need to make your stay in Barbados, at the beach and in the surf, the best experience possible.

    Brightly coloured, chattel house

    The original chattel house, is a unique feature of Barbados, a product of the cultural side of sugar and the emancipation of slavery.






    Brightly coloured, chattel house


    There was originally a great need for the freed plantation workers to have houses that were easily assembled and taken down so they could move from plantation to plantation.



    Brightly coloured, chattel house

    Resulting in these flimsy looking houses perched up on, sometimes nothing more than, a few rocks.





    HOLETOWN

     

    Holetown was the first settlement in Barbados, the Holetown monument commemorates the first English landing in Barbados in 1625.
    It acquired the name "Holetown" due to the inlet from the sea where the early settlers could off load and clean their ships. It reminded them of the 'Hole' on the River Thames in London.
    Today Holetown is the third largest town in Barbados. A thriving little town buzzing with tourist and locals alike. There is a post office, police station, shops and banks including supermarkets and souvenir shops, it is almost an entirely self-contained community.
    In 1905 an obolisk was erected to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the first settlers. Unfortunately the historians got it wrong and were 22 years out with their calculations! It didn't seem to dampen the celebration festivities and wasn't corrected until 1977 to mark the 350th anniversary.
    Holetown is the site of the annual, Holetown Festival a colorful local festival of crafts, music, and historical parades!



    ST. JAMES PARISH CHURCH

     

    This is the site of the island's first church. Built on the land where the first early settlers built their church. The first church was built around the 1660s, replacing the original wooden structure. This however was destroyed by a hurricane in 1780, the present building was constructed in 1847. St. James parish church has a number of interesting features, including the original church bell, it is dated 1699 and is inscribed 'God bless King William', it pre-dates the US Liberty Bell which was cast in 1750.
    One of the old mural tablets within the church is one commemorating Sir John Gay Alleyne, who is famous for his work in the House of Assembly.



    FOLKSTONE
    Next to the Post Office is the Police Station behind this lies the ancient ruins of James Fort. Strong and sturdy it stood to defend our western coastline until after the Napoleonic Wars. Not much remains of this great fort only a wall and one gun to remind us of our history.
    The land east of Folkstone House has been developed by the Rotary Club North and transformed into a well equipped play area for children. Changing facilities are available and it has become a popular spot for visitors and locals.



    FOLKSTONE MARINE PARK
    Barbados diving holidays
    Established in 1997 it extends down the coast as far as Sandy Lane. There is a 'recreation zone' here visitors can see the different types of marine life, such as sea anemones, fans, sea lilies and coral that surround our beautiful shores.


    Barbados diving holidays
    The Marine Park was created by the sinking of the Stavronikita marine fauna and flora now inhabit the sunken wreck and it has been transformed into a scuba divers paradise.
    The Marine Reserve houses a Visitors Centre which includes a museum and saltwater tropical aquarium. Opened Monday-Friday 10.am to 5.pm

    Diving is one of our greatest assets and as yet an undiscovered commodity!

    BELLAIRS RESEARCH INSTITUTE

     

    Next to Folkstone is the Research Institute. Established in 1954 as an affiliate of McGill University in Canada it aims to improve agriculture and fisheries in Barbados.



    PORTERS HOUSE

     

    Once owned by Sir John Alleyne, Porters House is discretely hidden amongst the mahogany trees within its grounds. It is one of the few remaining plantation houses built in the 17th century. Parts were added during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is furnished with invaluable antiques, massive candalabras, mahogany dining room tables and four poster beds.
    The National Trust Open Day scheme allows this beautiful house to be seen by the public.

    Traveling north along the Highway , just prior to entering the parish of St. Peter, there is a turning to the right taking you inland to Westmoreland. Turning right and heading south along the Highway 2A you will travel down the inner aspect of St. James.



    ROYAL WESTMORELAND GOLF COURSE

     

    During the winter of 1994 the first nine holes of this prestigious golf course was opened. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. who boasts that it is 'one of my best' . The 27 greens will eventually be surrounded by 270 luxury villas. Many famous golf and sporting celebrities already own properties here such as Ian Woolnam, Virginia Wade and David Lloyd.

    Visit our golf holiday and real estate site

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    PORTVALE SUGAR FACTORY/ SIR FRANK HUTSON SUGAR MUSEUM:

     

    The Portvale Sugar Museum is located in the old 'boiling house' of Portvale Sugar Factory, built around 1880. It is open Mon - Sat and is managed by the Barbados National Trust. The museum traces the story of the sugar industry by utilising large photographs and display boards plus antique machinery, all clearly marked and laid out for easy viewing. Tours of the working factory can also be arranged during the harvesting season (February to May). They are well worth a visit if only to soak up the atmosphere, and sample some brown sugar as it tumbles down massive conveyor belts on the way to our breakfast tables, warm and moist.


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