(1) Giant Baobab tree in Queen’s Park, Bridgetown.
Queen’s park is an oasis that’s located in the center of the bustling capital Bridgetown. The main building dates back to 1783 and was the official residence of the Commanding officer of the British troops in the West Indies. It’s now a performing arts theatre. Many events are held here throughout the year including the Christmas morning stroll where you don your finest clothes and parade through the park.
The tree estimated to be about a thousand years old is not native to Barbados. At 90 feet (28m) tall with a 55 ft (27m) circumference at the base, this tree is the largest on the island. It is thought that a seed floated across the ocean from Gineau, West Africa and rooted.
(2) Tide pools in Bathsheba, East Coast.
Bathsheba, a small seaside community is located on the island’s rugged east coast. While great for surfing, swimming is not recommended here, you can however take advantage of the pools that appear at low tide where you can have a “dip”.
(3) Hackleton’s Cliff, St. Joseph.
This overlook is accessed by a narrow winding road ending in a small neighborhood. What used to be bushy overgrown area has been transformed into a small park that’s maintained by the residents. There are burial vaults that hold the remains of members of some prominent families. With views of the entire East Coast, this spot is worth a look.
(4) Cairns at Batts Rock Beach, St. Michael.
Getting to Batts Rock beach is easy. Just past the Spring Garden Roundabout heading north on Hwy 1 the first left turn is the beach access road. There’s plenty of parking in this sheltered wooded area. Stroll the beach heading South past La Cabane restaurant and you will come across these perfectly balanced stone sculptures courtesy of local artist Philip King.
(5) Picture Hole, Chalky Mount hike, St. Andrew.
From the parking area at Barclays Park on the East Coast, this hike starts out with a steep incline but turns into a moderate three-hour walk. You can view the village of Chalky Mount, a place renowned for its 250 years of pottery making. There’s a bit of scrambling in some areas but all and all nothing too dangerous. The spectacular views, the rugged, ever-changing terrain, the sandstone and coral stone rock formations make for an interesting and enjoyable hike.
Click HERE for more hiking information.
(6) Deebles Point aka Devil’s point, St. Philip.
On the eastern side of the island near Ragged Point, Deebles Point is the site of the Barbados Cloud Observatory, it’s also one of those places than even most locals don’t know about. Off Hwy 5 to Industry Road, left at the Art Gallery and then to the right for parking. Make your way down the path through an open field past the cloud observatory. Look for the steps straight ahead and make your way down through the narrow opening in the rock. Beautiful view looking across the bay to the lighthouse. In the 1800’s, cargo ships would use this area as a port of call. The remains of a mooring post still stand.
(7) Parris Hill Mural, St. Joseph.
Carved into the limestone rock face on both sides of this active country roadway, the scenes depicting jungle animals provide quite a feast for the eyes. Follow Hwy 3 to the village of Parris Hill. Park at the bottom of the hill and walk a hundred or so meters back to view this mural.
(8) HARP Super Gun.
The HARP (high altitude research project) was a joint venture between the US and Canadian governments. Under the direction of ballistics engineer Gerald Bull, the purpose was to develop a gun that could launch satellites into space. The project began in 1962 and was abandoned in 1967. At its peak of operation, the gun could fire objects to an altitude of 112 miles. Located on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic on the southeast side of the island near the end of Grantley Adams International Airport runway, the area is now overgrown with bush, but remnants of the gun can still be seen. There’s a trail that runs along the cliffs in the Gemswick area that takes you there. You can also go to the Rock Hall parking area and follow the trail that runs along the airport fence. It’s about a 20-minute walk.
As we continue to search the island for more those hidden gems, we will update this posting.