The Caribbean hardly has a shortage of perfectly sculpted islands, but in Barbados it boasts somewhere that consistently draws large numbers of UK tourists. What’s the big appeal? In addition to the still-evident British heritage, the weather’s often heavenly (particularly between January and April), the culture incorporates everything from rum shacks to cricket greens and, along its beach-scalloped west coast, it has some of the best hotels and restaurants in the Caribbean.
Hit the beaches
Barbados may not be an enormous island but its beaches pack in plenty of variety. The sands of the west coast are cover-shot material complete with palm trees and lapping waves, while the more exposed southern and eastern shorelines are legendary among surfers. What’s more, there’s beachside accommodation of various shapes and size too – rub shoulders with celebs at the expansive Sandy Lane (Highway 1), or opt for something far smaller like Little Arches (Enterprise Beach Road).
Venture out of the resorts
The island’s hotels and resorts are well suited to visitors who want nothing more than somewhere to sunbathe and indulge in Bajan food and drink, but you’ll be missing out on a destination of real character if you remain resort-bound for your entire stay. Capital city Bridgetown has some great old colonial buildings and good shopping potential, while the Friday night ‘fish fry’ at the town of Oistins is a local institution.
Explore the heritage
Barbados’ combination of African, West Indian and British roots has resulted in somewhere with plenty of heritage on show. It means that a holiday to Barbados from Glasgow Airport gives the chance to visit plantation houses, rum distilleries and historical museums. And for something completely unexpected? Visit the Nidhe Israel Synagogue (Magazine Lane), the oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere.