Located around the island are rambling sugar plantations and historic museums, along with unending tropical beauty. Coral-sand beaches, turquoise seas, and a dramatically sculpted East Coast are just some of the islands major sites to visit. For photography novices and experts, and all those in between, here’s a list of the top spots to capture the splendour and history of Barbados.
- Farley Hill National Park
Farley Hill National Park is an alluring hilltop garden nestled in a forest of mahogany trees. Over time, the once rich plantation house was ravaged by fire and the environment. The house is now a shell of stone walls, and the ruins now frame the flowers and palms. To fully enjoy this experience, you may want to have your breakfast to go, so you can seize those few golden hours of warm soft sunlight.
At Bathsheba, also known as Soup Bowl, huge rock formations, which are remains from an ancient coral reef carved by the pounding surf, litter the shoreline. The beach is great for photographs, and especially for catching those breathtaking moments of surfers riding the waves.
- Hunte’s Gardens
Hunte’s Gardens covers ten gorgeous acres of tropical plants on the lush slopes of St. Joseph. Follow the paths that lead deep into a gully where terraced greenery grow. Palms, papyrus, orchids, and crotons are just a few of the species you can capture behind your lens.
- St. Nicholas Abbey
St. Nicholas Abbey, with its gables shaped like wishbones in the Jacobean style, was once the beating heart of a giant sugar cane plantation and a small refinery. Today, it is one of the only three known remaining buildings of this style in the Western Hemisphere. Along with its manicured gardens, it also includes the rustic ruins of the farm buildings and old windmill.
- Animal Flower Cave
Located at the most northerly point of Barbados, the Animal Flower Cave is home to vibrant sea anemones. The walls of the cave are chocked full of fascinating formations which show off their green and brown hues caused by the oxidation of copper and iron. Head out to the clifftops and soak up the spectacular panoramic views of the coast where the huge Atlantic waves crash against the cliffs. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the majestic humpback whales.
- Parliament Buildings
The Parliament Buildings are two remarkable Victorian-era neo-Gothic-style structures located near National Heroes Square. Both buildings were constructed of coral limestone between 1870 and 1874. The building on the east side features beautiful stained-glass windows depicting British monarchs, while the newly refurbished west-side building with the clock tower, houses the National Heroes Gallery and Museum of Parliament.
- Folkstone Marine Park and Museum
In the late 70s, an artificial reef was formed by deliberately sinking a fire-gutted 360-foot freighter ship. The Stavronikita now rests upright in 120 feet of water with corals growing on its masts and fish swimming through its hull. Descend to the shipwreck or snorkel around the underwater trail around the inshore reef, just make sure your camera is ready for the plunge.
- Harrison’s Cave
At the heart of Barbados lies one of its greatest wonders, Harrison’s Cave. This beautiful crystallized limestone cavern features flowing streams and cascading pools of crystal clear water. Gaze in wonder at the white flow stones and the towering columns which characterize this living cave. Make sure the camera’s battery is charged because you won’t want to stop taking pictures of this underground treasure.
- Welchman Hall Gully
Created when the roof of a series of caves collapsed, Welchman Hall Gully and the surrounding cliffs hint at the pristine landscape and plant diversity that must have greeted the island’s first settlers. Protected by the Barbados National Trust, the gully is home to over 200 species of plant life, including wild ginger lilies and bamboo. There are those that might be lucky enough to glimpse green monkeys as they frolic about.
- Gun Hill Signal Station
Built in 1818 and used to signal the approach of enemy ships as well as the safe arrival of cargo ships, Gun Hill Signal Station offers amazing panoramas across the entire island. Perched on the lower part of the hill is a lion sculpture carved by a British soldier from a single boulder in the 19th century. It’s another great spot to take photos.