Getting to Know Barbados - St. Philip’s Parish
St Philip is Barbados’ easternmost parish, jutting out into the Atlantic at the south of the island. Like most of the ocean facing east, the area lacks the tourist resorts which overlook the calmer waters of the west coast. However, that doesn’t stop it from being a fascinating and beautiful place to visit. Here we’ll look at the highlights of St Philip’s Parish.
The strong currents and giant waves of the Atlantic don’t make the waters off St Philip’s a good place for swimming. They have, however, created a stunning coastline of jagged cliffs, quaint coves and gorgeous beaches. This is a great place to spend the day exploring the coastline, providing you stay on dry land. And it offers the perfect opportunity to take some memorable photographs.
Here you’ll find some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Barbados. A visit to the palm-fringed Bottom Bay which is surrounded by a majestic wall of cliffs is highly recommended.
History and heritage
St Philip’s is home to a number of fascinating historical sites, one of which is the elegant Sunbury Plantation House which as built in the 1600s. Here you’ll find the entire house open to the public, giving you an intriguing insight into the life on the plantations over the centuries. The house contains period furniture and decoration as well as an interesting collection of historic carriages. It’s also a great place to stop for a bite of lunch.
Towards the north of the St Philip coastline is Ragged Point, a jagged peninsula that juts out into the sea. Here at the island’s most easterly point, you’ll find the aptly named East Point Lighthouse. Built in 1875, it is one of the main tourist attractions in the parish which, after years of disuse, was finally restored and reactivated in 2018. The 85-feet tall lighthouse is a wonderfully photogenic building while Ragged point is home to high cliffs with crashing waves below. Look out and there is nothing but water between you and Africa, thousands of miles away. In the nearby village, you’ll also find a number of bars and grills as well as Deebles Point Art Gallery and Café.
Foursquare Rum Distillery
Rum tasting is more or less obligatory when you visit Barbados. Not only did we invent it; we still make the finest rum in the world. Don’t take our word for it though, instead, take a tour of the Foursquare Distillery in St Philip, described in the Telegraph as the world’s best rum distillery and named Rum Producer of the Year at the 2017 International Spirits Challenge.
While Foursquare doesn’t run guided tours like Mount Gay, it does open its doors during the working week to let people tour by themselves and visit the Copperstill Bar tasting room where you’ll get chance to sample and learn about the different rums being created. During the tour, you can see rum making in action and read about the fascinating history of the distillery.
St Philip is the home of Bushey Park, Barbados’ motor racing circuit. Here you’ll find a wide range of spectacular events put on over the year with visiting professionals from a range of sports flying in to take part. Even Lewis Hamilton has taken part in exhibition races here.
However, if you’d prefer being behind the wheel rather than watching from the stands, there’s plenty of opportunity for people of all ages and abilities. Taking part in one of the 15-minute Go Karting Grand Prix races is one of the most popular options. Take a qualifying lap to get your starting position and then race the field to get on the podium. There are even races for children (over 4’2”).
Alternatively, you can take part in one of the Radical Driving Experiences where professional driving instructors will show you how to take a proper racing car to its limits on the track before letting you go solo.
St Philip’s Parish has lots to offer those who come to visit. With stunning coastline, sandy beaches and rolling Atlantic waves, it’s a place of raw, natural beauty. It’s also part of the island where people have made their mark, with interesting historical sites like Sunbury Plantation House and East Point Lighthouse. For pleasure seekers, there’s the chance to tour the Foursquare Distillery and sample its internationally acclaimed, award-winning rum; and for thrill seekers, the opportunity to watch enthralling races or even take part in them.
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