12 Oct 2011Blog

5 things to do on a rainy day in Barbados!

by Monique

There are so many beaches to visit on any given sunny day in Barbados (Click here for the 10 best beaches on the island) however what do you do when it rains?

Here are my suggestions:

1. St. Nicholas Abbey

St. Nicholas Abbey rumPurchased by the Warren family in 2006, St. Nicholas Abbey has been restored and now offers guided tours of the great house; a Jacobean mansion, the rum & sugar museum, steam mill and rum distillery.

Get through the doors at $35 BBD per adult and $20 BBD per child. Request a guided tour for no extra cost (we think this is a must as these guides are super knowledgeable about the antiques and artifacts that mark the heritage of those that lived there over the last 350 years).

Definitely explore the boiling house and rum distillery where St. Nicholas Abbey Rum is produced, watch the home movie created by the previous plantation owner which showcases the plantation in full production, while sipping on your complimentary rum punch. Then stop for a bite of lunch at their Terrace Cafe, before sampling St. Nicholas Abbey’s 12 year and 8 year old rum which is ‘barreled in the finest bourbon oak casks and aged to perfection in the Abbey’s own rum bond’.

You can buy St. Nicholas Abbey rum from the plantation and as an added touch, they will etch a note or your name onto the bottle as a keep sake for you to take back home. This rum is best sipped straight up, on ice…

2. Harrison’s Cave

Harrison's CaveThis recently remodeled natural wonder is located inland in the parish of St. Thomas and offers a tour of a breathtakingly beautiful, crystallised limestone cavern created by nature.

At Harrison’s Cave, you first watch a short video on the history of the cave including its discovery and formation of the stalactites which you will see on your tour (it’s informative and not too long). One of the popular features is their new elevators which you can ride prior to your tour and boasts amazing scenic views.

The electric tram takes you into the caves and 160 feet below the surface where the formations, rivers and pools are pristine and spectacular.

3. Bar hopping rum shop style

John Moore's BarYou want to start on the East so you end up on the West in time for the sunset and then the South for some nightlife entertainment. Be sure to order a flask of rum, ice and a mixer wherever you go! 😉

  • Start off about midday and make your way to Martin’s Bay (Not easy to get to so use Google map to mark your way before you set off). Martin’s Bay rum shop is set in the middle of a local village with lots of seating and a view out to the Atlantic Ocean, and the local cuisine is delicious (but be sure to ask how the fish is being served if you’re not into seeing exactly what you’re eating!).
  • Drive through Bath and head to Bathsheba where you should make a pit stop at Round House restaurant & bar. If the rain holds up, the view of Soup bowl and the surf spots beyond are a great photo opportunity (especially when the waves are sizable).
  • Continue through Cattlewash but stop in at Sand Dunes bar for a quick one.
  • Keep moving North West to Fisherman’s pub which is a popular bar in the heart of Speightstown, right on the water and sure to be full of a friendly bunch of characters. Order some nibbles and enjoy the Soca music in the background.
  • Next up is John Moore’s bar in Weston which is located further West, just along the beach from the local fish market. This is one of the oldest rum shops in Barbados which is always frequented by a good mix of regulars, locals, travellers and visitors. Ask for their rum punch and watch the sunset (if the rain allows!).
  • If you still have some more life in you (and your designated driver isn’t tired) head down to the Watering Hole which is a rum shop opposite St. Lawrence Gap on the South coast. There is sure to be a good crowd standing around by now and karaoke just about to start.
  • By this time you’ll probably need to eat again and you couldn’t be in a better spot; St. Lawrence Gap is home to an array of restaurants both casual and fine dining. Try Harlequin which is opposite The Ship Inn, their signature Harlequin dish is my favourite but everything on the menu is delicious and large portions.

4. Lemon Arbour

Lemon ArbourOnly a Saturday affair but truly a fun afternoon and the food is Barbadian at its best.

Lemon Arbour is located in St. John. From Gun Hill, you basically follow the road, past Orchid World and straight on until you hit the village on your left. You’re looking for a sign on the right that says Lemon Arbour and you want to make the left turn. Parking is anywhere on the right or pretty much wherever you can fit without blocking the road or anyone in.

This is a popular liming spot for locals and visitors alike so get there for around 11:30 so you don’t have to wait long for your food or a table. The best way to start is to order your drinks from the bar area (Rum, Vodka, Beer, Scotch, soft drinks, juice etc.), grab a couple buckets of ice, find a table, and set in for the afternoon. Once you’ve settled on a table, go back to the bar counter and order your food (there’s pickled sea cat and conch, pudding & souse, baked or fried pork, chicken, ribs etc.), rejoin your table, sit back, relax enjoy the view; someone will bring your food to you when it is ready.

Later in the afternoon, Lemon Arbour will pull out their large stand up speakers to create some vibes with fairly loud soca music, but there’s such an atmosphere that the volume of the music doesn’t seem to bother a soul.

5. Surfing

SurfingA perfect day to learn to surf because what the hell, you’ll be wet already!

Make your rainy day the perfect opportunity to learn to surf with Boosy’s Surf School or Surf Barbados. Both companies have professional Surf instructors with years of local knowledge and experience.

Both companies will give you a full step by step run through on land of the ‘technique’ you need to use before you hit the water. You’ll be sure to stand up on your first lesson, guaranteed!

Now quick, gather a couple towels, a change of clothes, your camera and hit the road!