On the map of Barbados, the tippy-top point features a star cast of places of interest. And, although they may be counted on one hand,
these places are delightful and unexpected journeys into a rich, colourful culture and unspoilt, natural heritage.
Animal Flower Cave
When considering the cardinal points on the island, there is nothing more northerly than the Animal Flower Cave. Under the cliffs at the aptly named North Point, this charming, naturally crafted attraction is a marvel of natural history, supported by the untempered waters of the Atlantic.
The scenic views are a stark contrast from the docile west left behind, and a walk down hundredyear-old stairs onto a 500,000-year-old floor is the epitome of awe. Here at the bottom, the cave is home to sea anemone, which the locals call ‘animal flowers.’ One of the favourite features is the cave’s natural swimming pool, where the waters are clear but deceptive about their true depth. But the experience here is not complete until a sumptuous meal at the Cave’s restaurant has been had. Evolved from a bar which existed at the location from the 1920s, the family owned and run restaurant is a true gem of the north, offering delectable Bajan treats including pumpkin fritters, local lamb stew and a unique seafood pepperpot.
St. Nicholas Abbey
If aged perfections and old world charms are the signatures of Barbados north, the St. Nicholas Abbey brings a powerful chapter to add to the richness of the story. Fashioned in one of the most popular architectural styles of the 1600s, and with an acre for every day of the year, a tour of the Abbey unveils a trove of the island’s culture, uniquely preserved in the Jacobean styled 350-year old building. Besides being steeped in history, the Abbey is renowned for its rum, the by-product of the forward thinking Sir John Gay Alleyne, who introduced the windmill-operated rum distillery that has bolstered the Abbey’s legacy.
Cherry Tree Hill
And it was also Sir John Gay Alleyne and his appreciation for the art of green-thumbery that framed the picturesque Cherry Tree Hill with a grove of mahogany trees. Although it is evident that the centuries have removed all evidence of its fruity, original name, Cherry Tree Hill is the perfect look out to the magnificent north east of the island, and an amusing spot for monkey watching.
Morgan Lewis Windmill
When the wind catches the sails of the Morgan Lewis windmill, history comes alive. This majestic occasion is a momentous one, since despite their prevalence on the olden Barbadian landscape, the windmill is the only one in operation now on the island.