By Abigail Cattell
Barbados mightn’t have been a colony since 1966 but the British connection is plain for all visitors to see. Continuing British traditions like afternoon tea, a not-so-genteel game of cricket and a day at the horse races make this tropical isle feel like a home away from home!
Anyone for cricket?
Whether you want to join in a casual game on the beach or watch a few overs of world class action, the sunny skies and spectacular beaches of Barbados give this quintessentially British game an extra boost of enjoyment.
Where to stay: The Kensington Oval is in the capital, Bridgetown. One of the hotels nearest to the stadium but still on the beach is four-star hotel Waves Resort & Spa is located on the posh west coast, just 10 minutes’ drive from the stadium.
Fancy a flutter?
Barbados was a British dependent for 341 years so it’s only natural that some of the traditions stuck! One of the enduringly popular pastimes is a day at the races. The racetrack, at the Garrison Savannah has been the home of Bajan horse racing since 1845, when officers in the British regiment raced their horses against wealthy merchants and planters. Now you can join locals and have a bet at a day out in one of the three seasons: Jan-Apr, May-Aug or Oct-Dec. The Sandy Lane Gold Cup, held in March, is the most prestigious but any of the meets are a lively, informal affair.
Where to stay: The Hilton Barbados is perfectly situated if you’re going to spend a day at the Garrison Savannah. It sits on Needham’s Point peninsula just south of Bridgetown and just moments from the racetrack. It nestles seductively between two beautiful beaches and has plenty of fun activities for non-horsey folk!
Tea for two:
This archetypal British custom has been all but lost in England, apart from at the top London hotels, but you’ll be amazed how quickly you can fall back into the routine! Why not treat yourself to afternoon tea at a luxury hotel? The Fairmont Royal Pavilion has scones with cream, cucumber sandwiches, fruit cake and biscuits from 3.30-5pm daily, while Sandy Lane’s offering includes pastries, finger sandwiches, scones and tea cakes washed down with Laurent Perrier champagne!
Where to stay: Counter the cost of the afternoon tea at a posh hotel by staying at a more reasonably priced version! The Seabreeze Beach Hotel is a fabulous four-star find.
Not likely! Golfers will be pleasantly surprised by the selection of professional-quality golf courses in Barbados. What’s more, the swathes of emerald fairways combined with glorious blue skies make playing conditions near perfect, so there are no excuses for not keeping to the fairways here. Green fees start from $99 (£58) at the par-72 Barbados Golf Club.
Where to stay: Several hotels have joined up with the Barbados Golf Club to offer guests a three- or seven-day unlimited golf package (two rounds a day) including Amaryllis Beach Resort and Bougainvillea Beach Resort.
Fancy a Caribbean holiday? Check out our latest Barbados deals now!
Abigail Cattell is a freelance travel journalist who has written for Wanderlust, The Guardian, ASOS Magazine and TTG Luxury.