Speightstown Things to Do
If you've seen everything there is to see in Speighstown, which isn't much, and you have some time to kill, you can do so at one of the town's many beaches. There are many to chose from, but the most popular are Almond Beach and Haywoods Beach.
Accept for the ones at Almond Beach Village, and Port St. Charles, the beaches are basically just narrow strips of sand, along the side of the road.
Though not very large, and not always clean, they are great for swimming, as the water here is calm, unlike on the south coast. These two tourists from Canada even told me they went snorkeling here. I had the same idea, but I didn't have my snorkel gear with me, so I can't say what it's like, but it did look a good spot.
The majority of people use the beach in front of the hotel. But if you want some privacy, head to one of the beaches on the side of the road. These beaches are virtually deserted. I went to one of these, and had the whole beach to myself, which was nice. Just climb over the wall, to get to the beach. Just be careful which one you chose, as some of them aren't exactly clean.
The water was really nice, but I didn't swim too long, as there was a storm approaching.Related to:
This church isn't very well known. In fact, I didn't even know about it until I arrived in town. It was the first building we saw, as we turned into the city center, so we really stumbled across it, completely by accident.
The church isn't very attractive, but I still thought it's worth writing about, as it is an old one, and one of only few attractions in the city.
The church was established in 1859, and that's pretty much all I could find on it. It's not exactly a tourist attraction. The building is little dilapidated, and it was closed so we couldn't go inside, but it's there for those who are interested. Though an older, much nicer, and more popular church is St. Peter's Church.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
One of the island's oldest churches, St. Peter's Anglican Church was originally built in 1629, and is named after St. Peter Parish, as was customary on the island. The church is built in a Georgian style, and is one of the city's finest buildings, both inside and out.
Unlike most churches on the island, St. Peter's only had to be rebuilt twice, once in the mid 1600s, and again in 1837. Both times it was destroyed by a hurricane.
In the early 1980s, a fire damaged parts of the church, but not to the point that it had to be completely rebuilt. It was restored in 1983 and has been in constant use since.
There is also a small cemetery, right next to the church.
We were fortunate enough to be able to climb up to the second level, and get a beautiful view and shot of the interior from above. We even saw some birds inside the church, which was an unexpected but neat surprise.
I actually wasn't sure at first, if this was the right church, because on the video they showed at the museum, and from the pictures I've, it looked really old. They must have restored it, very recently, as it does not look like the same building.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Road View, SPEIGHTSTOWN, BB
Good for: Couples
I know that just because I didn't see something, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but I was here for a good chunk of the day and didn't see a single taxi. If there are any, they are very scarce. If you're just visiting for a few hours as I did, a bus will get you here. However, if you are planning to get a hotel in Speighstown, and make this the base for your entire visit, you'd better arrange other transportation.
We hadn't planned on doing any shopping in Speightstown, but we were doing some exploring, and accidently stumbled upon this quaint and lovely shop. It looked very inviting, so we went inside. This place is great! The shop is located past the Arlington House, on the town's main street, not in the direction of the city center, but heading the other way, towards the residential area. The shop is owned by a nice old lady, and sells not only hats, but also Hawaiian style t-shirts, and souvenirs, and has a pretty descent selection. We spent maybe 20 minutes in there, and ended up buying a straw hat, t-shirt, and a figurine. We bought a straw hat as it was the cheapest, but she also has hats from other types of materials and styles, though these cost twice or three times as much. We tried to haggle with her for a cheaper price, but she wouldn't budge. She will also customize certain hats, like add ribbons to them. She was gonna do it for us, but we ended up buying another hat, so I have no idea if she charges extra for it, or not.
The straw hat cost like 20 or 25 BDD. I think the t-shirt cost about the same, and the figurine around 30 BBD, but don't quote me on that, as I tend to lose track of prices.
We later discovered that the t-shirt I purchased, had a pretty descent sized hole in it, though I can't say if it was sold to me that way, or if it tore in my backpack.
What I loved most about this shop, is that it had a very traditional and authentic Bajan feel to it, unlike the shops you find in the major tourist areas. I wouldn't make a special trip here, but if you happened to be in Speightstown as we were, I would check this place out if you're looking for some good quality stuff, at a descent price. In fact, it's best to do your shopping in places like this, as it's much cheaper than in the touristy places, like St. Lawrence Gap.
What to buy: Local hats, t-shirts, and souvenirs
What to pay: Prices start around 20 BBDRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Speightstown Tourist Traps
The Almond Beach Village is a 5 star resort, located next to Port St. Charles on the north end of town. The reason we came here is because there is a ruin of an old sugar mill, dating from 1865, located on the property. I thought we would just walk onto the property, like we did at the Hilton, get a few pictures, and leave. Peace of cake, right? Wrong.
If we just walked in, no one would probably know if we were guests or not, but I made the mistake of asking directions to the sugar mill. I asked a lifeguard how to get to it, and he asked us if we are guests at the hotel. I didn't know if he would ask for proof, and I saw what I thought was security nearby, so I just told him the truth. He said since we are not guests, we have to have a security guard take us, as the mill is on private property. So we approached the two uniformed men, who we thought were hotel security. Apparently they were just regular cops, as they directed us to a man at the welcome booth. We told him we want to visit the mill, and he told us we have to go with a security guard, and directed us to another guy on the beach. Finally, we just said, "Screw it." We walked around the entire hotel to see if we could get in another way, or at least see the mill from the street. We eventually found the main gate, and asked the lady in the booth if we could go in and see the sugar mill, and she said, "We don't have anything like that in the area." At that point, we just gave up, and headed back towards town.
The whole thing was just ridiculous. I can't believe they saw 2 OBVIOUS tourists, as a security risk.
Don't bother trying to find this place. The staff at this hotel is not helpful at all, and don't even know what they have on their own property. Besides, historical sites like this, should be open to the public. Speaking of which, I later found out that the hotel is built on the site of an old plantation. Figures. Yet another example of the Bajan government's complete disregard for the island's history.
Unique Suggestions: Just walk in and look for it. If anyone stops you, say you didn't know. Ignorance of the law, isn't exactly breaking it.
Fun Alternatives: Visit another sugar mill. There are plenty of old sugar mills scattered around the island, that look the same as this one, and are right next to the road.Related to:
- Historical Travel
I know I have this house under "Things To Do", but note, that this tip is about the museum, not the actual structure.
Although the house itself is lovely, and worth seeing for its architecture and historical significance, the museum it houses is nothing but one big tourist trap!
I'm gonna be honest here, from the pictures I've seen of the museum, the exhibits looked like a project some kindergarteners had done. BUT, the place had such great reviews on Trip Advisor, that I thought there must be something the pictures aren't showing, so we went, and it was the biggest mistake of our trip.
I honestly can't understand why everyone on Trip Advisor is praising this place. This is the WORST museum I've ever been to! Trust me, there is nothing interesting here. As I already mentioned, the only reason we went to this place, was because of all the great reviews, and for 25 BBD, I thought I would be seeing displays of artifacts. There is nothing here, accept videos, and pictures of people I don't know, or care about. And almost all the information they said in the videos, I already knew. And it really sucked, because you are accompanied by a guide, so we had to wait for the other tourists, who some how were transfixed by this place, to finish, before we could go on to the next room. But she did take us into another room, where there were some pictures of locals, and a boring video of a local guy, we couldn't understand, talking about a jetty and other stuff that had no historical significance. We wanted to leave, but there were guides everywhere, and we didn't want to be rude, so we were stuck in this tourist trap for almost an hour.
You're not allowed to take pictures, but that's okay, since there is nothing to take pictures of.
The top floor was by far the worst. Why would I want to see lights in the shape of fish and turtles moving around on the floor, if I can see real ones in the ocean? There is plenty of other stuff, but there is no sense in getting into that. I think this place was designed more for kids, than adults. That should pretty much sum it up.
If you want to pop inside, just visit the bottom floor. It's free, and is the only floor worth visiting, and it has a gift shop. Otherwise, don't waste your time, and money. There are museums in Barbados that are far more interesting than this one. I think I understand why you are not allowed to take pictures, because they would lose tourists.
The guides were friendly and knowledgeable, but that is the only compliment I will make about this place. It would've served a much better purpose, if they put some furniture in it, and left it as a historic home.
This was the WORST place we visited on the entire trip. This museum shouldn't even cost 5 BBD, let alone 25. Together we wasted 50 BBD/25 USD, valuable money that could've been used for something better. I've visited museums in other places that were far more interesting than this place, that were FREE.
If you have kids, it might be something your kids enjoy, but to be honest, if I had kids, I would never bring them to this place. I think the people who gave this place such great reviews either confused it with another museum, or don't know how to use the internet for research. Seriously, don't waste your time and money. Just message me, and I will send you a bunch of internet links, where you can get the same exact information for FREE.
Unique Suggestions: Just visit the bottom floor. It's free, and is the only floor worth visiting, and it has a gift shop. Or if you have kids, it might be something your kids will enjoy.
Fun Alternatives: Visit the Barbados Museum and George Washington House in Garrison Savannah instead.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
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