One of the island's most iconic features, this giant piece of fossilized coral is known by many names including, "Bathsheba Rock", "The Great Rock", "Balance Rock" and "Sea Stack Rock". But for obvious reason, most locals and visitors call it, "Mushroom Rock". This giant piece of prehistoric limestone coral, is located at the eastern most end of Bathsheba Beach. It is the symbol of Bathsheba, and is one of the island's oldest, and most famous geologic features. The formation is millions of years old, and was left behind when the ocean levels receded, exposing the limestone coral, turning it into a skeletal remain. Today, it is one of the island's most visited and most photographed tourist attractions, and is the main reason people come to Bathsheba. Several tour companies make stops here, on a daily basis.
This bizarre formation can be reached by foot during low tide, but we enjoyed it from the viewing area. I read that adventurous locals and tourists, like to show off, by climbing the rock. This is not recommended, as the sharp coral cuts your hands, and the only way to get off, is by jumping into the water, which can be even more dangerous than the climb, due to the shallow depth.
Though we originally wanted to, we didn't actually hike down to the rock, as it was a bit far from where our driver dropped us, and since he was parked on the side of the road, we didn't want to keep him waiting. Plus, the tide was a bit high anyways, and we didn't want to get our shoes wet and muddy. We actually ended up not regretting it, as we ended up passing it by car, and I have to tell you, it looked much more spectacular from the top.
There are actually a few of these "mushroom rocks" of different shapes and sizes, scattered throughout the beaches of Bathsheba. But this one is the largest and most impressive. It's no surprise why this strange feature, is one of the island's top tourist attractions. You haven't really seen Bathsheba, unless you've seen Mushroom Rock.
Andromeda was developed in 1954 by the late horticulturist Iris Bannochie for her weekend retreat. It soon became a memorable garden and she opened it to the public. She left the property to the National Trust in 1988. It is named for the Greek goddess Andromeda who was chained to a rock - probably because of the huge limestone boulders in this area.
Andromeda Gardens is run by the Barbados National Trust. When we went it was part of the Heritage Pass ticket. However we had already used up our tickets, so we had to pay.
The garden spreads over six acres and contains orchids, exotics and shrubs. It is one of the finest collections of plants in the region.
Admission is about BBD12 for adults, BBD6 for children (6-12 yrs).
Hours: 9am-5pm daily; no admittance after 4:30pm
There is a Best of Barbados shop and also a small cafe at the garden entrance.
Directions: On a cliff overlooking the east coast south of Bathsheba in St. Joseph parish.
Phone: (246) 433-9261
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
If you like good liquor, get a bottle of Bajan rum. I think Mount Gay rum is the best. I don't like drinking liquor straight, but Mount Gay is so smooth that I can.
In small doses, though. It can kick your rear in major ways--it's very powerful.
Rum, I've heard, actually started in Barbados. I've heard the original term for rum is the old Bajan term "rumbullion."
We didn't get to tour the Mount Gay factory, which would have been great, since I hear they give free samples. So, do what we didn't get
(Just don't drive after that. Bajan roads and alcohol really do NOT mix. Especially not at night. Sample responsibly!)
You can't go to the Caribbean and not try the rum!
Nestled between beautiful rock formations, and beautiful mountains, jutting straight into the Atlantic Ocean, Bathsheba's beaches are among the most picturesque, on the entire island, and there are several to chose from. The most popular are Bathsheba Beach, and the famous Cattlewash Beach, but all are beautiful. In fact, they are so beautiful, that it was on one of these beaches, that scenes from the 1957 film, "Island In The Sun" were filmed.
Actually, it's more the scenery that's beautiful, not so much the actual beaches. The beaches were actually really dirty, at least when I was there. Thankfully however, they weren't made that way by people, but by Mother Nature. They weren't dirty in the sense that there was garbage on them, there was just a bunch of seaweed, making them unpleasant to look at, and walk on.
In addition to being dirty, the beaches are located on the island's rugged Atlantic side, and therefore, are not safe for swimming, though there were quite a few locals and tourists in the water, as well as several local surfers. If you want to get in the water here, don't swim near the rocks, and don't venture more than a few steps from shore, but do so, at your own risk. The area is marked with red flags, which means "danger", and there are no lifeguards of duty.
Bathsheba's beaches may not be the cleanest, or safest for swimming, but the surreal landscape, makes up for it, so it's worth it to at least stop, and take some pictures. The longest one, Cattlewash Beach, which runs for over 5 miles, through two parishes, and ends at the mountains. This one is also the most beautiful and most popular, and would make for a nice hike. In fact, if we would've went there for the whole day, we would've hiked up the beach, all the way up to Chalky Mount, but we stopped there anyways, with our driver.
We only actually set foot on one beach, next to Chalky Mount, as it was right next to the road, and had easy access. I originally wanted to walk down to them, and even hike them a little bit, but we didn't want to keep our driver waiting, as we didn't as he wasn't parked in a very good spot, so we only set foot for a minute, on the famous Cattlewash, and enjoyed the rest either from the side of the road, or the view area. As I said earlier, they weren't very pleasant to walk on anyways, because of the seagrass, plus the tide was too high to reach the rocks, without getting wet and muddy.
Despite the area being a bit crowded than usual, because of a holiday, the beaches themselves, were not.
Even though the beaches are dirty and unsafe for swimming, it's still worth coming here to see the views, and take some pictures, as it is a beautiful area. Even though we didn't actually get to walk on the beaches, or at the rocks, it was still nice just to see them.
The east coast of Barbados is swept by the Alantic Ocean and is much more rugged than the Cirabbean side. The waves and winds and the tropical plants have created some great settings for photography. We were on a island bus tour so did not stay overnight but there are a couple of hotels in Bathseba.
Address: East side of the island near Bathseba