Hiking in Barbados

The Southeast
By Harry S. Pariser
  |  Gorp.com
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There's some great hiking in the area around Bathsheba on the way to Ragged Point and then beyond to Culpepper's Island. One route would be to hike three miles along the old railway track from Martin's Bay to Bathsheba, a route that affords some great views. There's also a good hike just north of Sam Lord's Castle, originally built in the 19th century as a country house but now operating as a hotel. The structure stands on a rockybluff, overlooking a coral beach graced with coconut palms and sea grapes. It's called a "castle" because of its battlement-style notched roof; it combines Georgian symmetry and balance with Gothic details, as do the crenellated roof and mouldings above the windows. The stucco interior was crafted by English and Italian workmen brought specially over todo the job.

From the ticket window at Sam Lord's, turn the corner and follow the narrow, unpaved road that runs alongside the resort. A staircase at the end leads down to a vendor-free beach facing an exposed coral formation not far from shore. If you keep walking for about half an hour, you'll come across an abandoned, cliff-perched house and, still farther, the ruins of the Harrismith plantation house, which overlook a palm-tree-studded beach. Further on is a villa perched above yet another beautiful beach at Bottom Bay. Take the road to the right and continue walking with the wall on your right and the small Stonehenge-like concrete-and-wire structure to your left. After passing another cove and beach, you will enter a windswept coral bluff, marked at its perimeter by a row of bent casuarina trees.

Follow this along—peering periodically over the bluff at the knockout views of pounding surf—until the lighthouse comes into view, built of coralstone extracted from a nearby quarry in 1875. It sits atop Ragged Point, aptly named after its jagged limestone cliffs, relentlessly besieged by the pounding surf. This bleak area only gains some color when the bright agave or Spanish needles are in bloom. Passing by some cows, turn where an abandoned bus stands next to a house.

Follow the path—passing more goats and cows along the way—until you reach an asphalt road with a rum shop up on the right. From here you can take a bus back to Bridgetown, continue the easy walk to Sam Lord's, or carry on to Culpepper Island. In any case, the hike to the lighthouse is a must.


Published: 17 Jun 2003 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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