Having Fun with Heritage


Sally Miller

March 26, 2020

Beyond education, heritage preservation, and developing fine attractions out of historic sites, the Barbados National Trust contributes unique social events to the island experience.

History and Howling

One of these events can get… well, a little loony. Held on the Saturday closest to the full moon during the high season, Gun Hill by Moonlight offers high times in more ways than one.

Here you can join locals and visitors in a cocktail party at an early 19th century signal station with a hill top view of the island. At sunset, Zouaves in full regalia ceremonially lower the flag, complete with bugle and drum. Then the panorama changes from a landscape bathed in golden light to a darkened expanse under twinkling stars.

So does the mood. When the moon rises over the treetops, it’s your opportunity to let out a howl with the crowd—a very liberating moment that few, if any, national trusts encourage. But what an ice-breaker it is! These events are best enjoyed with a designated driver.

Hiking through our Natural Heritage

For active outdoor enthusiasts, Sunday Hikes are offered in conjunction with the Barbados Hiking Association (BHA). Though donations are appreciated, they’re free! Starting at a different location each week, they often go through fields, villages and gullies you’d never imagine, let alone find, otherwise.

The morning hike is divided into Stop & Stare, which includes occasional pauses for your guide’s commentary; 1 Medium and 1 Fast Medium; and for those who relish a challenge, the Grin & Bear. The afternoon hike is one large group. Check the Trust’s website or pick up their annual booklet for specifics.

Come Over & See Where We Live

Open House is a winter tradition. The Trust’s longest-running fundraiser, the The Trust’s major fundraiser allows you to visit private homes that are outstanding for their history and/or architecture. They are held on Wednesday afternoons as well as some Saturdays.

Open House hosted by Barbados National Trust

The Lively Lecture is perhaps the highlight, giving you the back-story of the special place where you’ve gathered. Much more than just a tour, these revealing afternoons almost always feature a garden party and bazaar on the grounds. You can take some tea or let a rum punch sneak up on you, strike up a conversation, browse for crafts and sample something tasty, all with live local music wafting through the air.

Ilaro Court - the Prime Minister's official residence is part of the Trust's Open House tour

The Morgan Lewis Windmill Upgraded to Five Stars!

Morgan Lewis Windmill, the only fully restored sugar windmill in the Caribbean, has been revitalised to rave reviews. Barbados once had nearly 500 mills like this to crush cane.

Along with slaves, they powered the sugar economy that made this island rich. Their decapitated stone hulls now dot our landscapes. Situated in rustic St. Andrew a short drive down from St. Nicholas Abbey and Cherry Tree Hill, this structure is an impressive feat of engineering and restoration, as well as a haunting reminder of history.

The Café at Mrogan Lewis Windmill

Whether you make it a destination in itself or a stop during a jaunt, you’ll find tasty snacks and fresh local beverages, and free wifi at its excellent café.  

Activities are posted on their Facebook page. @BarbadosNationalTrust