Coco Hill Forest
Spend a couple of hours walking in this beautiful 53-acre tropical forest, which is home to beautiful old native trees with thousands of fruit trees, surrounded by vegetables, herbs and spices.
With traditional vertical forest planting, Mahmood Patel grows coconut, banana, mango, avocado, paw paw, guava, coffee, cocoa, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, lettuce and basil, to name a few. Guided hikes and tours are very interesting and great fun.
The area also has a fascinating geology with seams of manjak, a wide variety of different rocks, a mud plume and spring sources. The whole experience leaves you relaxed and invigorated - maybe it’s the forest bathing! To book tours and hikes call Mahmood Patel. (246) 235-4926
Turner’s Hall Wood
This 72-acre (30 hectare) stretch of original forest is the only pre-settlement vegetation in Barbados. Although the sale of wood from the forest is recorded by deed in 1663, the forest has been preserved by subsequent owners under the eye of the St. Andrew Vestry. The 19th century owner, Sir William Fitzherbert, was so determined to preserve the forest that he refused the lucrative offer of an oil company to sink wells within the wood. Turner’s Hall once boasted a boiling spring where natural gas bubbled up through a pool of water and was ignited for the amusement of visitors in the 17th and 18th centuries - “the greatest natural curiosity in the island”. The natural gas is tapped today by the track leading to the forest. Arthur Maynard, a retired agronomist, lives at the entrance to the wood and gives informal tours. (246) 248-4809
Farley Hill Park
For a century, from 1857 to 1957, Farley Hill was the most magnificent of Barbados’ plantation great houses. Sir Graham Briggs, educated at Codrington College and Cambridge University, developed the gardens into one of the finest in the West Indies.
He entertained a steady stream of British royalty, some of whom planted trees. Destroyed by fire in the 1950’s, it is now a dramatic and evocative ruin, the grounds of which are full of beautiful trees. A lovely picnic spot!
Welchman Hall Gully
Take a stroll through one of Barbados’ true tropical treasures. Located in the heart of the island, just 2 minutes from Harrison’s Cave, Welchman Hall Gully is a unique place, definitely well worth a visit.
Formed centuries ago when the roof of a limestone cavern collapsed, it is now filled with an abundance of flourishing, exotic tropical plants and trees. In the peaceful hush of the forest, visitors can often see troops of Green Monkeys frolicking in the trees. Open Daily 9am to 4pm. (246) 438-6671 welchmanhallgullybarbados.com
Morgan Lewis Windmill
This lovingly tended property of the Barbados National Trust is the only fully restored sugar windmill in the Caribbean. Built in 1727, the central shaft attached to the roundhouse is made of local fustic wood. It is estimated that that tree was 900 years old when it was cut down, making it a 1,200 year old tree trunk. At that time, the island still had enough hard woods available for construction and agriculture.
Take in the view in the Grind Artisan Café, which serves patties, coconut bread, cakes, quiche and sandwiches with beer, homemade lemonade, sorrel, mauby and ginger beer. Open daily 10am to 5pm. Free entry to the grounds, BB$5 to explore the mill, BB$10 for the tour of the inside of the mill which is very interesting. (246) 622-4039
Andromeda Botanic Gardens
This is the only RHS partner garden in the Caribbean. Built on the slopes of Bathsheba by Iris Bannochie, who planted over 80 species of trees and hundreds of plant varieties from all over the world.
She left it to the Barbados National Trust in her will. A journey through this enchanted seaside garden reveals surprises around every corner and your visit is enhanced by a very good café. Open daily 9am to 4:30pm. (246) 433-9384 andromedagardens.com
WIRRED - Walkers Institute for Regenerative Research, Education and Design
With Walkers Sand Quarry coming to the end of its mining life within the next couple of years, owner Ian McNeel has taken an inspired visionary approach. Ian, the founder of Walkers Institute for Regenerative Research, Education and Design (WIRRED) has spent the last 6 years transforming a sand mine into a food forest using regenerative agriculture and permaculture techniques. Ian and his wife Julie are also the brains behind the Barbados Slow Food movement. Not only will the project have hundreds of fruit producing trees such as banana, breadfruit, avocado and mango, but Walkers Reserve will also be a stunning recreational area on Barbados’ picturesque Scotland District on the north-eastern coastline. It will be interesting to watch the McNeel’s plans unfold over the coming decade.
We Gatherin’ Tree Planting
Participate in our national tree planting campaign by purchasing and planting a fruit and/or shade tree while in Barbados. The ambitious target is to plant 600,000 trees in the National Botanical Gardens at Waterford in St. Michael during ‘We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020’. In addition, there is tree planting in each of the 11 parishes during their designated month of We Gatherin’ 2020. Further info: wegatherinbarbados.com