For many cruise ship visitors to Barbados, Brighton Beach is their primary impression of the island. From the ship you’ll see the inviting beach calling you to relax and unwind; from the beach you’ll see the ship beckoning you to travel to other exotic locations. The beach is pleasant and the view is interesting, with a chance to watch all the ship traffic passing by.
The neighborhood around Brighton Beach is home to the Mount Gay Rum bottling factory, which brings several unique features. You’ll notice the sweet scent of rum as you get within a few blocks of the beach; some will find it enticing while others might be overwhelmed.
If you’re of legal drinking age and like rum, reserve a spot for a brief paid video tour and tasting of several different rums followed by a cocktail and optional lunch. The rum flight is actually a fairly significant amount of alcohol, so it’s best to plan for a bus, taxi or designated driver when leaving the tour. Tours are offered Monday through Friday most of the year, but only on Saturdays in winter.
An unusual feature on the beach is what the locals call the “hotpot”, created by a nearby power plant, which pumps extremely hot water out to the ocean. For generations, locals have come to this pool to soak in the warm water. Be aware that fatalities have occured here due to the stong undertow, so it is not recommended to jump in.
Rent beach chairs and umbrellas, use the public restrooms and showers, and call on the lifeguard on site for any emergencies. In early August you may find a craft and cultural fair at the nearby Bridgetown Market.
Brighton is simply the backyard for many locals, a casual public park where they can go for a run or swim, play beach tennis or volleyball, sunbathe or just unwind with a rum cocktail. Barbadians have a reputation for being friendly and accepting, so make the attempt to meet new friends and join in the activities.
Park for free at the parking lot for Brandons Beach just to the south.