Despite the dramatic difference in climate and scenery, Barbados was dubbed “Little England” during the 330 years it spent under British rule. Explore the formal gardens, regal homes, and quaint neighborhoods of colonial-era Barbados, and end your tour with a rum tasting at St. Nicholas Abbey.
Begin your exploration of Barbados’ colonial past at Hunte’s Gardens, created in the 1950s by a horticulturist who spent 2 years turning an overgrown sinkhole into a lushly flowered gully. Trek along trails in this 10-acre (4-ha) garden environment, pausing to sit on benches to take in the scenery and the sounds of classical music.
From there, drive up the scenic and rugged east coast of the island and wind your way up Cherry Tree Hill to St. Nicholas Abbey. This one-time sugar cane plantation—1 of only 3 examples of Jacobean architecture in the Western Hemisphere—has an intriguing and storied past. Hear some of its tales as you tour the landscaped grounds and admire the house’s historical furnishings. Then head to the rum distillery on the premises to sample some of the island’s most celebrated libation.