Want to experience all Barbados has to offer?
Each region of the island has its own set of unique characteristics and vibe that you’ll want to see for yourself. By using our guide to the parishes of Barbados, you’ll make the most of your stay on the island and have a Totally Barbados holiday.
Barbados measures 21 miles (34 kilometers) in length and 14 miles (23 kilometers) wide and is divided into 11 geographical sub-regions called parishes.
The parish structure of the island reflects the system that The Church of England set, and therefore each parish is governed by its parish church.
Did you know? The differing size and shape of the parishes of Barbados were created by the plantation estates of sugar, tobacco, and cotton that the English settlers carved into the island.
St. Michael is situated on the south coast of the island however it also covers a little bit of the west coast too. It’s home to the country’s capital Bridgetown where you’ll find loads of duty-free shopping, restaurants, and bars.
The parish of St. Michael is where the majority of the Barbadian population reside, and there are many tourist attractions in this area such as Kensington Oval, the Barbados Museum, and the Mount Gay Rum Factory.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. Michael.
Located on the south coast of Barbados is the parish of Christ Church. You will find the majority of the island’s restaurants, bars, hotels and tourist attractions here, some great beaches for swimming and water sports action, and two golf courses.
If you’re looking for a party in Barbados, then Christ Church is your destination. Try heading to the infamous St. Lawrence Gap for all the nightlife action you can handle.
For more information, see our page on the parish of Christ Church.
St. James is located on the west coast of Barbados. It’s where you will find the crème de la crème of fine dining restaurants, luxury hotels, and accommodation, as well as duty-free shopping and some of the best beaches on the island.
The central town of St. James is the historic Holetown, which was the first settlement area in Barbados for the British.
You’ll also find two of Barbados’ most prestigious golf courses in St. James – one at Sandy Lane and the other at Royal Westmoreland.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. James
St. Philip is located on the south-east coast of Barbados. Although this region is less developed commercially than its neighboring parishes, there’s still plenty to see and do in St. Philip.
There are a few historical plantation houses in this parish like Sunbury Plantation House, as well as the world-famous Crane Beach, recognized by the Lifestyles of the RIch and Famous as one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
There are not as many amenities in St. Philip, however, you’ll find there’s a shopping complex at Six Cross Roads that should be able to cater to all your needs.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. Philip.
St. John is located on the east coast of Barbados and has spectacular views of the wild Atlantic Ocean.
This parish is more ‘countryside’ than some of the other parishes, but you’ll still find tourist attractions such as historic churches and great beaches, as well as quaint fishing villages in St. John.
It’s also home to Codrington College, set in beautiful grounds and known worldwide as a theological college of excellence – well worth a visit.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. John.
St. Joseph is located on the east coast of Barbados. It is probably one of the prettiest and most breathtaking parishes on the island with a dramatic coastline and steep hills cliffs sweeping over the crashing Atlantic Ocean.
Here you will find the well-known tourist destination of Bathsheba, where you’ll also find the infamous surfing spot called the ‘Soup Bowl‘ which attracts top international pro surfers every year.
There are also good hotels and restaurants, tourist attractions and scenic views, as well as old Anglican churches to take a walk around.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. Joseph.
St. Andrew is located on the east coast of Barbados. It’s where you’ll find the island’s highest point, Mount Hillaby, measuring approximately 1,115 feet above sea level, as well as the area known as the Scotland District.
Some places of interest in St. Andrew are the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, and Farley Hill National Park which is now the location for national festivals such as Reggae on the Hill.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. Andrew.
St. Peter is located in the north of Barbados. It stretches from the calm, tranquil Caribbean Sea off the west coast right across to the rough crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast.
The central town in St. Peter is Speightstown on the west coast and is the second largest city in Barbados.
On the west coast in St. Peter you’ll find some stunning beaches that are ideal for swimming and sunbathing. On the west coast of St. Peter you’ll also see Port St. Charles, a development of townhouses and apartments with yacht moorings. You’ll also find St. Nicholas Abbey, one of only three remaining Jacobean properties in the western hemisphere.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. Peter.
St. Lucy is located on the north coast of Barbados. It’s a remarkably unspoiled and rugged part of Barbados with some beautiful scenery and makes for a lovely drive.
Although this parish is somewhat undeveloped compared to others, it still has some interesting places to visit. If you’re a keen surfer or kitesurfer, then you’ll find excellent waves at Maycocks Bay.
Maycocks Bay is one of the only beaches in this parish, even though water surrounds the entire region.
There are also two lighthouses and three churches in this parish to visit and experience.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. Lucy.
St. George is located in the middle of Barbados, overlooking both the south and west coasts.
This parish is made up of many sugar cane fields, which slopes gently down towards the sea.
Despite there being no beaches in this parish, there are still some attractions to lure you to this part of the island.
Aside from the beautiful historical churches, another spot of interest in St. George is Gun Hill Signal Station. There’s also Orchid World, home to over 20,000 orchids, which also makes a great afternoon out.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. George.
St. Thomas is located in central Barbados. Like St. George, this parish also has no coastline. However, there’s still plenty to see and do here.
St. Thomas is entirely different from the rest of the island – it’s made up of steep hills and winding country roads surrounded by cane fields, woods, caves, and gullies. You’ll also find the weather slightly more refreshing and breezier in St. Thomas, and there’s loads of lush greenery throughout this parish.
Here you’ll also find two of the country’s top polo fields at Lion Castle and Clifton. You’ll also see Earthworks Pottery, where you can witness the potter at his wheel creating some unique Caribbean pieces – great gifts or souvenirs to take home with you.
St. Thomas also has some natural delights such as Harrison’s Cave and Welchman Hall Gully.
For more information, see our page on the parish of St. Thomas.
Author: Brett Callaghan