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St Philip is one of the eleven parishes (or districts) of Barbados, and is located in the south east of this beautiful Caribbean holiday destination. The region boasts some stunning beaches, including Crane Beach, which regularly tops polls for ‘most beautiful beach in the world’. The beaches along the east coast are wilder than those on the west coast of Barbados, with bigger waves and stronger currents – ideal for surfing, boogie boarding and confident swimmers. The parish of St Philip also boasts a clutch of handsome colonial mansions, including Sunbury Plantation House, and the famous Bushy Park racing circuit. There are no major towns in this green and rural region, but there are bars, restaurants and shops scattered around the area’s small villages and bays.

Top attractions

Top attractions

St Philip is the perfect place to really kick back and relax on the gorgeous island of Barbados. Its beaches are simply spectacular: stunning swathes of sand overlooked by swaying palm trees and backed by coral cliffs. Crane Beach is the most famous, a picture-postcard beach that embodies the Caribbean idyll. There are lots of more secluded beaches to explore, including Bottom Bay and Belair Bay. The area is strewn with historic mansions: one of the most beautiful, Sunbury Plantation House, is now a fascinating museum. Ragged Point Lighthouse, at the eastern tip of Barbados, is closed to visitors, but offers amazing views over the coastline from the clifftop. You might also fancy a visit to the Bushy Park racing circuit, which hosts major motor racing events, but also has a karting track for kids, or the Foursquare Rum Refinery, which offers tours and tastings.

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Eating out

Eating out

St Philip is one of the quietest and most low-key areas of Barbados, ideal if you’re looking for peace and quiet. There is no major town in the area, and restaurants and cafés are scattered across the villages and bays of the parish. There is a good choice of options in terms of types of cuisine and budgets, and lots of places serve the tasty local Bajan cuisine. The most famous Barbadian national dish is cou cou with fried flying fish, served with a spicy gravy, but other local delicacies you won’t want to miss include pudding and souse (pickled pork with a sweet potato ‘sausage’), pumpkin fritters, and the slow-cooked beef stew called pepperpot which is often served for Sunday lunch. The most famous local drink is rum, but you could also sample some of the refreshing Barbadian beers.

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Families

Families

The parish of St Philips is a great destination for a family holiday, although the sea here is most suitable for older kids and teens. Younger kids may be content with hotel pools and playing in the sand at one of the charming coves. The beaches are the focus of holidays in this region, and you can hop from bay to bay to find your favourite. They are all stunningly beautiful, with dazzling white sand, azure seas and tall palm trees, but, because the Caribbean meets the Atlantic on this coast, you can expect bigger waves and stronger currents. Older kids and teens will enjoy the fantastic opportunities for boogie-boarding and surfing. They may also enjoy a visit to the historic Sunbury Plantation House or a go on the karting track at Bushy Park racing circuit.

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Action & Adventure

Action & Adventure

St Philip has some fabulous beaches that are ideal for a range of water sports, particularly boogie-boarding and surfing. For the best surfing beaches – including the 'Soup Bowl' at Bethsheba, widely considered one of the best in the world – you’ll need to head further up the east coast, which is pounded by the Atlantic. If you’re more interested in snorkelling and diving, then the west coast beaches, with their tranquil Caribbean waters, offer some spectacular wreck dive sites and coral reefs to explore. Given that Barbados is a relatively small island – just 21 miles long – you won’t have to travel far to find the perfect beach for you.

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Beaches

Beaches

The beaches in St Philip are some of the most beautiful to be found anywhere in the Caribbean. Many of them are backed by coral cliffs, and feature fine sand beaches shaded by palm trees and mahogany trees. The most famous is Crane Beach, which is regularly voted one of the best beaches in the world. It’s a spectacular swathe of rosy-hued sand (the pinkish colour comes from the shells) overlooking impossibly blue waters. The Caribbean meets the Atlantic on this stretch of coast, meaning bigger waves and stronger currents than on the west coast, making them ideal for surfing and body-boarding. There are plenty of quiet bays to seek out, including Bottom Bay and nearby Harrismith Bay, as well as Foul Bay, which, despite its name, is breathtakingly lovely.   

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Nightlife

Nightlife

St Philips is a quiet region, better known for its tranquil, beautiful beaches and historic sights than for its nightlife. What little nightlife you’ll find is mainly located around the beaches, and consists mainly of seafront bars where you can sip a drink and listen to the sound of the waves. Many of the hotels with all-inclusive programmes provide their own entertainment. If you fancy some serious nightlife action, drive 25 minutes west to St Lawrence Gap, one of the main hubs for bars and clubs on the island, or even to Bridgetown, the Barbadian capital, which also boasts a wide range of entertainment.

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Couples

Couples

If your idea of romantic bliss is utter tranquillity and picture-postcard Caribbean beaches, then St Philip is for you. This relaxed and laid-back region of Barbados is blessed with some of the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches on the island, including many secluded coves for romantic picnics. There’s plenty to see and do in the area, from the Sunbury Plantation House to the lighthouse at Ragged Point, at the very eastern tip of the island. If you want some lively entertainment in the evenings, a 30-minute drive will bring you to St Lawrence Gap, the island’s main nightlife hub, or to Bridgetown, the vibrant Barbadian capital of Barbados.

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Culture

Culture

St Philips is a quiet, rural region, which was once home to a number of large plantations. Many of the original plantation mansions still stand, some in ruins, while others have been converted into luxury hotels. One of the most impressive is the Sunbury Plantation House, built in 1660, which has exhibits on the history of the island, and a wonderful collection of old carriages, antique furnishings and other historic items. Also worth a visit is the Ragged Point Lighthouse, which dates back to the 19th century, and is still operational. There are commanding views over the gorgeous coastline from the foot of the lighthouse. You should also make a trip to Bridgetown, the Barbadian capital, which is full of historic attractions and cultural sights: a large swathe of downtown Bridgetown and its enormous garrison are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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