GETTING AROUND BARBADOS
It is not essential to hire a car as Golden View is well located for public transport. There is a frequent bus service that runs along the main road with services to Bridgetown, Speigststown and Oistins. Bus Stops are clearly marked and there is a flat fare of $2bds. You will need local currency as buses do not accept US dollars. During term time avoid travelling on the buses in the early morning or early afternoon as school children ride free on the buses and they are packed.
There are bus stops close to most of the West Coast and south coast beaches. Why not get a bus to Paynes Bay, Heron Bay, Gibbs or Mullins- all lovely beaches with good access. Slightly further afield on the South Coast you could visit the beaches on Carlisle Bay. The Boatyard is a lively Beach Bar with facilities popular with tourists, while Browns Beach and Pebbles Beach have changing facilities and Cus’ van at the Pebble is famous for its fish cutters. Accra Beach and Miami Beach have slightly more waves and more shade and are also very popular.
You can also get go Bridgetown and the Historic Garrison with its race track.
SIGHTSEEING BY CAR
If you decide to hire a car you will have greater flexibility to explore the island. There is a large car park at the apartment with ample space for all guests.
With a car you can explore the delights of the rugged east coast, visit North Point with its spectacular cliffs and the animal flower cave. Or alternatively you could visit the Crane on the South Coast.
Harrison’s Cave in the centre of the island is one of the island’s main attractions and is certainly worth a visit.
The Wildlife Reserve is a good place to see the native green monkey. It is best to get there before 2 pm which is feeding time. If you are lucky you might see a monkey in the gardens at Golden View or on your travels around the island.
If you are interested in horticulture, there are a range of fine gardens with an abundance of exotic flowers. Gardens worth a visit are Huntes Gardens, the Flower Forest, Andromeda Gardens and Orchid World. For a more natural setting visit Welchman Hall Gully. Barbados has a very active Horticultural Society regularly winning Gold Medals for their displays at the Chelsea Flower Show. From January to March each year they organise a programme of open gardens where local gardeners open their gardens to the public.
Similarly,the Barbados National Trust have an Open House Programme where you can visit both historic buildings and modern houses.
Barbados has a wealth of historic buildings dating back go Jacobean times with many fine plantation houses. A visit to one of the oldest St Nicholas Abbey is well worth while. Not only can you see the house and its gardens, but there is an entertaining old film about life on the plantation in the early part of the 20th Century. They also have a small distillery producing craft rum which you can sample.
Bridgetown and its Historic Garrison achieved UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2011. You can visit George Washington House (the only place George Washington stayed outside of the USA), the colonial buildings of the Garrison and see the re-enactment of the changing of the guard at the Main Guard.
In Bridgetown itself it is worth visiting the Parliament building and the Jewish Museum and Synagogue. If you are interested in naval engineering the Screw Dock with its little museum is also fascinating.
Closer to GoldenView is the old port town of Speighstown which has an interesting museum at Arlington House.
Another great way to see the island is by boat. There are a number of pleasure cruises. Most leave from Bridgetown, but they pick up customers by coach from hotels on the west coast. Some smaller catamarans also leave from Port St Charles. You can go on catamaran cruises to swim with turtles and snorkel or deep sea diving on coral reefs or wrecks. If you like fishing you can go game fishing. Or for something different you can take a trip on the Atlantis Submarine and explore the tropical fish and exotic coral reefs without getting wet.