April 22, 2019: Exterior of St. Nicholas Abbey, a sugar cane plantation heritage museum and rum distillery.
architecture, barbados, building, distillery, garden, gardens, heritage, historic, historical, landmark, museum, plantation, railway, rum, st. nicholas abbey, sugar can, tourism, travel, vacation

©Andy Glenn/Shutterstock

St Nicholas Abbey

Top choice in Barbados

St Nicholas Abbey is a Jacobean-style mansion that is one of the oldest plantation houses in the Caribbean and a must-see stop on any island itinerary. The grounds include the Great House, various gardens and a very traditional rum distillery. A cafe serves light lunches (B$30 to B$42) on a platform overlooking a lush valley full of trees.

A fully functioning steam train complete with smartly attired conductors runs a loop round the property and up to Cherry Tree Hill.

Make sure to visit the very worthwhile gift shop for a bottle of single-cask rum made on-site with sugarcane from the estate's own plantations. The only downside to the place – caged parrots.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Barbados attractions

1. Cherry Tree Hill

0.33 MILES

A historic avenue lined with mahogany trees that leads from St Nicholas Abbey down to the Atlantic. The view from the top is spectacular.

2. Barbados Wildlife Reserve

0.82 MILES

Barbados Wildlife Reserve is a walk-through zoo opposite Farley Hill, with short paths that meander through a mahogany forest containing green monkeys and…

3. Grenade Signal Station

0.82 MILES

Right across the car park from the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, and under the same management, you'll find a mahogany forest on a hillside that cloaks an…

4. Morgan Lewis Windmill

0.99 MILES

The largest complete windmill in the Caribbean, this impressive stone structure sits proud on a hilltop north of Belleplaine. It was used to grind…

5. Farley Hill National Park

1.15 MILES

A tree-covered hillside set around the ruins of an old estate home. Climb to the top and sit on one of the benches in front of the pagoda for a fresh…

6. River Bay

3.01 MILES

You can drive right up to this beautiful little bay, where two rivers have come together to carve a way through low windswept cliffs to the Atlantic…

7. Heywoods Beach


One of the best strands on the west coast for day-trippers from elsewhere on the island, Heywoods Beach offers good parking, a location well off Hwy 1 and…

8. Arlington House

4.15 MILES

A radiant vision in white stucco, this 18th-century colonial house now has an engaging museum run with love by the National Trust. It's divided into…