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.