St. James - the playground of the rich and famous and home to what has been hailed as the platinum coast. St. James is located on the western side of the island and boasts world-renowned hotels, five-star restaurants, private villas and beachside mansions. Not without a historic storyline, this parish holds major significance to the Barbadian storyline and the relationship between England and Barbados.
Top Places to Visit in St. James
One of four towns and the third largest on the island, Holetown holds within it, great significance to Barbados’ colonial past. In 1625 the British first made landing here and on the 17th of February, 1627 returned and settled on the island. The town was formerly given the name Jamestown after the reigning monarch at the time, King James the first. As the story goes the current name, ‘Holetown’ was also given by the early English settlers because the river that runs into the sea bears resemblance to the Limehouse hole on the Thames River. Located not far from the famed hole stands the Holetown Monument which commemorates the landing of the English Settlers. There is plenty to do in Holetown, as it presents an eclectic mix of culinary, art, shopping and beach adventure. In February Holetown has a weeklong festival which consists of fashion shows, musical parades and vendors serving up a myriad of Bajan delicacies and craft items.
Chattel House Village
The village presents a well laid out shopping experience which celebrates unique Barbadian architectural styling in its chattel house design. The chattel house village is made up of brightly painted individual shops with beautifully landscaped grounds and colourful flora. This Barbadian mosaic of colourful flora and architecture creates a shopping experience where you will find a wide selection of souvenirs, exotic fashion, one of a kind art pieces, gourmet coffee and cake. If you follow the pathways you will also discover a spot where you can refuel with lunch offerings. The Chattel House Village is located just off the main road - its bright colours cannot be missed.
1st and 2nd Street
If you are looking for nice restaurants and a buzzing night scene then 1st and 2nd Streets in Holetown, St. James has exactly what you are looking for. As the name suggests 1st and 2nd Streets are two avenues that run parallel to each other with restaurants and bars separating them. Five-star dining experiences, sushi, pizza Indian and Barbadian cuisine can all be found in the gap. If you fancy cocktails and music you have your choice of bars to suit your groove. On weekends the party atmosphere takes over the streets and transforms them into a street party type vibe with patrons spilling into the streets from the various bars.
Limegrove Lifestyle Centre
Fashion, food, film and events are the four types of products found here as well as Trendy, high fashion, duty-free, luxury. Those are some of the adjectives that are associated with the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. Boss, Breitling, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Diamonds International are just a few of the world-renowned brands that occupy a space in the beautifully laid out lifestyle centre. Whether you are alone or with the family, there is a store for everyone. After shopping, grab a bite at one of the many restaurants, where there are choices to suit every palate, or you may just want to chill at the courtyard bar and take in the atmosphere. After the sun sets the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre is buzzing with special events, cocktail parties and the lively atmosphere of night time dining.
Sandy Lane Golf Resort
The brand Sandy Lane carries the reputation of offering only the best luxury experience and the Resort can boast of being awarded the elusive Five Diamond Award. This resort caters to the who's who in the world of entertainment, sports and business. So, it is not surprising, that the Sandy Lane Golf Resort goes above and beyond your golfing expectations. There are three courses, The Country Club, The Old Nine and the world-famous Green Monkey designed by Tom Fazio. The Green Monkey, however, is exclusively for Sandy Lane Guests. Whichever course you choose to tee off on, the breathtaking view of the St. James course and the beautifully landscaped terrain will make the experience an unforgettable one.
St. James Parish Church
According to legend, there is a gate on the west wall that guards the churchyard which carries the ominous name of "The Devil's Gate". As the story goes, one hour before service the gate is opened, the church bell is rung and the Devil leaves via this gate. As the service is about to begin the gate is closed rendering the Devil unable to return to the area during service. Now, whether or not you choose to be a believer of this legend, the intrigue surrounding the gate appeals to the curiosity of many. Apart from the folklore, the St. James Parish Church is deeply woven into the fabric of Barbadian history. It is the site of the oldest consecrated parcels of land locally called 'God's Acre' which dates back to the time of the first English Settlers on the island. The beautiful coral stone buildings secure within their walls items that date back to the time of King William I and many of the gravestones and vaults tell the stories of those laid to rest centuries ago. The historic significance of the St. James Parish Church cannot be ignored for it sits as a reminder of the first English settlers who came upon Barbados.
Folkestone Marine Park
Surrounded by water the island's marine life is of great importance to the sustainability of Barbados. One crucial area in this regard is the Folkestone Marine Park, located a stone's throw away from the St. James Parish Church. A recreational area consisting of a park, a marine museum and the main attraction, an artificial reef formation. The reef was created when the Greek Ship, Stavronikita sank off the coast and nature did the rest in creating a wonderful habitat for various sea creatures. It is a popular site for snorkelers and divers and if you are not very skilled in the waters try a tour on one of the glass bottom boats. In addition to the wet attractions, there is a lovely green space with mature trees offering shade. You also will find a play park for the kids, tennis courts and picnic benches.
Lancaster Great House
One of the beautifully maintained vestiges of the Barbadian colonial past. Lancaster Great House offers a stunning peek back into the 17th and 18th century and into life on a sugar plantation great house. The current owners of the estate take great care in maintaining the estate, ensuring that every single detail and placement of artefacts tell the desired story. The property features well-manicured grounds and rare antiques all perfectly positioned to emphasize the story. If you are looking for a dining experience there are two options.
A five-course Friday night dinner party or a less formal Planter's Buffet.
John Moore Bar
This location is an authentic Bajan experience, landmark and watering hole. John Moore Bar is the quintessential Barbadian rum shop located in the small fishing village of Weston St. James. There is no better way to immerse yourself in Barbadian culture than in a rum shop, among locals with a rum and coke and the beach as your backdrop. Politics, religion and all spicy topics are debated and discussed at the John Moore Bar. Hungry? Having the sea at your backdoor means there is always fresh fish to be had, and did I mention the rum?
These are only a few of the attractions of interest in the parish of St. James. Luxury, history and Barbadian culture beautifully meshed together here. This parish gives you everything you need to make your experience on the shores of Barbados a memorable one that will leave you wanting for more.