If you’re a nature lover and history buff, then Farley Hill National Park in St. Peter, Barbados, is definitely worth a visit otherwise known as Barbados National Park. This beautiful park offers stunning views, diverse flora and fauna, and a rich cultural history that makes it a must-visit destination for travelers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Farley Hill National Park, exploring its history, natural features, and the many things to see and do during your visit.
History of Barbados National Park
Farley Hill National Park is steeped in history, dating back to the 17th century when it was originally a sugar plantation. After slavery was abolished in Barbados, the plantation fell into disrepair, and it was eventually abandoned. In the early 20th century, a new owner purchased the land and built a grand mansion called Farley Hill Great House. However, the mansion was destroyed by a fire in 1965, and the land was eventually donated to the government of Barbados to be turned into a national park.
Location and How to Get There
Farley Hill National Park is located in the parish of St. Peter, on the eastern coast of Barbados. The park is approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados. To get there, you can take a taxi or rental car from Bridgetown or other nearby towns. There are also buses that run from Bridgetown to St. Peter, and you can ask the driver to drop you off at the park entrance.
Natural Features of the Barbados National Park
Farley Hill National Park covers an area of 17.5 acres, and it is home to a variety of trees and plants, including mahogany, casuarina, and palm trees. The park is also home to several species of birds, including the Antillean crested hummingbird, yellow warbler, and gray kingbird.
The park offers breathtaking views of the eastern coast of Barbados, including the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby villages of St. Peter. From the top of the hill, you can see as far as the neighboring islands of St. Lucia and Martinique on a clear day.
Activities to Do in Farley Hill National Park
There are several activities that you can enjoy during your visit to Farley Hill National Park. Some of the popular activities include:
Hiking: The park offers several hiking trails that wind through the forest and along the coastline. These trails offer stunning views of the park’s natural beauty and are suitable for hikers of all levels.
Picnicking: Farley Hill National Park has several picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a meal with friends and family. These areas are equipped with picnic tables and grills for your convenience.
Photography: The park offers stunning views that are perfect for photography. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just enjoy taking photos as a hobby, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to capture the park’s natural beauty.
Weddings and Events: Farley Hill National Park is a popular destination for weddings and other events. The park applies a strict policy when it comes to holding events, so be sure to check the requirements before planning your event.
Wildlife in the Park
Farley Hill National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including several species of birds, bats, and lizards. The park is also home to several species of monkeys, including the Green Monkey, which is native to Barbados. Visitors are advised not to feed the animals and to keep a safe distance at all times.
Exploring the Ruins
One of the main attractions of Farley Hill National Park is the ruins of the Great House, which was once a grand mansion built in the early 20th century. Although the mansion was destroyed by a fire in 1965, the ruins still offer a glimpse into the island’s colonial past. Visitors can explore the ruins and imagine what life was like for the mansion’s former occupants.
The Great House
The Great House was once a magnificent mansion that was built in the early 20th century. The mansion was destroyed by a fire in 1965, but the ruins still stand as a testament to the island’s colonial past. The Great House is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding countryside.
Picnic Areas and Facilities
Farley Hill National Park has several picnic areas where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal with friends and family. These areas are equipped with picnic tables and grills for your convenience. The park also has several restrooms and a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and snacks.
Admission Fees and Opening Hours
The admission fee for Farley Hill National Park is BDS $10 for adults and BDS $5 for children under 12 years old. The park is open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and guided tours are available upon request.
Safety Tips When Visiting the Park
When visiting Farley Hill National Park, it’s important to take some safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. Some of the safety tips include:
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for hiking and outdoor activities.
- Use sunscreen and insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun and bugs.
- Carry plenty of water and snacks, especially if you plan on hiking.
- Keep a safe distance from the wildlife and do not feed them.
- Follow the park’s rules and regulations, including the no-smoking policy.
Best Time to Visit Barbados National Park
The best time to visit Farley Hill National Park is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is generally dry and sunny, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking and picnicking. However, the park is open year-round, so you can visit at any time of the year.
Farley Hill National Park is a beautiful destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural history. From the ruins of the Great House to the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s something for everyone at this park. Whether you’re a nature lover or a history buff, a visit to Farley Hill National Park is a must-do when visiting Barbados.
- Can I bring my own food and drinks to the park?
Yes, visitors are allowed to bring their own food and drinks to the park. There are picnic areas with tables and grills available for your convenience.
- Is there a guided tour available?
Yes, guided tours are available upon request. You can contact the park’s administration to schedule a tour.
- Are there any hiking trails in the park?
Yes, there are several hiking trails in the park that offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Is it safe to swim in the ocean near the park?
While the ocean near the park may be tempting, it’s important to note that there are no lifeguards on duty and the waters can be rough. It’s recommended to swim at designated beaches that have lifeguards on duty.
- Can I bring my dog to the park?
Pets are not allowed in the park for safety and conservation reasons.
- “Farley Hill National Park.” Visit Barbados. https://www.visitbarbados.org/farley-hill-national-park.
- “Farley Hill National Park.” Barbados National Trust. https://barbadosnationaltrust.org/project/farley-hill-national-park/.
- “Farley Hill National Park.” Barbados.org. https://www.barbados.org/farley-hill-national-park.htm.