There are lots of beaches on Barbados. Ergo there are lots of ways to “do the beach”. Over on the Atlantic coast my advice would be to do the beach with caution as the waves are quite ferocious and it is not for weak swimmers but it is great if you are surfer. They also aren’t the most beautiful to look at though the scenery is spectacular the sand isn’t. Watching surfers ride the waves is good fun though but I would do it from the car with an ice cream.
You could do Enterprise Beach which is what the Bajans do with their families at the weekends. Still a few waves so you can ride on body boards but it is often busy. It does also have THE best place for Bajan fish cakes in the entire world (and therefore the only reason we visit this beach).
Mullins Beach on the west, or Platinum Coast, is perfect if you have teens who want to try out jet skis or paddle boarding and if you want to be close to a bar doing great cocktails, and free wifi.
All of those beaches, in their own way, are great, but they are not, in our opinion, how to do a beach in Barbados.
No beach in Barbados is private. Many hotels would like you to think that the beach in front of their establishment is private, it isn’t. The local authorities are very strict on this. Just because you own a gorgeous beach front house does not give you the right to block off access to the beach in front of the property, as much as many have tried. Development on the island, particularly on the west coast has meant that it is increasingly hard to find a way down on to the beach as walls go up around houses and the entrances from the roads disappear. But if you look hard enough you can find them.
By a bus stop on the main road from Holetown to Speightstown is a little gap. A gap you would miss if you weren’t looking for it. Just passed a house called “Shoestring” (bet you can’t guess who owns that one) there is a small gap and a rubble and leaf strewn path that leads down to Gibbes Beach. Parking is in the road just before the turning, on the verge wherever you can pull over (we have never struggled to park).
You wander down the path and as the sea comes into view, so does the beach. This really is as busy as it has ever got in the nine years we have been coming here.
So the only way to do a beach in Barbados is to grab some chairs and a cool box and then go and sit on it. Don’ t take books, or magazines, or ipods to plug into. Go and sit on the beach and stare at the sea for a few hours. Go with friends, as we do with Martin and Rowena, and share some drinks and natter. When it gets too warm go in the sea and cool down. Take a picnic. If you happen to be there on a Sunday watch the local families moor their boats just off the shore in a line (there was only one when we were there this weekend).
Looking the other way it is this busy
It really is like something on a postcard you would write and send home.
Which is about the most physical thing you should do on this beach in my opinion