Things to do in Holetown

Holetown is on the platinum west coast of Barbados. Holetown stands as a testament to the island’s rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. As the site of the first English landing in 1625, this vibrant town was once called Jamestown, in honour of King James I.

Over the years, it underwent various transformations, eventually adopting its current name, inspired by the small tidal hole along the western beach where cargo was offloaded from ships.

The town is a thriving hub of activity. From pristine beaches to a bustling modern scene of restaurants, shopping outlets, and entertainment venues, Holetown offers a great mix for all travellers, whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, or you just fancy hitting the shops, Holetown has something for you.

Beaches in Holetown

Holetown is perhaps most famous for its stunning beach.

Holetown Beach
Just a stone’s throw from the town centre and Sunset Crest Beach House, Holetown Beach, also known as Discovery Bay, is perfect for sunbathers and swimmers alike. Lining the beach, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and bars, allowing you to grab a cocktail or a quick bite without venturing too far from the water.

Snorkelling
If you’re looking to add a touch of adventure to your beach day, head to the beach located to the left of the town and tucked away behind a series of rocky outcrops, this beach is a Barbados snorkelling paradise. The rocky shoreline is home to a vibrant coral reef teeming with marine life. You will find plenty of colourful fish.

Tips for Beachgoers:

  • Always ensure you’re aware of the sea conditions before entering the water. While the beaches in Holetown are generally safe for swimming, it’s essential to be cautious, especially if you’re travelling with children.
  • Respect the environment. Barbados takes pride in its pristine natural landscapes, so always clean up after yourself and avoid touching or stepping on the coral reefs.
  • Stay hydrated and protected. The tropical sun can be intense, especially during midday. Make sure to drink plenty of water, wear sunblock, and take breaks in the shade when needed.

Historical and Cultural Holetown

Holetown Monument
One of the first stops on any Holetown historical tour should be the Holetown Monument. It commemorates the landing of the English settlers in 1625.

St. James Parish Church
As one of the oldest churches in Barbados, St. James Parish Church is a testament to the island’s religious and architectural heritage. The original wooden structure was built in the early 17th century, with the current stone building dating back to the 1680s.

Chattel Village
For a dose of local culture and shopping, the Chattel Village is a must-visit. These vibrant, colourful houses, designed in traditional Barbadian style, host a range of boutique shops, cafes, and artisan stalls. From handcrafted jewellery to local artwork, there’s a treasure trove of souvenirs awaiting discovery.

Chattel Village in Holetown Festival at night
Chattel Village in Holetown Festival

Holetown Festival
If your visit aligns with February, you’re in for a treat. The Holetown Festival celebrates the town’s rich history with a week-long extravaganza of music, dance, parades, and traditional Bajan cuisine. It’s a brilliant experience that encapsulates the spirit and culture of Holetown.

Limegrove Shopping Centre in Holetown

We’ve already mentioned Chattel village, if you are looking for more luxury then head to Limegrove Shopping Centre. It’s just a 5-minute walk from SunnySide Barbados villa and has plenty to offer:

Shop in Style
Limegrove is home to a selection of high-end boutiques and global luxury brands.

Dining options
From local Bajan flavours to international gourmet dishes, Limegrove boasts an impressive array of restaurants and cafes. Choose from elegant sit-down establishments, lively bars, or charming cafes, each offering a unique culinary experience.

The Cinema
One of the standout features of Limegrove is its cinema. Stepping into the theatre is like travelling back in time, with its classic vintage décor creating an ambience reminiscent of the golden age of film. Comfy seats and the ability to order meals directly to your chair offer film enthusiasts a cinematic experience like no other.

Teddy & MArgo on the canons at limegrove
The cannons at Limegrove

Events and More
Beyond shopping, dining, and movies, Limegrove is also a hub for cultural events, exhibitions, and live performances. From art shows to fashion events and live music nights, there’s always something happening to keep visitors entertained and engaged.

A Relaxing Retreat
After a day of shopping and dining, take a moment to relax in the centre’s serene courtyards and lounge areas.

Eating out in Holetown

Holetown has plenty of dining options for every palate and budget. Whether you’re seeking a laid-back beachside meal or a sophisticated culinary experience, this town has got you covered:

1. Zaccios
Overlooking the Caribbean waters, Zaccios is the ideal spot to watch the sun dip below the horizon. Their menu features a mix of local and international dishes, complementing the laid-back beachy ambience perfectly. It’s chilled-out dining in a great location.

2. Just Grilling:
For those in search of authentic Bajan flavours, Just Grilling stands out. As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in grilled dishes, particularly seafood and meats. It’s very informal, more like a canteen and fairly wallet-friendly.

3. The Shack at Folkestone Marina
The food stand at the Folkestone Marina offers seaside sustenance of fishcakes, burgers and beer!

4. Tides
For special occasions, Tides is a must-visit. With its elegant décor, impeccable service, and a menu that showcases the finest ingredients, Tides promises an unparalleled dining experience. Set by the water’s edge, the ambience is both romantic and serene, making it perfect for special celebrations or intimate dinners.

5. Paul Owens
Another fine dining establishment that has earned rave reviews is Paul Owens. Known for its innovative fusion of Barbadian flavours with international cuisines, the restaurant is on the beach and situated right next to the Sunset Crest Beach House.

Water sports in Holetown

From jet-skiing to paddleboarding, the beaches around Holetown provide an array of water sports. Head up to Holetown beach and there are several guys running jetski hire, boat hire and trips to see the turtles.

If you’re more into underwater exploration, snorkelling around the coral reefs is a brilliant experience. The waters here are teeming with marine life, from colourful schools of fish to the occasional curious sea turtle.

Beach bars and nightlife

After a day in the water, nothing beats a few drinks in a beach bar. Grab a refreshing cocktail, put your feet in the sand, and let the island rhythms take over. Surfside is a cracking sports bar on the beach that also has steel pans on certain evenings. Zaccios has an informal bar on the beach with happy hour every day.

For nightlife, head to the bustling hubs of First and Second Streets — these avenues overflow with an eclectic range of bars, dining spots, and vibrant clubs.

The final word on things to do in Holetown

Holetown, with its rich history, fantastic beaches, and bars, has plenty to offer local tourists. Whether you’re drawn to its lush parks, beautiful beaches, indulgent dining experiences, or the lively rhythm of its streets after dark, there’s no denying the town offers a slice of paradise for every traveller.

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Lucy Bridge

I love to travel with my family. Over the years, we’ve found ourselves coming back to the magic of Sunset Crest. So much so, that we finally decided to take the plunge and buy Villa Sunnyside in 2022!

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