Holidays to Hastings are a sophisticated cocktail of tropical beaches and upscale shopping malls, with a splash of history at the UNESCO-protected Garrison enclave.
Hastings is a small town on Barbados’ vibrant south coast that’s fond of good company. It’s sandwiched between Bridgetown, the island’s capital, to the west, and round-the-clock party animal, St Lawrence Gap, to the east. But Hastings can stand tall next to these two gentle giants with its line-up of tropical beaches, coral reefs and famously outgoing locals.
The town is a beach lover’s dream. There’s Hastings Beach, a ribbon of white sand, dotted with palm trees. Triggerfish, eels and turtles are routinely spotted in its crystal clear waters. With a gently sloping sea shelf, it’s safe for children to paddle in – just avoid the rocky sections of the beach. And it’s bordered by a wooden boardwalk with a play area and a bandstand. Just 5 minutes away on foot is Rockley Beach, one of the island’s most in-demand stretches. With an A1 portfolio of watersports and standout beach bars, it’s easy to see why.
Hastings Main Road is the town’s main thoroughfare and runs parallel to the beach. From homely Bajan kitchens to reliable restaurant chains and even an English tea room, there’s plenty of rich pickings here. There are a couple of malls, too, in the shape of Lanterns Mall and Hastings Plaza. Follow the promenade into Rockley and you’ll get to the Quayside Centre, a place jam-packed with hand-crafted souvenirs.
Barbados’ capital, Bridgetown, is a 5-minute drive westwards. Shopaholics make a beeline for Broad Street and Swan Street with its swanky department stores, while history buffs gravitate towards the Garrison, which has a cache of 18th-century English military buildings. But if you’re searching for a party, head eastwards to St Lawrence Gap where a strip of rum shacks and nightspots stay open until the wee hours.
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