Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

St. Nicholas Abbey Visitor Tips

St. Nicholas Abbey locomotive
St. Nicholas Abbey locomotive

St. Nicholas Abbey in northern Barbados is a 350-year-old Jacobean plantation house, syrup factory and rum distillery.

Despite its name, the Abbey was built in 1660 as a private home, according to the current owners. It has remained a family residence since that time.

“The name can be credited to a tradition of changing the property’s name with ownership,” the owners say.

The house is one of only three Jacobean-style homes left in the Western Hemisphere, according to multiple sources.

Visitors can tour the entire first floor, which has art and furnishings of various periods and centuries. The second floor has the bedrooms of the current owners and is not open to the public.

Besides the house, the plantation tour also includes the syrup factory, sugar mill and rum distillery.

The estate has 400 acres of formal gardens, sugar cane fields and mahogany forests.

The grounds include a view of Cherry Tree Hill, which is an avenue of mahogany trees that overlook the Barbados coast.

The total recommended tour time is two to three hours. Guided tours are available every hour starting at 10:30 a.m. The last guided tour begins at 3:30 p.m.

St. Nicholas Abbey Location Map

The abbey is a 40-minute drive north of the Bridgetown cruise terminal. It is not a common shore excursion among the major cruise lines. High taxi fares for that distance make make a car rental a better option, especially for anyone who wants to visit other attractions across the island.

Tickets at the time of this writing are $23 U.S. for visitors ages 12 and up, $10 for children ages five to 11 and free for children ages four and younger. Tickets include a complimentary fruit or rum punch.

St. Nicholas Abbey is open Sundays through Fridays and closed on Saturdays.  It also is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day (the day after Christmas), New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Kadooment Day (a Barbados holiday on the first Monday in August).

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
October 27, 2021

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