Built in 1660, the beautifully restored St. Nicholas Abbey, with its distinctive Dutch gables and red roof, is one of only three authentic Jacobean buildings in the western hemisphere. On this old sugarcane estate, you’ll find a working rum distillery and a museum depicting 18th-century plantation life on the island.The Basics
Estate tours include a viewing of a documentary about colonial plantation life, as well as a look inside the mansion, with its lavish Chinese Chippendale staircase and treasure trove of antiques and porcelain objects. You’ll also visit the processing plant and St. Nicholas Abbey Rum distillery.
While there, hop aboard the abbey’s heritage steam railway to experience the thrill of Victorian-era travel, then walk to Cherry Tree Hill for a view of the coast. If you have more time, full-day tours include sightseeing in Bridgetown and island highlights such as Harrison’s Cave, Bathsheba Beach, and historic gardens. Things to Know Before You Go
- St. Nicholas Abbey is ideal for families and big groups.
- General admission includes a tour of the abbey, the syrup factory, and the bottling plant. Heritage railway tickets are usually separate.
- The entire property is accessible to people with special needs.
- There’s a café on-site.
How to Get There
St. Nicholas Abbey is located along Highway 2A in Saint Peter Parish on the northern tip of Barbados, within walking distance of Cherry Tree Hill Reserve. As buses don’t run directly to the plantation, the easiest way to get there is by taxi or car. Parking is available on-site. When to Get There
St. Nicholas Abbey is open Sunday through Friday. Go anytime from January through June, when the 19th-century steam mill is in operation and you can taste and learn how to make rum. Peak season in Barbados is from December to mid-April, when the weather is drier.
Unique Jacobean Style
St. Nicholas Abbey is known for its Jacobean architecture style, popular during the reign of James I of England. Used in many houses and schools in the 17th century, the style is characterized by flat roofs, window bays, and long galleries with Tudor arches and multicurved gables.