Located on the tranquil west coast of Barbados, known as the Platinum coast, Shutters is situated in the friendly village of Lower Carlton, in the parish of St James, just off the coast road between Holetown and Speightstown. The spectacular Reeds Bay beach is less than 5 minutes walk away.
Boats trips – there are several glass-bottomed boats that would be willing to take you out to see the turtles, and tropical fish over the reef and a wreck, but Michael, on the Shamon Too, is very nice and reliable. His number is 232-8157 or 262-4315 and they also have a web-site www.westwater-adventures-barbados.com. Snorkels etc are provided on the boat.
SCUBA diving at Reefers and Wreckers in Speightstown www.scubadiving.bb or Westside Scuba (www.westsidescuba.com) in Holetown. Both will pick you up from the house.
Golf - golfing is very popular in Barbados. The island has several championship courses, Sandy Lane and its 3 courses being about 15 minutes drive from Shutters.
On the east coast, about 40 minutes from Shutters by car, the 'Soup Bowl' at Bathsheba is home to the Caribbean Surfing Championship in early November, and to the south of that the Barbados Windsurfing World Cup is held in January.
Shopping: Supermarkets, plus a large array of shops and a post office, can be found in both Holetown and Speightstown (both about 10 mins by road). There is a small convenience store less than 5 minutes walk away. Carlton also has a small fish market where fresh fish is sold daily - ideal for barbeques at home. The capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, is about 20-30 minutes away by car and has a craft centre as well as a wealth of duty-free shopping opportunities.
Eating and drinking - Lower Carlton is a quiet residential area with plenty of small bars and restaurants within walking distance of the house. However, the community comes alive on a Saturday night in the small Karaoke bar adjacent to the house, This is a particularly typical Bajan entertainment for a Saturday night. Jefferson, about 3 minutes walk from Shutters does excellent bbq meals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. There is a small Barbadian bar (the famous John Moore bar) about 5 minutes walk from Shutters where you can see dominoes and cards being played with tremendous enthusiasm, or you can watch for the green flash on the horizon as the sun sets.
The coast road is peppered with a range of bars, restaurants and fish-fries; the Cliff restaurant is probably the most expensive contrasting with the Bajan bars serving cheap drinks and excellent local food. For specific recommendations see Our Favourites section.
Barbados is a very beautiful island with many different types of scenery, so we highly recommend a little exploring. The west, Caribbean, coast is sheltered, calm and tranquil, whereas the north and east coasts are Atlantic and so wild and rugged in many places. The south coast is mainly calm, with stretches of wide, sandy beaches.
Inland the island is a patchwork of sugarcane fields and lush, tropical vegetation. Green monkeys are native to the island and can often be seen. There are many exotic plants and remarkably tame birds. Hummingbirds dart busily from flower to flower.
Car - Exploration by car is probably the best way to see the island, and discover secluded, beautiful hideaways. The maps that are supplied with hire cars are very poor and document only a fraction of the roads and tracks that actually exist, but getting lost is half the fun! As a population the Bajans are remarkably friendly and helpful, and will always be happy to have a chat or give directions if you require assistance; the bus stops are useful as they are marked either 'To City' or 'From City' so you always know if you are heading away from or towards Bridgetown. There are many car hire companies on the island - a valid driving licence is needed for car hire. Cars can be picked up at the airport, or will be delivered to Shutters. Taxis are reliable and plentiful.
Bus - There are two cheap, speedy and frequent bus services that serve the island, all journeys costing the same regardless of distance. The nearest bus-stop to the house is less than 5 minutes walk away.
Walking - It is possible to walk along the interconnecting beaches for many miles in either direction. There are no private beaches in Barbados.
The Grantley Adams Airport is approximately 45 minutes drive from Shutters and regularly receives competitively priced flights from the UK on British Airways, Virgin, BWIA, Excel and BMI.