Yachts Docked at the Careenage, Barbados Pocket Guide

The Careenage

The area of the Careenage became quite popular back in 1628 when British settlers landed in Barbados. Not much was there with the exception of a wooden bridge across the water.  It is believed that a group of indigenous people to the Caribbean known as Arawaks were the ones to create the bridge. Upon discovering the structure, the British settlers began to call the area of Bridgetown, Indian Bridge. The British removed the structure and constructed a new bridge over the Careenage sometime after 1654 and the area became known as the town of Saint Michael and later its’ present day name, Bridgetown.


Goods Being Offloaded at the Careenage in Years Gone By, Barbados Pocket Guide


Given its name, as this was the place where ships were careened onto a side to be repaired, scrubbed and painted, the Careenage is located in the heart of Barbados' capital city Bridgetown. This area was once filled with much activity from merchants who would dock their ships and unload all kinds of merchandise that would be stored in the nearby warehouses.


Today, there's a different kind of activity that goes on in the Careenage. To a certain extent, the Careenage has become a lot quieter in some instances as this level of trade no longer takes place but more an occurrence of people shopping, eating at Waterfront Café, other restaurants in the area or just the noise associated with moving traffic. Fishing boats and yachts also dock here from time to time.


Two bridges span the Careenage here in Barbados. One that swung open when larger ships passed and another that houses the Independence Arch.


Chamberlain Bridge  which was once considered to be the old swing bridge, stretches from Trafalgar Square to the other bank while the Charles Duncan O'Neale Bridge spans the river to the city's main bus terminal on Fairchild Street.


As a result of the heavy trade that once took place at the Careenage, the area was lined with warehouses that have now been converted into shops, restaurants, boutiques and bars. Despite the drastic change of appearance from then to now, the area of the Careenage still has a rather attractively old-fashioned look and feel about it.


The westernmost end of the Careenage houses the Pierhead and Willoughby's Fort.


The Barbados Deep Water Harbour is the current home of all the shipping activity that goes on in Barbados.


The Boardwalk at The Careenage

Boardwalk at the Careenage, Bridgetown, Barbados Pocket GuideThe boardwalk runs alongside the Careenage in Bridgetown thereby making it an excellent place for an evening stroll or to simply watch the catamarans, boats and yachts that dock there.


People of Barbados and visitors alike can often be seen hanging over the rails as they take in the historic views associated with the boardwalk and Bridgetown.


The boardwalk has also become a place where great photos are known to be taken especially on Sundays when there isn't much traffic around.


Ironically enough, despite the surrounding hustle and bustle of Bridgetown, there's a peace and quiet that pervades the atmosphere when on this particular boardwalk at the Careenage.


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