east-coast-beaches barbados


Another Barbados gem nestled on the east coast between Barclays Park and Bathsheba village is the neighbourhood known as Cattlewash, also in the parish of St. Joseph.

Here you will find Barbados' longest stretch of sandy beach which, at over a mile long, is an ideal location for sunbathing, beach-combing and picnicking.

The name 'Cattlewash' developed in the olden days when cows bathed in the sea. The farmers from neighbouring villages herded their cattle down to the sand bank that formed due to the large sea swells, the animals then being washed by the crashing waves to rid them of parasites. Cattle can still be seen in the hilly areas of Cattlewash but they fortunately no longer visit the beach!

Barbados is renowned for its clean air and bright sunshine, and the combination of these elements with the invigorating breezes and majestic seas on the east coast led to the Cattlewash area becoming a prominent location for several health resorts in Barbados. In October 1751, George Washington brought his half-brother to Barbados to help fight tuberculosis, and his diary entry records how he was 'perfectly ravished by the beautiful prospects which on every side presented to our view’.

The drive to Cattlewash continues to give visitors a first impression of this stunning Barbados coastline. Adjectives such as rough, rugged, breathtaking, dramatic and windswept are accurate but poor substitutes for an actual visit to this beautiful beach framed by its hills and Sea Grape foliage, and the towering limestone cliffs shaped by the Atlantic Ocean and stretching to the Pico Tenerife Reef in the parish of St. Lucy are one of Barbados' many magnificent landscapes. Cattlewash is definitely a popular and must see area for photographers and artists.

The beautiful wide sandy beach at Cattlewash is generally peaceful and free of crowds without being secluded. However, the powerful Atlantic waves and strong undertow currents mean the open sea at Cattlewash is not suitable for recreational swimming. Experienced surfers heading to Barbados will find the waves at Cattlewash exhilarating. For the rest of us, the prolific rock coral reef pools exposed at low tide provide safe waters in which to bathe and cool off.  There is a lifeguard station on the beach though it is not guaranteed to be manned at all times.

There are no beach amenities at Cattlewash and the area is generally not recommended for very young children. Several nearby shops sell drinks and snacks and the informal Bonito Beach Bar & Restaurant is 150 yards away and serves local Barbados (Bajan) food at lunchtimes.

With no large hotels in this part of Barbados, a visit to Cattlewash is perhaps best included in a day out at some of the other attractions in St. Joseph such as Andromeda Botanical Gardens, the Flower Forest and Cotton Tower Signal Station.


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