From bustling Bridgetown, heading north, travel twelve miles along the west coast of Barbados for an experience that is a stark contrast to what you have left behind. Welcome to Speightstown. The quiet sister of Bridgetown, Oistins and Holetown was named after William Speight – one of the members of the island’s first assembly – and is the second largest town in Barbados, catering to the residents of the north.
Although it may not look it at the onset, the town embraces a certain Britishness that first permeated during its eminent heyday. Thanks to a historiceconomic closeness to Bristol, until today, Speightstown is affectionately known as Little Bristol to the older generations of Barbadians. Once a busy hub for dealers in tobacco and cotton, the town now exists in a more laidback repose – a settled-down version of its past self. Its main street of note is Queen’s Street, another acknowledgement of the now subtle British influence on the town. Trimmed with produce vendors along its sidewalks, this street is the town’s most bustling, complete with schools, supermarkets, banks and all that’s necessary for the uncomplicated life of the northerners.
The regal street also features the town’s original architecture that towers over the road, and gives visitors the chance to explore its past at the Arlington House museum. There is also the Gallery of Caribbean Art nestled within its main commercial area where visitors craft an appreciation for the efforts of local artisans. But the most popular haunts are Fisherman’s Pub – an authentic Barbadian food experience – and the relaxing Speightstown Esplanade and jetty. Several other restaurants, bars and watering holes are spread over the small town, and fill up with people, fun and laughter at the end of the working week.