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Cobblers Cove insider's tours of heritage sites of Barbados

30th November 2012 Print

In recognition of Barbados's newly awarded UNESCO heritage status, classic Bajan hotel, Cobblers Cove, has launched a series of tailor-made heritage tours, to take visitors beyond the beach.  One of only eight UNESCO sites in the Caribbean, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison has been awarded world heritage status, in order to celebrate and protect the cultural significance of the site.  The tailor-made tours, which start in January, include visits to plantation houses not usually open to the public.

Cobblers Cove has a unique place in Barbados' s history, having been owned by influential plantation owners and politicians throughout its history and its owner's family has had links with the island since the 1640s.  Whenever available, the new heritage tours will be guided by local historian, Professor Henry Fraser, a past president of the Barbados National Trust and author of 'Historic Houses of Barbados' and 'Barbados Chattel Houses'.  The tailor-made tours are designed to show guests more of the rich history of Barbados and include:-

Private access to Colleton House, the 17th century property of the ancestors of Cobblers Cove's owner, which holds a unique and valuable collection of European, Asian and African art.  Among the collection there is a folk sculpture collection of 170 pieces from Papua New Guinea, splendid European and Asian paintings and sculpture and a fine art glass collection.  Private visits can also be arranged for guests at Cobblers Cove to a number of other historic plantation houses not usually open to the public including Clifton Hall and Halton Great House which has a wide collection of antiques and art ranging from 18th century originals to Oliver Messel paintings.

A visit to Fisherpond House, a historic sugar plantation great house begun in 1635, which sits in the valley of Sweet Bottom.  Set in an oasis of tropical gardens surrounded by 500 acres of sugar cane, the house has been lovingly restored and furnished with a vast collection of antiques and crystal chandeliers.  Fisherpond House's mahogany dining table built in 1705 has been graced by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll and is now the place to enjoy a magnificent Sunday lunch.

An historic guided walking tour of the UNESCO protected Garrison quarter, taking in the old military prison (now the Barbados Museum) and the Cannon Museum.  Bridgetown and its Garrison are outstanding examples of British colonial architecture and consist of a well-preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  The Garrison includes almost one hundred historic buildings including the Barbados Museum and the National Armoury Museum that has one of the finest collections of cannons in the world.

Guests will also visit George Washington's house, where he stayed for almost two months, at age 19, setting him on the path to become the first President of the United States.  George Washington's visit to Barbados was the one and only time that he left the US.

Cobblers Cove can also arrange tailor-made tours to the Bridgetown Synagogue, one of the oldest in the Western hemisphere and now a museum, and Arlington House, a museum of Bajan history located close to the hotel.  Housed in a restored eighteenth century building, Arlington House has interactive and audio visual exhibits to tell the story of Barbados.  Perfect for both children and adults, the museum features a talking pirate and introduces guests to the way of life of the island's first settlers.

The Heritage Tours cost from £95 per person (based on two people sharing) for a half day tour with Henry Fraser to Colleton House and Halton Great House, with car and driver (excluding admission tickets).

A stay at Cobblers Cove costs from £1,695 per person for seven nights with breakfast, including flights with Virgin Atlantic.  The price is valid 1 May - 2 September 2013. For more information, visit