The Farley Hill National Park is one of Barbados’ most regal and beloved heritage sites. On any given day you can find locals picnicking in the park, enjoying the sweet island breezes and spectacular views which the park is known for along with its magical “Once Upon a Time” ambiance.
The building of Farley Hill house began in 1818, with additional rooms being added over the next 50 years. It eventually grew to be regarded as the most impressive mansion in Barbados. In the mid-nineteenth century, the property was owned by Sir Graham Briggs, a wealthy British planter and legislator. Briggs improved not only the house but also the gardens, importing many new plants and trees into the island.
Now, only ruins remain, but they are surrounded by beautifully maintained grounds and gardens suitable for family picnics or quiet relaxation. As the name suggests, Farley Hill is on a hill, so its lookout points give panoramic views of the island’s East Coast from the shade of majestic mahogany trees which dominate the park’s layout.
In 1957, the house was used in the film, Island in the Sun, but was destroyed by fire in 1965. Farley Hill was officially opened as a national park by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1966, the same year Barbados gained Independence.
Since opening, Farley Hill has hosted its share of events, from intimate and grand weddings to pulsating rhythms as a favourite outdoor concert and festival venue. So, whether you’re looking to take some wonderful pictures of your vacation, enjoy a quiet moment with your loved ones or run barefoot on the soft grass with joy, Farley Hill National Park is a venue you should visit.