Twin towns and sister cities: where to next?
Continuing our focus on town twinning, specifically those towns that are ‘friends’ of Reading, we take a virtual trip to the Caribbean and look at Speightstown in Barbados. The town has been twinned with Reading since the 1950s when it turned to our town for help after it fell into disrepair.
Speightstown is a historic town located in the northern part of the island of Barbados, in the parish of Saint Peter. Founded in the 17th century, the town has a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and local traditions. Speightstown is also known for its stunning beaches and natural attractions, making it a popular destination for tourists from around the world.
Want to know more?
Speightstown was named after William Speight, a former member of the British Parliament who owned a plantation in the area.
The town was one of the first settlements established by the British in Barbados and served as a major port for the island’s sugar and molasses trade in the 18th century.
Today, Speightstown is a thriving commercial and cultural centre, home to many shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
More Interesting Facts
Speightstown is home to the Arlington House Museum, a historic house museum that showcases the history and culture of Barbados through interactive exhibits and artefacts. The museum is located in a restored 18th-century building and offers visitors a glimpse into the daily life of Barbadians in the past.
The Fisherman’s Pub is a popular restaurant in Speightstown that serves up some of the best seafood on the island. Located right on the beach, the restaurant is a favourite among locals and tourists alike for its fresh catch and laid-back atmosphere.
Speightstown is home to several beautiful beaches, including Heywoods Beach, Six Men’s Bay, and Mullins Beach. These beaches offer visitors a chance to relax, swim, and enjoy the stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
The Speightstown Esplanade is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists, with its beautiful views of the sea and historic buildings. The esplanade is also home to several vendors selling local crafts, snacks, and souvenirs.
The town is known for its lively festivals and cultural events, such as the Holetown Festival, which celebrates the island’s history and culture with parades, live music, and food stalls. Speightstown also hosts an annual Fisherman’s Festival, which honours the local fishing community with seafood cook-offs, fishing competitions, and cultural performances.
Speightstown is home to several historic churches, including St. Peter’s Parish Church, which dates back to the 17th century. The church features stunning stained-glass windows and a beautiful altar and is a popular destination for visitors interested in Barbados’ religious history.
The Speightstown Market is a bustling marketplace that offers a variety of local produce, crafts, and souvenirs. Visitors can sample fresh fruits and vegetables, purchase handmade crafts, and browse local artwork.
So, if you are stuck for where to go on holiday this year, Speightstown is a charming and historic town that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich culture and history of Barbados. With its beautiful beaches, delicious food, and lively festivals, it is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the island.