When the weather is horrid at home and the boss has been screaming at you for that budget report, the temptation on a hard-earned holiday can be to just hit the sunlounger with your favourite novel and a strong drink and not move for two weeks. Fair enough, and if you're in Barbados - probably on the West or South coasts, with their soft sandy beaches and sea the temperature of bath water — then that temptation can be overwhelming.

But, on at least one day of your holiday, you really should hire a car — driving is on the left, as in the UK — and head east to the “real” Barbados where few tourists go. Pass fields of sugar cane (on the way, pop into the Four Square rum factory, to see how some of that sugar is put to good use) and then pause at Crane Beach in the parish of St Philip, with its cliff-top hotel (where you could have lunch at D'Onofrio's Italian restaurant, or French-style L'Azure), and a rough and tumble sea that is great for body boarding.

Or a bit further up the coast search out unspoiled Foul Bay or Bottom Bay. Both are used more by locals than visitors but everyone's welcome - bring your own food for a lunchtime picnic because there are no shops nearby. At Bottom Bay the wide beach is protected by high coral cliffs and here the Atlantic waves are much stronger than on the Caribbean side, so stick to the beach.


Carry on round the coast on the narrow roads to Bathsheba where you might see some experienced surfers hanging ten at the 'Soup Bowl'.

It's much more rugged than the west coast, and great for a walk to blow away the cobwebs before you retire back to your sunlounger and rum punch.

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