Bath to Bathsheba – Walk the Line on the Rugged East Coast
It’s better to start this walk at Bath as transport is better out of Bathsheba. There are buses to Bath on a Sunday, but the rest of the week, you will probably need a lift or a taxi.
Buses to Bridgetown from Bathsheba leave hourly every day. Good footwear required as there is a chance it will be muddy. Some scrambling over decaying wooden foot bridges necessary. Allow at least two and half hours.
All aboard a spectacular coast hugging path
A major feature of your walk along this abandoned railway line are the rocky outcrops.
The force of the wind and sea shapes everything – trees bow to its might, and the land is carved into submission by the constant battering.
Casuarina trees and spindly coconut palms offer shade.
Sea grape and interlocking vines form dark intriguing tunnels.
Silent limestone and coral sentinels stand guard against the fury of the Atlantic.
The old railway line originally carried sugar cane from Belleplaine in St Andrew to Bridgetown.
The Bath to Bathsheba section was shut down in 1935 with the rest of the line.
The remains of just a few foundations and footings still exist, but the ravages of the weather on this inhospitable coastline made the long term survival of the enterprise unlikely.
From Bath to Bathsheba: At Bath, follow the coast road north until it peters out and turns into an unmade road, a track and then a footpath.
The track is easy to see and providing you keep the coast on your right, you won’t get lost.
The vegetation is unrelenting, stretching uninterrupted up the hillside.
Just before the settlement of Martin’s Bay, and an hour after you left Bath, the landscape opens out a little. Refreshments at Bay Tavern, where on a Thursday you can join the hundreds who turn up for the afternoon lime.
Don’t get too tempted, as it is at least another hour from Martin’s Bay to Bathsheba, more if you’re dawdling and taking pictures.
Worth it for that refreshing beer…
This part of the route is more open across meadows with better views of the sea and more access to the shoreline.
It is possible to paddle here, but do not swim as the treacherous east coast tides have carried off many an unsuspecting tourist.
The final mile takes you past the famous Atlantic Hotel and through Tent Bay’s working boatyard where builders still produce for local fishermen the uniquely Barbados wooden craft, with its high and steep pointed prow.
Just around the headland and the familiar sight of the Bathsheba Rock hoves into view.
From here it’s a well-deserved beer at the red rum shop or a walk through the village to the pools near the Round House restaurant for a refreshing sea bath, though only at low tide.