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Barbados

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Now listen, I can't imagine anyone would ever need to be convinced to visit Barbados. 

Stunning sandy beaches and the glistening ocean? I'm already convinced.

However, we actually didn't realise how much more this little island has to offer visitors. 

So, if you are lucky enough to be heading to Rihanna's home country this summer, keep reading, as we've done up a list of some of the amazing things you should see and do.

1. Harrison’s Cave.

Get ready to delve underground, and follow the winding tunnels and caverns of Harrison’s Cave – one of the island’s most breathtaking natural wonders.

Laden to the brim with bulbous stalagmites and stalactites (which we all remember from Junior Cert geography), the subterranean passages here hide echoing chambers like the 50-meter-high Great Hall and curious geological formations, like the so-called Altar, formed from millions of years of mineral deposits.

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2. Huntes Gardens.

It's not all sand and sea in this gorgeous nation; Barbados has significant greenery to offer it's visitors. 

Hunte's Gardens is a botanical garden and significant tourist attraction in the St Joseph Area of central Barbados. It was created from the 1950s by horticulturist Anthony Hunte in an unusual sink-hole-like gully.

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3. Wander around Bridgetown.

The UNESCO-attested capital of Barbados is Bridgetown, and it is magnificent! 

The city is packed with pretty little historic sites like the Chamberlain Bridge and the gorgeous neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings, built in the high style of Victorian England.

There are sun-splashed squares where little rum bars are busy with the chat of travellers and off-duty local fishermen alike. Perfection. 

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4. Oistins Fish Fry.

This lively event is considered to be a rite of passage for first-time visitors hitting the sandy shores of Barbados.

Kicking off  every Friday and Saturday night on the streets between Welches Beach and Miami Beach on the south coast, the party is amazing craic.

There are sizzling BBQs cooking up some of the freshest swordfish, mahi mahi and lobster you have ever tasted, along with live bands spouting a medley of reggaeton and samba, steel drums and Bajan folk.

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5. Hug the baobab of Queen’s Park.

The colossal trunk of Barbados’ largest tree can be found (and hugged, at least if there’s a group of you!) on the lawns of pretty little Queen’s Park in the heart of Bridgetown.

Considered by many to be the fattest tree in the entire Caribbean, it takes roughly 15 adults to stretch around the full circumference of the central trunk!

A small sign offers information on the age and heritage of the mighty tree, while the surrounding gardens of the park host a pretty Bandstand and the Queen’s Park art gallery.

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6. The beaches

Okay, I know that this is kind of a given, but Barbados is home to some of the most majestic beaches in the world.

You don't just have to sit on the sand with a cocktail (although, that would be my plan), as there are so many amazing experiences you can do while at the beach.

Why not swim with sea turtles? Or go jet skiing? So many things to do. 

7. St. Nicholas Abbey.

St Nicholas Abbey is located in Saint Peter, Barbados, a plantation house, museum and rum distillery. Colonel Benjamin Berringer built the house in 1658.

This house is one of only three genuine Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere.

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Anyway, if you need me, I'll be living my best Island life. 

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It’s that marvellous time of year when the sun starts shining, and we all start booking amazing holidays.

If you’re anything like us, you probably have a pretty lengthy travel bucket list – including the world’s most amazing places.

Well, the stunning Barbados is at the top of our list this year!

And while we look into booking our trip, we cannot help but drool over the most amazing places you can stay while in Barbados.

From treehouses to magical beach resorts, there’s something for everyone, and every budget.

Have a look, we dare you not to be impressed…

1. Treetop Cottage 

Your own romantic retreat in a lush tropical garden ten minutes east of Holetown. With secure off street parking and a private jungle pool complete with its own monkey troop!

Enjoy Caribbean Balcony living from a hammock in the breeze or on a lounger around the jungle pool! The cottage comfortably accommodates four in two private bedrooms upstairs and an open plan kitchen-living room downstairs. Explore the orchard and compete with the monkeys for the seasonal fruits!

2. Turtle Beach Resort

This premium all-inclusive, all-suite enclave, features 161 contemporary suites on Barbados’ luminous South Coast. Turtle Beach appeals to families and couples. Within walking distance from The Gap and nightlife. The Resort has three restaurants, including Zagat rated Asiagos, two bars, two swimming pools, kids splash pool, plus Jacuzzi, tennis courts, complimentary non-motorised water sports, beach ambassador service, Flying Fish Kids Club, spa facilities, fitness centre and classes and complimentary Wi-Fi in rooms and throughout the property. Guests can enjoy signature dine around programme with 3 sister properties.

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3. Fairmont Royal Pavilion

Located on the sought-after Platinum Coast, on a half mile long beach and 11 acres of lush tropical gardens, you’ll fill your sun-kissed days and starlit nights with unforgettable moments.

All 72 rooms and suites offer magnificent, unobstructed views of the beautiful Caribbean Sea, while three superbly decorated Villas offer ample spaces and mesmerizing ocean views. Several included services will make your stay even more memorable, including daily afternoon tea, WiFi, fitness room, tennis courts, a freshwater pool, non-motorized water sports, swim with the turtles activity, a weekly manager’s cocktail and garden tours.

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4. Cobblers Cove

A favourite destination for discerning travellers, Cobblers Cove is set within lush tropical gardens and each of the hotel’s spacious suites has a private balcony or terrace. Discover country-house elegance combined with authentic Caribbean character in this luxury hideaway that overlooks Barbados’s stunning west coast.

Days can be spent soaking up the sun or getting to know the real Barbados with the hotel’s superb organised tours, or for those feeling a little more energetic there’s a wealth of complimentary water sports on offer.

As a Relais & Châteaux hotel, dining at the award-winning Camelot Restaurant is an occasion to be savoured. Head Chef Jason Joseph excels with sensational creative menus.

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5. Crane Resort

For over a century, the historic Crane Resort has surveyed the famous pink sands and turquoise waters of Crane Beach from its dramatic cliff-top perch. A Barbadian legend since 1887, and the oldest operating hotel in the Caribbean, The Crane effortlessly marries the old-world charm of its past to all the 21st century amenities and services expected by today’s most discerning travellers.

From grand colonial styled suites and residences featuring lush gardens, private pools and rooftop terraces, to an impressive array of world-class amenities and services including fitness facilities, spectacular cascading pools, exciting restaurants and of course, the Zagat rated Zen, The Crane in an idyllic respite on the South East coast of Barbados.

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6. Savannah Beach Hotel

Situated on the pristine South Coast of Barbados, Savannah Beach Hotel is a four star beach resort that easily ranks as one of the most idyllic destinations on the island. This restored 19th century Plantation House once predominantly featured brick construction and elegant cast-iron balconies. Great Britain’s colonial architecture was rampant in Barbados from as early as the 17th century so it’s easy to understand why this hotel is so roped into the anatomy of its environs.

Forget everything you’ve ever known or experienced about all-inclusive hotels… Savannah is distinctly different. It is an all-inclusive hotel with style! Dive in… Savannah is an excellent choice for a relaxed Caribbean holiday. It is a Caribbean paradise that simply must be experienced!

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7. Sweetfield Manor

Sweetfield Manor was once a cozy plantation house from days gone by. Now it’s a unique boutique hotel offering exclusive comfort in a relaxing atmosphere. A luxury five star, intimate 10-room hotel. The Manor was built in the early 1900’s, and has maintained its treasured original qualities.

The hotel is centrally located, perfectly situated within lush tropical surroundings, atop a hill which affords spectacular views over the south coast of Barbados. It is only minutes from the heart of the exciting south coast, beaches, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

8. Blue Lagoon

This very private, recently renovated, 2 storey, beach front villa includes a large ocean front terrace with pool and private steps down to an idyllic beach.

It is located close to the Lone Star Restaurant and is within a few minutes of all other amenities. This is an exceptional holiday home benefiting from a successful rental history.

There is access down to a small tidal beach with lovely snorkelling and swimming. Three lovely en-suite bedrooms are located on the first floor, while the ground floor comprises of the living area, kitchen and exceptional sun terrace with plunge pool.

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9. Coconut Court Beach Hotel

Recently renovated, award-winning, family-owned hotel located directly on a large, beautiful beach in the heart of the South Coast. Located in the historic UNESCO World Heritage district within easy walking distance to historic sites, shops and restaurants.

Full self-catering apartments also available for families and long stay visitors. Complimentary roundtrip airport transfers provided for all guests. Hotel facilities include two full service restaurants and bars, one beach bar, swimming pool, cold water Jacuzzi, 24-hour front desk and security services, activities desk, gift shop and complimentary hospitality suite.

Coconut Court is a charming hotel that offers great value and warm, genuine service making it a perfect holiday choice for the young at heart!

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10. Coral Mist Beach Hotel

A Tropical haven where turquoise sea, edges the vast sweep of pristine white sand of worthing beach. This comfortable and restful hotel boasts 32 newly built rooms exquisitely furnished with Studios, 2 Bedroom, 1 Bedroom and 1 Bedroom suites.

All with kitchenette, air-condition, private bath and balconies, over looking the Caribbean Sea, with a restaurant, fitness centre and novelty shop combined with warm hospitality and lively water sports which all adds to the charm of the hotel.

 

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Earlier this month it seemed like a beautiful relationship was forming between George Shelly and Ferne McCann after their stint on I'm A Celeb.

But they then admitted they were just good friends (despite having a cheeky kiss), and George has seemingly decided to move on. 

The Union J singer was spotted yesterday on a beach in Barbados joking around with a female friend.

Thought to be his social media manager, the pair were seen having a laugh while sipping on champagne while in the sea.

It seems like George is certainly ready to welcome in the new year and even took to social media to share his excitement:

"It's been a crazy year… I can't wait for 2016 it's going to be fresh!"

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Splashing around in the Caribbean Sea mere days ago in a tiny bikini, few bystanders would have guessed her VERY exciting news.

But this evening, Coleen Rooney took to Twitter to reveal that she and her husband are expecting their third child.

The 29-year-old said in the same post that she is due in January.

The duo married in an incredibly lavish ceremony in Italy seven years ago and are already parents to two sons: Kai, five-and-a-half, and Klay, two. 

Manchester United forward Wayne, 29, at the same time sent a similar message from his own Twitter account, saying: "Delighted that me and @ColeenRoo have our 3rd child on the way."

Speaking to Now! magazine earlier this year, Ms Rooney hinted that she was thinking of more children – and that after two sons, she'd love a daughter.

“I would love another baby! I don’t mind whether it’s a girl or a boy but I do think a little girl would complete our family.

“Wayne would love to have a girl because he grew up with brothers.”

And after weathering several relationship storms during their years together – including his infidelity – the teenage sweethearts ensure that they get some alone time too.

"Now that we have two kids, we make sure that we have time together," Coleen recently told Mail Online. "We make sure that one night a week we go out for dinner or go to the cinema."

Following a two week break in Barbados, one of the Rooneys' favourite holiday locations, the family returned to their home in the UK yesterday.

 

Looking forward to getting away with @coleen_rooney this week

A photo posted by Wayne Rooney (@waynerooney) on

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