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Lismore Farm

230km from Cape Town
Historic farm near Suurbraak village, with a basic cottage overlooking a river - 25km from Swellendam

Rate Guide

R250 per person per night

Budget Getaways Review

Barring the odd bark or human voice floating on the breeze from the tiny mission village of Suurbraak, Lismore is cut off from civilisation as we usually know it, and the setting is as natural as they come. The farm has been in the famous Barry family since 1844, starting out as a horse-breeding enterprise for the Dutch East India Company and later evolving into a dairy. 

Slotting right into this setting is the very secluded and basic River Cottage. This rustic three-bedroom cottage has an awesome location: up against the mountain and facing the river and a small forest boasting over 40 different indigenous tree species, which are home to a large variety of birds. 

Keeping to the general relaxed Lismore theme, the interior is a simple affair (maybe too simple for some), furnished in a mix and match style. Features here include a stone fireplace, cane and traditional farm furniture, wonky walls and rietdak ceilings.

Lismore Farm and Mother Nature are bosom buddies – Known as one of the coutry's prime birding spots, it's also home to a pair of resident fish eagles. Mammals are in no short supply either with bushbuck visiting on early misty mornings, a resident mongoose on the take for braai leftovers, and the occasional sighting of the very scarce and very shy bushpig.

Further reasons why you should book a weekend here include, friendly hosts, swimming and fishing in the river, a mix of long and short trails in the Kleinberg, and mountain biking, including the awesome trails at nearby Grootvadersbosch.

Quick Facts

25km from Swellendam
S 34°00'17''
E 20°41'07''
6 (1 double bed, 4 singles)
optional extra
optional extra
By request
birdwatching, farm animals, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, small game-viewing, stargazing, swimming, walking
Guest Reviews
Overall Rating (based on 1 reviews)
Standard of facilities
Appeal of setting
Value for money

"Just back from a fantastic weekend on the farm, the views are great the hiking fantastic and the river was amazing and gave us hours cooling fun. This is a getaway for those who love to get away from it all. The hair drier and TV brigade won’t fit in here but those who love getting back to basics, enjoying a long night around the fire and chilling will love it and we will be back soon"

"It is amazing; such peace and so close to nature you could touch it. I'll be back!"

"We had a great stay at Lismore farm, but unfortunately the house was very dirty and also there was no milk and wood as promised and the gas fridge was off and didn't go cold either. The house is old and rustic which didn't bother us, but spider webs were hanging from the ceilings, the toilet was dirty and kitchen sink was blocked. The crockery was also not clean. Carpets are disgustingly dirty. It can be such nice accommodation, but they really have to keep it clean and make sure that the kitchen utensils etc. are always clean. The host was very friendly and showed us around the farm which the kids enjoyed very much. We hope to return to one day to a cleaner house at Lismore."

Getaway Reply

So sorry that the house was not clean. The servant will be spoken to. I did apologize for the fridge that was not on as my son forgot to put it on. I did put it on as you arrived. I did give you wood and milk later at the dairy. Please come again. Henri

(Henri Barry)

"A wonderful getaway on this beautiful farm with such lovely hosts, who embraced our children and their zillions of questions about dairy farming, making them feel like little farmers. The cottage was perfect for us - some might find it basic, but we liked the fact that it was set quite a way from the homestead and dairy. It had everything we needed. So peaceful, quiet and beautiful. The kids did some fishing in the river and loved the independence of jumping onto their bikes and riding to watch milking time. One was even lucky enough to go on a long drive in the farm bakkie with Farmer Henri. A highly recommended little secret set in Suurbraak!"

"The most stunning setting one could imagine. So very tranquil, and very comfortable, homey accommodation. Nothing pretentious, but everything one could wish for, plus a great indoor fireplace that really works a treat and warms up the whole place. A really charming getaway, enhanced by the hospitality of the hosts. Highly recommended."

"We actually left after only one night having booked for three. The place was ill equipped (not a single knife to prepare food), the solar lighting lasted only one hour and clicked all night long for some reason (couldn't have a look as it is in the roof). The grass was long, no care at all has been given to the place. I know it is very cheap but honestly I wouldn't want to stay there for free."

Getaway Reply

Dear Jane, so sorry you where disappointed with our cottage. As concerns the lights, none of the guests told us that the lights where not lasting longer than 1 hour, I have now had a solar man there and found the fault. The cutlery seems to be stolen as there was none there. The whole tray is missing . We missed that sorry. Grass is not so long but we'll give it attention . All our other guests come back, sorry once again.

(Henri Barry)

"I just love being at the cabin on the side of the river on Lismore Farm. The peacefulness and privacy is unsurpassed by any other getaway I have ever visited. The nature and bird life at the cabin is mesmerizing and a sight to behold. The river is fantastic for swimming. The cabin is rustic and could use a duster and vacuum but I can overlook these things for the splendor of the setting. My partner on the other hand, is not too happy with the cleanliness, or lack thereof. Henri and Hester are always friendly and helpful and are great hosts. We will be back!"

"I was looking for a complete escape from the madness of town and humanity. This is exactly what I found. I didn't see humans for a few days. The most peaceful and tranquil setting, I spent four days at Lismore Farm and had to drag myself away at the end. Awesome walks and runs on the farm and plenty of time to get off the grid. Millions of stars at night, loads of birds, bush buck and even baboons and I absolutely loved the fire place to keep me warm. Thank you Henri and Hester for your amazing hospitality. I will certainly be back for more."

"What an absolute gem. Peaceful and rustic so for those wanting to use a white glove to check for cleanliness this won't be for you, but for souls looking for a break from the hub bub in a little piece of natural heaven, this is for you. Cannot wait to go back again. If you love bird life and walking, you will be right at home, and for those wanting to explore small towns like Barrydale and Heidelberg then Lismore is the perfect base."

"This rustic but comfortable cottage is in a beautiful setting on a river and very private with great bird life around. There are a some beautiful hikes on the farm and in the area. I highly recommend it."

"We were overwhelmed with this corner of paradise. Very quiet, the odd sound of baboons, a Bosbok gracing us with her presence in the morning and late afternoon, Kingfisher birds fishing on the river in front of us and a view of an indigenous forest greeting us every morning whilst we sipped on our coffee, taking in everything that Lismore farm has to offer. The sweeping mountains around us made it even more spectacular. We were treated to farm fresh Jersey milk and outstanding hospitality. One cannot wish for any better break from city life! PS: Our Labrador fell in love with the river and made friends with Tag, the genius Border Collie cow-herder."

"Absolutely perfect if you just need to get away from the hustle and bustle."

"Really very rustic, hard to access the river for fishing. Owner was nowhere to be seen (later found out he had gone away). Chairs in lounge were uncomfortable, as the cushions did not fit properly. If you are looking for home comforts, there weren't any. Overall cleanliness was perfect."

"We loved this very special place! Fantastic farm setting with the cows wondering about in the field next door. The cottage is situated right next to the river with indigenous forest on the other side. excellent spot for birding."

"Loved the setting - but be warned its very rustic. It would be nice if there was easier access to the river."

"If you're looking to RELAX, with or without children, Lismore is perfect. Especially for city kids who seldom get away from their PC's, games and malls, this is an ideal place for all to relax and to bond. There's loads to do for children, including a chance to experience farm-life first hand. Hospitality is incredible. For those who enjoy cosy fires, birds, and peace and quiet, this is the place for you!"

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Getaway Map
Lismore Farm, Swellendam, Western Cape
GPS: S -34.0047   E 20.6853
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Lismore Farm, Swellendam

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River Cottage (sleeps 6)
(sleeps six, minimum stay one night)
  • 2020-07-01
  • 2020-08-01
  • 2020-09-01
  • 2020-10-01
  • 2020-11-01
  • 2020-12-01
  • 2021-01-01
  • 2021-02-01
  • 2021-03-01
  • 2021-04-01
  • 2021-05-01
  • 2021-06-01
  • 2021-07-01
  • 2021-08-01
  • 2021-09-01
  • 2021-10-01
  • 2021-11-01
  • 2021-12-01
  Booked        Public Holiday

The above is a rate GUIDE. Exact rates should be confirmed on enquiry.


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