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Tulbagh Snapshot

Tulbagh (100km from Cape Town) comprises two main parallel roads, one an architectural pleasure, the other a sunbaked stretch of buildings plying a dusty commercial trade. The town’s pride and joy is historic Church Street and the long, moody valley – an alternating slideshow of foaming spring blossom, crimson autumn rust and mountains topped with swirls of winter cream. Church Street has the greatest concentration of national monuments in the country (32); most of these were virtually flattened by a devastating earthquake in 1969, but thanks to an impressive restoration effort all are back on their feet and doing a steady trade with local and overseas tourists.

Things To Do

  • Strolling down historic Church Street is the standard introduction to Tulbagh. The street is a concentration of Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture, beautifully restored after the 1969 earthquake pegged 6.4 on the Richter scale.
  • The village is enclosed on three sides by mountains – the Obiqua, Winterhoek and Witzenberg. This translates into good hiking, cycling, horseriding and scenic drives. A walking and cycling map, as well as permits for these activities can be collected from the tourism office on Church Street.
  • There are a number of wine cellars in the immediate area, including one or two new boutique cellars. TweeJonge Gezellen and old faithful Drostdyhof are the better-known estates, while Manley Wine Cellar and Saronsberg are among the new contenders. Most are open for tastings during the week and Saturday morning.
  • Tulbagh has several coffee shops and dinner options, which tend to come and go with the weather. As there are none of the usual fast-food outlets, we joined the blue-overalled locals at the Vis Paleis for hake/barbel wrapped in brown paper – the name alone deserved a visit.
Getaways in and around Tulbagh
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Portfolio of heritage properties along historic Church Street, offering several self-catering options - in Tulbagh

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