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Wellington Snapshot

Maybe it has something to do with the name, but many heading out to Wellington (70km from Cape Town) for the first time expect something along the lines of a tiny Victorian village spilling old Cape goodness. Some find the urban reality a little disappointing – a larger than expected spread of old and new, residential and commercial, flowing in, out, and around the Wagenmakersvallei. The town has a number of interesting buildings, the Dutch Reformed Church being the most obvious and doubling up as a landmark for the confused traveller. It’s not the town but the surrounding area that justifies a trip to Wellington: lush rolling farmland bordered by the majestic Hawequa Mountains, sheltering tight little valleys, spluttering streams and mildewed homesteads.

Things To Do

  • Bainskloof Pass is a gorgeous kaleidoscopic stretch of nature linking Wellington to Ceres. Drive it, hike it, but do it. Hiking permits can be organised through CapeNature (tel 021-659 3500). Bainskloof conquered, celebrate your achievement at Vercelli, a pleasant outdoor spot with peacocks, ducks and a pond. Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. 
  • Wellington is a good place to mount a bike. Blouvlei Road (“the Horseshoe”) is a favourite route through soft green countryside dotted by old Huguenot farmsteads. For something a lot more challenging, the Wellington Mountain Bike Trail meanders for 25km in and out of the surrounding foothills; permits are available from the tourism office.
  • Apart from the 1840 Dutch Reformed Church, Wellington has a number of attractive Cape Dutch and Victorian buildings, each with a little tale to tell.
  • The Wellington Wine Route has nine or so members. Besides Bo-Vlei, which is a co-op, none of them is particularly famous, which could mean paying less for your plonk.
Getaways in and around Wellington
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La Folie Cottages

Wellington, Western Cape

Three romantic cottages on a wine and olive farm - 3km from Wellington

Nothing like a spot of impulsive folly to get them life-affirming endorphins flowing. And here's your catalyst - three romantic cottages on an olive and wine farm below the Hawequas mountains 3km...