Spots along the R103 – The Midlands Meander
Many Durbanites spend a day once in a while travelling through the Midlands. There are magnificent views and interesting finds not always available in the city. It is more fun buying wine at a winery than it is buying wine from your local Pick ‘n Pay.
The R103 is one of the Midlands roads with the most shops, restaurants and other attractions. There are too many, in fact, to give details of in one article, but here are some them. The main reason to visit the Midlands is to remember how beautiful our country is.
Travelling North along the N3, take exit 107. Turn left at the stop street and then right at the T-Junction, onto the R103. From here, just keep going and occasionally stop at the places you find along the road.
Granny Mouse Country House & Spa
Very early in your trip, you’ll come across Granny Mouse. There is a quaint hotel, for those who want to spend the weekend in the Midlands. There are two restaurants and most importantly, for the women, a spa.
Why not start your day trip with a luxurious massage or beauty treatment, or stop off on your way home to be spoilt after a hard day’s shopping. It is preferable to book at least a day or two in advance – the spa can be contacted on 033 234 4071.
Granny Mouse has more than 4000 bottles of South African and international wine in its cellar and has been awarded a Diners Club Diamond Wine Award for its 2011 Winelist.
Visiting Swissland Cheese, you will enjoy the breathtaking scenery, meet friendly goats and snack on delicious goat’s cheese. If you visit between 3:30 and 4:30pm, you can watch milking. The goat’s cheese is made and sold on the farm.
You are busy traveling through the area known as Balgowan, between Nottingham Road and Lidgetton. A landmark in this area is Michaelhouse, a boarding school for boys. The school is not open for public visits, but parents of boys living in Durban need to know where to find Michaelhouse. This is an idyllic venue and location for sports matches that take place throughout the year.
Mole Hill Clothing & The Glass Studio
The Glass Studio is where you can find a large selection of items made from glass and wrought iron.
Excellent quality clothing is produced at Mole Hill Clothing. You can browse through their clothing range that is on display and buy a new shirt. You can even place a bulk order for corporate branded clothing.
Jim Green Footwear
There is a shop where you can buy new shoes, shoes that Jim Green Footwear likes to call ‘made for wear and tear’. The Jim Green Footwear range is handmade.
Nottingham Road Brewery
The brewery is situated on the grounds of the Rawdons Hotel, a country retreat and fly fishing estate. Here a range of ales and lagers is brewed. You can buy a gift pack to enjoy at home, or sample the beer in a local pub.
A country pub and restaurant, why not stop by to try some of the local beers? During winter, this is where you should visit to warm up next to a roaring log fire. The Bierfassl opens at 9am for breakfast, lunch is served from 12 and last orders are taken at 9pm.
The Junction complex, along the R103 in Nottingham Road, hosts a variety of shops, restaurants and a children’s playground. There is the Junction Coffee Shop, the Candle Dipping Shop, Fusion Studio, China Rose Interiors, The Flyfishing and Birding Shop and Funtasy – where you can find handcrafted and imported toys.
Instead of planning your trip in detail, just brush your teeth, climb in the car and head towards the R103. The attractions are well signposted…just stop and investigate, you’ll enjoy the experience! Don’t pack a picnic lunch, rather try some of the restaurants and pubs along the way.