The first thing that will catch your eye in Somerset West is the view over False Bay. This town surrounded by majestic mountains and hills covered with vineyards is rich in cultural heritage dating back to 1672 when the land was purchased from the locals and a cattle post was established by Dutch soldiers.
The town was named “Somerset” after and British Governor of the Cape Colony during the 1800s, Lord Charles Henry Somerset. The suffix ‘West’ was added after 1825 to differentiate it from Somerset East
Somerset West is well known for the traditional “Helderberg Lights Festival” or the “Strawberry Festival” when Main Road is transformed into a magical display of lights and Christmas decorations. During the festival Main Road is closed off to traffic during the evenings so everybody can enjoy the flea market stalls and parades. People from all over Cape Town travel to Somerset West to share in this fantastic display of Christmas spirit.
The Helderberg area has a community radio station “Radio Helderberg” broadcasting community based information and contemporary music.
Somerset West is home to various Sports clubs e.g. Soccer, Bowling, Baseball, Tennis, Cricket, Croquet, Hockey, Golf, Squash, Athletics and various others. Click here for a list of sports clubs and their contact information.
There are numerous wine farms in Somerset West that are part of the Helderberg Wine Route including Vergelegen which has the oldest vineyard in the area and also the historic Cape Dutch homestead. Vergelegen hosts the annual “Carols by Candlelight” event every Christmas season.
The Helderberg Nature reserve is situated on the slopes of the mountain and offers picnic areas, hiking trails, a restaurant and a gift shop.
For the watersport enthusiast there are the beaches in Strand and Gordon’s Bay as well as the harbours offering sailing and various other sports.
Where to stay in Somerset West
Where to eat in Somerset West
No matter what your taste, Somerset West will have a restaurant that suits you, from Fine Dining to Italian, Chinese, Seafood, Burgers and Tappas. There are a variety of restaurants spread around the town’s CBD, its shopping malls (Somerset Mall and Waterstone Village), and the wine route.
Night Life in Somerset West
If you are looking for something to do at night, no need to travel very far. Somerset West has various establishments offering live entertainment, DJ’s and big screen TV’s for those all-important sports games.
Some popular spots include The Old Bridge Tavern, Nu’Bar and The Nameless Pub, amongst others.
Property in Somerset West
Looking to buy or rent property in Somerset West?
Things to do in & around Somerset West
(Click on the link for more information)
Type of Activity
Activity & Area
|Sport/Adrenalin||✓Strand/Somerset West - Play a round of Golf at Strand Golf Club, Somerset West, or Erinvale Golf Course
✓ Gordons Bay - Surf at Bikini Beach or Koeel Bay
✓ Gordons Bay - Go Deep Sea Fishing
✓ Gordons Bay - Hike the Danie Miller Hiking Trail up to the GB sign
✓ Gordons Bay - Rent a bicycle & cycle around our Village
✓ Gordons Bay - Go Scuba Diving
✓ Kogel Bay - Hike up to Crystal Pools (permits required)
✓ Sir Lowry’s Pass - Go Horse Riding at Journey’s End
✓ Somerset West - Rent a Harley Davidson and take a scenic drive
✓ Somerset West - Go Hiking at the Helderberg Nature Reserve (Check our Events & Entertainment Page for Guided Hikes)
✓ Sir Lowry’s Pass - Paraglide from Sir Lowry’s Pass Lookout Point (seasonal)
✓ Sir Lowry’s Pass - Spend the day at Blue Rock where you can Cable Water Ski, Wake Board, Fufi Slide, Play Paint Ball, swim in the Badi or have a picnic
✓ Somerset West - Hit a couple of balls at the Vodacom Golf Driving range
✓ Somerset West - Mountain Biking at Schapenberg located at Ongegund Lodge
✓ Somerset West - Spend the day at Helderberg Farm where you can Mountain Bike, Hike one of their Trails, try the 4×4 Route, play Laser Games or go Gravel Carting
✓ Somerset West – Play Paintball at Helderberg Farm
✓ Grabouw - Go on a quad biking adventure
✓ Grabouw/Stellenbosch - Go on a Segway Adventure
✓ Strand - Rent a surfboard from Son Surf School at Strand Beach & learn to Surf
✓ Gansbaai - Go Shark Cage Diving
✓ Betty’s Bay - Go Sand Boarding
|Sight Seeing/Other||✓ Gordons Bay - Browse for some reading at Bikini Beach Books
✓ Gordons Bay/Strand/Somerset West - Treat yourself at one of our Spa’s
✓ Gordons Bay - Visit an Art Exhibitions by our local artists – exhibitions take place the last weekend of every month. Visit our Events & Entertainment Page for info.
✓ Gordons Bay - Take a scenic drive up to the Steenbras Water Treatment Plant
✓ Somerset West/Sir Lowrys Pass - Tour the Helderberg Wine Route
✓ Lwandle - Visit the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum
✓ Somerset West/Strand - Visit our famous Bird Watching spots
✓ Somerset West - Go shopping at Somerset Mall
✓ Somerset West/Gordons Bay - Visit one of our local Craft Markets
✓ Gordons Bay - Take a scenic drive along Clarence Drive to Hermanus
✓ Betty’s Bay - Visit the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens
✓ Hermanus - Go whale watching (seasonal)
✓ Western Cape – Do the Brandy Route
✓ Gordons Bay - Spend the day at one of our beaches
About Somerset West on Youtube
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