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Wellington, Cape Winelands

Wellington Valley

Wellington, in the heart of the Cape Winelands, lies in a beautiful valley on the banks of the Kromme River, at the foot of the Groenberg Mountains. Only 45 minutes from Cape Town, this fertile farming area was settled as early as 1688 by French Huguenot refugees. They left a legacy of splendid Cape Dutch architecture and the foundation of the fruit and wine industry, the economic mainstay of the town to this day.

Wellington Architecture

Wellington experienced rapid growth after the 1853 opening of the magnificent Bain’s Kloof Pass, one of the oldest in the country, connecting Wellington to the Tulbagh valley, Ceres and Worcester. The pass, built by Andrew Bain, is a national monument, and the narrow winding road provides magnificent views of the valley below. The road to the pass is home to the Napier Winery and Welvanpas Farm, which also offers an excellent single-track MTB route, wine tasting options and a children’s playground.

Bain’s Kloof Pass is also the starting point of some of the more famous hikes in the area, with names like Rockhopper, Bobbejaans Rivier and Happy Valley.

The Wellington region is famous for its fruit, particularly apricots, and in early summer, one can see wooden frames drying apricot halves throughout the region. Not surprisingly, Wellington is the headquarters of the dried fruit industry in South Africa.

In addition, almost 90% of the country’s vines grow in vine-cutting nurseries, before they are transported elsewhere for planting.

Wellington Vineyards

Although viticulture dates back to the time of the French Huguenots of the late 1600s, the Wellington Wine Route is one of the youngest – launched in the mid-1990s. The wine route is small and cellars are easy driving or walking distance from one another, making it extremely popular. Many wineries offer lunches and the Doolhof Estate has a riverside walk, with ideal spots to enjoy their picnic baskets. For brandy lovers, Wellington also has an excellent Brandy Route.

The Horseshoe, aka Perdeskoen, which runs from Blouvlei Road to Berg Street, circles the town of Wellington, passing through suburbs and attractive farmland. This easy route is very popular for joggers, cyclists and dog walkers. The trip around the horseshoe is approximately 7km. See the map.

The nearby, fynbos rich, Limietberg Nature Reserve, covers 117000ha of rugged, mountainous terrain, through which the Breede and Berg Rivers flow. Steep kloofs, clear streams, waterfalls and gorgeous rock pools, only an hour from Cape Town, make Limietberg a popular destination for hikers, campers and those just wanting to enjoy a picnic and swim in beautiful rock pools.

The town is located 75 km north-east of Cape Town, and reached by the N1 motorway and R44 highway.

More info on the town of Wellington More info on the Cape Winelands area

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