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Why did we hand pick 11 Worcester on Durban?

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  • Original Victorian Gothic architecture, comfortably renovated
  • Walking distance to historic sights in town
  • Quiet street and intimate venue

11 Worcester on Durban

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

In Grahamstown

 

-33.3083, 26.5157

About

The original owners must have led a well-heeled life at Mayfield, the property that now houses 11 Worcester-on-Durban. The grand Victorian building was built in about 1860 and was given a new lease on life after being restored as a comfortable luxury guest house. Accommodation is provided in three unique units, with exteriors that elicit bygone memories.

The cottage is an attractive freestanding unit, with the towering triangular roof and church-like windows being striking features. This was the original Mayfield kitchen, but has been renovated into a self-contained unit with a modern farm-style kitchen containing a gas stove, electric oven, microwave and large fridge. French doors from the Queen-size bedroom and lounge open onto a patio with a seating area and a Weber braai. Although the building’s façade is distinctly Victorian, the décor and facilities are refreshingly modern and inviting.

The original stables have been converted into a lovely King-size bedroom, with interior and exterior rock walls retaining the rustic farm feel. This is contrasted by plush carpeting, bright decorations and modern headboards above the beds. A large en-suite shower will keep you feeling clean and refreshed, while the indigenous garden is soothingly easy on the eye.

A smaller Queen-size bedroom, called the Tack Room, is situated adjacent to the house and is well-suited for travellers looking for a stopover point on their way to the Western Cape. The Blue Room is attached to the main house, has a King-size bed and allows for limited self-catering thanks to its fridge, microwave and toaster. For couples with children, family-friendly sleeping arrangements can be made in most of the rooms.

Guests in the Tack and Stable Rooms, or self-catering guests who don’t want to rise early to cook breakfast, can book a breakfast at the main house.

Outside, you can take a stroll around the garden while keeping an eye out for birds, hop into the swimming pool or marvel at the beautiful grounds of the Diocesan School for Girls (one of the oldest girls’ schools in the country) just across the road.

Grahamstown is known as the Settler City, as, in the 1820s it, became home to British soldiers from the Cape, and a stroll or drive around the town will reveal numerous historical attractions, including the oldest post box in South Africa and a vast number of Victorian churches.

The countryside is best viewed from the Toposcope on Mountain Drive and there are a number of marked hiking trails around the town. If you want to enjoy a slice of history, and cake, head up to the Settlers National Monument, which offers the best view of Grahamstown and its surrounds.

Rates & Summary


Cottage (self-catering)

Sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
Extra adult or 2 children can be accommodated
Separate bathroom
Living room and kitchen
Patio with braai facilities
Opens onto swimming pool and garden

Stable Room (room only)

Sleeps 2 in King-size/twin beds
Extra child can be accommodated
En-suite shower
Opens onto indigenous garden

Tack Room (room only)

Sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
En-suite shower

Blue Room (semi self-catering)

Sleeps 2 in King-size/twin bed
Sleeper couch for extra child
En-suite shower
Fridge, microwave and toaster

Pricing

  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above

Catering

Self-catering or room only
Breakfast available on request

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

At 11 Worcester-on-Durban, guests have the rare chance to stay in an original Victorian Gothic-style dwelling that has been renovated to house four comfortable, modernistic rooms. The guest house is part of the Stately Homes and Old School Ties tour and is within walking distance of most of Grahamstown’s historic and arty attractions.

Summary

  • Original Victorian Gothic architecture, comfortably renovated
  • Walking distance to historic sights in town
  • Quiet street and intimate venue

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

All the roads leading to the guest house are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool

Nearby: historical attractions, museums, hiking trails, Toposcope Trail, arts and crafts, musical workshops, golf course, nature reserves, beaches.

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Fan included
  • Heater included
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • Under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast by arrangement
  • No Restaurant
  • Not licensed
  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Gas stove
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Basic cleaning materials

Utilities

  • Solar and electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • No gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • No business centre
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Not wheelchair friendly
  • No babysitting
  • Child friendly
  • Pets allowed by arrangement
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 2km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km
  • No shuttle service available

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

Security

  • Personal safe
  • No security guard

Gallery

Map

Blog

Amathole & Frontier

Eastern Cape

About

The Amathole district encompasses the Amathole Mountain Escape, Frontier Country, Friendly N6, Sunshine Coast, Wild Coast and Gateway City tourist routes. These routes together cover most of the central Eastern Cape. Amathole means ‘the calves of the Drakensberg’ in isiXhosa. It is a region rich in splendid beauty and history.

There are incredibly varied landscapes, from mountains and forests to beaches, rivers and estuaries. Its dense forests of ancient indigenous trees are a haven for the endangered Cape parrot. The Albany thickets are also a distinct biome that is home to many endemic species.

Hogsback is the heart of the Amathole Mountain Escape, which stretches west to east from Adelaide to Stutterheim, through Katberg and Cathcart to the north of King Williams Town. The University of Fort Hare is situated in nearby Alice and is the alma mater of Nelson Mandela and many other notable South African leaders. Settlements in the region range from rural villages, township areas and settler towns, to large cities such as Port Elizabeth (Sunshine Coast) and East London (Gateway). The Amathole District’s 350 local heritage sites attest to the importance of this area as the meeting point of Khoi-San, amaXhosa, Boer and British cultures.

The Eastern Cape was originally the home of the San (or Bushman) people, who left their mark in the form of cave and rock art, before being displaced and assimilated by the pastoral Khoikhoi. Then, roughly 2 000 years ago, Nguni-speaking people moved to the area, assimilating some of the Khoi-San. The distinctive clicks of the Khoikhoi and San languages now distinguish isiXhosa from other Nguni languages. The Eastern Cape is now seen as the traditional home of the amaXhosa. The legacy of the Khoi-San lingers on in the Kieskamma, Kei and Tsitsikamma areas.

Jan van Riebeeck started his ‘service station’ at the Cape in 1652, from whence the Dutch settlers, or ‘Trekboers’, moved into the interior. Graaff-Reinet was initially a Trekboer settlement and was the first town in the Eastern Cape. Its magisterial district was proclaimed in 1786 and its magistrate’s court, the Drostdy (now a hotel), is the oldest building in the province.

Frontier Country is named for the 9 frontier wars that the Xhosa nation fought against the colonial forces between 1779 and 1878. Britain gained control of the Cape Colony in the early 19th century, and 4 000 British settlers landed at Algoa Bay in 1820. After finding that the Zuurveld on which they were settled was unsuitable for farming, many moved to Grahamstown, Salem and Bathhurst and pursued their old trades. They brought with them their religion and architecture. Pineapples, chicory, maize, dairy, beef, sheep and ostrich farming did prove successful in the long-term.

The death knell of the amaXhosa resistance of British expansion was unusual and tragic. The amaXhosa decimated their crops and cattle in accordance with the visions of a young woman called Nongqawuse, who promised the ancestors’ assistance in driving the British back into the sea. Instead it caused a famine which left the amaXhosa economically and militarily crippled.

Nongqawuse is buried just outside Alexandria. The pool in which she saw her vision is said to be near the Trennery's Hotel on the southern Wild Coast.

The Amathole district is also rich in sites of prehistoric importance. It was once home to the ‘Blinkwater Monster’, the colloquial name for the first fossilised dinosaur remains discovered in South Africa, near Fort Beaufort. The area also has a number of Early, Middle and Late Stone Age sites which indicate settlements of up to a million years old. Shell middens on the coast are often attributed to the Late Stone Age San ‘Strandlopers’ (Afrikaans: ‘beach walkers’).

Generally, the region’s weather is moderate, but its differing sea levels and rainfall areas make for variable weather conditions. In winter it often snows in the higher reaches, and in late summer temperatures may soar up into the 40s (Celsius). Visitors will enjoy the beautifully crisp, clean air due to the lack of heavy industry in much of the region.

Look out for

Game viewing: Frontier Country is one of the most diverse ecological regions in South Africa and has successfully converted around 80% of its farmland back into game farms. It’s malaria-free and is fast gaining popularity for its first-rate game viewing. Prime sites are the Greater Addo Elephant Park and the Shamwari Game Reserve (halfway between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown). The latter hosts Kaya Lendaba, a traditional healing village. The Great Fish River Reserve is between Grahamstown, Fort Beaufort and the Kieskama River. There are also numerous private game reserves. 

Fort Fordyce Nature Reserve between Fort Beaufort and Adelaide affords visitors beautiful views of the Hogsback and Katberg Mountains. It offers excellent game viewing and birdwatching, horse riding, hiking, bass fishing, mountain climbing and rustic accommodation. There is also rock art at the nearby Mpofu Nature Reserve. 

Hiking: The Amathole Hiking Trail is a strenuous 6-day hike through the indigenous forest of the Amathole Mountains. The Alexandria Trail winds through the Woody Cape Nature Reserve and involves some gruelling dune walking in one of largest moving dune fields in the world. Port Elizabeth’s Sacramento Trail follows a series of ancient shipwrecks. 

Adventure activities include mountain biking, abseiling, rock climbing, kayaking, fly-fishing, 4x4 trails and camping. Fraser's Camp Adventures offer the first zipline tours in Frontier Country, over a forested gorge on the edge of the Fish River Valley. 

Alicedale’s 18-hole championship Bushman Sands Golf Course and Port Alfred’s Fish River Sun Country Club were designed by the South African golf champion, Gary Player. 

Museums – San, Khoi, Xhosa, Trekboer and Settler attire and history, and important prehistoric finds are displayed at the Albany Museums Complex in Grahamstown and the East London Museum. Fort Beaufort has an excellent museum at Keiskammahoek. King Williams Town, where Black Consciousness activist Steve Biko is buried, also boasts the renowned Amathole Museum. 

The district’s 4 heritage routes, named after Xhosa kings and heroes: Sandile, Maqoma, Phalo and Makana, encompass 350 local heritage sites. These include forts, mission stations, and graves of prophets, Xhosa kings and struggle heroes. There are numerous monuments and forts relating to the Anglo-Boer War which broke out in October 1899.

Explore Bedford’s arts and craft galleries and look out for its wonderful annual Garden Festival. Bathurst is also pleasant to visit on route to Port-Alfred. It has interesting historical sites, arts and craft galleries, and enjoyable restaurants. Enjoy Cathcart’s impressive San rock art, as well as its excellent fishing, hiking, horse riding and birdwatching. The University of Fort Hare in Alice has a celebrated African art collection.

East London's fossilised footprints in the Bats Cave on the Nahoon bluff corner are roughly 200 000 years old and are visible in the cave and at the East London Museum.

When to go

To Do

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