The large town of Worcester lies in the Cape Winelands region, an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Many travellers only see Worcester as the Mountain Mill Shopping Centre built alongside the N1 highway as they drive by. However, turning into town reveals pleasant side streets and unusual things to do.
Lovers of oak-matured spirits will enjoy a tour of the KWV House of Brandy, while those into cultural history will find the Kleinplasie open-air museum interesting. On the northern outskirts, at the base of the Brandtwagt mountains, a stroll amongst the succulents in the Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens is rewarding.
The town itself is a mix of old and modern with a busy commercial centre. In the old part the streets are lined with gabled buildings and shaded by spreading oaks.
Worcester is part of the popular Route 62, reputedly the longest wine route in the world. The nearby Breede River Valley is home to an assortment of wine cellars and these can be visited along the Worcester and Breedekloof wine routes. There are 4x4, hiking, and mountain biking trails in the vicinity.
Game lovers can see most of the Big 5 at Fairy Glen Game Reserve and those feeling lucky can try the tables at the Golden Valley Casino.
Look out for
Museum – the open-air museum captures the rich cultural history of the region. On weekdays it has demonstrations of traditional processes such as bread baking in an outside oven, soap making and tobacco processing. There’s also an old railway exhibition, a restaurant and shop.
KWV cellar tour - the KWV House of Brandy offers tours twice a day amongst the copper stills and French oak maturation barrels. Tours are rounded off with tastings of some of the fine brandies.
Wine tasting – the Worcester Wine Route has 10 cellars; while the Breedekloof Wine Route has upwards of 20. Many are open for tasting and sales from Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings. Maps can be obtained from the tourism office.
Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens – take an exploratory stroll amongst 154 hectares of succulent flora from the arid winter rainfall regions of South Africa. The diversity includes the kokerboom (quiver tree) and the halfmens (half man), found only in the Richtersveld.