This is one of the smaller towns along the popular Route 62 lying between Ladismith and Montagu. Located in a dale with the Langeberg mountains to the south and the Tradouw valley to the west, the town is named after the Barrys - a well-known trading family of the early 1800s.
Much of what there is in terms of eating and shopping is along the R62, which runs through the northern section of the town, but venturing into the quieter side streets reveals Barrydale’s real essence. There’s a lot to keep busy with in the vicinity, from the Warmwaterberg mineral springs and the internationally renowned rural pub, Ronnie’s Sex Shop (east of town), to the Barrydale Wine Cellars, and the scenic Tradouw Valley.
Although the scenery is similar, Barrydale is not yet in the Little Karoo, and with its fertile soil and slightly higher rainfall than the neighbouring Karoo it has been a popular habitation for centuries, long before the oxwagons came searching for new farmland. Despite scattered farming since the previous century, it was not until the Tradouw pass facilitated transport through the mountains that the town could truly take root in the late 1800s.
Look out for
Barrydale Cellar - at the far end of town towards Montagu. They offer a range of wines. The cellar is however most famous for its two pot still brandies – it’s the largest independent producer of pot still brandy in South Africa.
Ronnie’s Sex Shop - This roadside pub, which is not a sex shop, lies 25kms east of town and has become a regional legend of international renown. It’s open daily from 08h45 until the last patron leaves.
Warmwaterberg Spa - The hot mineral springs are 27kms east of Barrydale. The spa has 2 outdoor pools – one hot (38 to 42ºC) and one cold – for the use of all guests. There are a number of accommodation options but day visitors are allowed by prior arrangement only.
The Tradouw Valley - This 18km long valley to the west of Barrydale is fringed to the south by the curves of the Langeberg Mountains, and to the north, by the folded foothills of the Warmwaterberg. It’s a scenic drive through the patchwork layout of fields, fruit orchards, and vineyards.
Joubert-Tradauw private wine cellar - in the Tradouw Valley. This boutique cellar offers 4 wines in their range. They have a deli and are also a very popular venue for light lunches (referred to as Karoo tapas), which often include something unusual and are enjoyed beneath a vine-covered pergola in summer.
The Tradouw Pass - South of Barrydale, the R324 traverses the Langeberg Mountains via the picturesque Tradouw Pass to the mission town of Suurbraak. The route offers a pleasant drive and there are lookout points where you can stop and enjoy the view.
Although at first glance the town might appear a bit small, in combination with nearby Ladismith and Montagu you can easily fill a day with fascinating backcountry scenery and people.