KwaZulu Natal DestinationsRichmond, Natal Midlands
The town of Richmond lies in the Natal Midlands, and is roughly an hour-and-a-half's drive from Durban, using the R56 off near Camperdown on the N3, to get there. The little town is rather unglamorously described, together with Ladysmith, as well-known for mixed agriculture.
Which in essence it is, serving as a centre for farmers in the district. Farmers who grow and raise timber, sugarcane, tea, citrus, peaches, maize and vegetables, poultry, pigs and cattle. Richmond came into being with the arrival of the Byrne Settlers from the British Isles in 1850. They arrived with nothing, having lost most of what they owned when their ship went down in Durban's bay.
But one of the original buildings they erected is the Old Court House, also known as Heritage House, and where you will find the town's Publicity Association. Former jail cells are now leased to a series of budding entrepreneurs, and there are a series of arts and crafts to buy from the association.
If you're interested in history then Blarney Cottage is regarded as the last surviving unchanged settler home in the area, with family names still visible in the bricks onto which they were scratched. It is now a national monument.
Unsurprisingly the little settlement of Byrne is only 24 minutes' drive from Richmond via the Beaulieu Dam, a popular and pretty stop off en route. It's a great spot to catch fish and have a picnic. In and around Richmond are a series of privately owned game and nature reserves that provide one with a healthy choice of weekend escapes in which breathtaking scenery, hiking, fishing, rock climbing and white water rafting are just a few of the attractions.