Northern Cape DestinationsRichmond, Upper Karoo
The little town of Richmond lies nestled next to the N1 between the other typical Northern Cape villages of Hanover and Victoria West. Its residents refer to it not as a destination, but as a way of life, and there is something about the little town that is infinitely attractive.
But then at least three towns - Beaufort West, Hanover and even Colesberg - vie for this particular honour. Richmond, however, is both decidedly pretty and surrounded by stunning scenery. It regards itself as something of a backwater town, perfect for townies who want to buy a 'dorp huis' as Gautengers and Capetonians are wont to do in similar towns. It is also one of the only little towns like it in which the market square, and not the church, is the focal point. It also has an imaginative and unusual layout - this isn't your usual square grid town - because it is built upon a river.
Edwardian and Victorian Karoo style houses with romantic verandahs invite you to stay awhile, as indeed a number of people do, either staying in town or on neighbouring farms, for it is the farmers that are the reason for the continued hubub in town - today roughly 30 farmers and their families support Richmond's economy. As do tourists who venture into town off the N1, for the major highway does not flow directly through the town, as it does in Beaufort West, and requires a detour.
There are a couple of restaurants and more than a few options for accommodation, whilst an exciting and increasingly popular annual book festival that now includes a film section called Richmond Filums - produced by the same couple responsible for reviving the Apollo Theatre in nearby Victoria West - draws the crowds.
For a review on Richmond in the Northern Cape see our article at "You Don't Need To Be A Book Nut To Visit Richmond, But It Helps If You Are".