Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Baardskeerdersbos Art Route
Where? Between Stanford and Wolvengat, Western Cape
When? On certain weekends - see website for dates
Most commonly Baardskeerdersbos is accessed via the road that takes you past Grootbos Nature Reserve and Platbos Forest. There is talk of a tarred road through the village soon, and whilst one or two villagers are vehemently opposed, desperate to keep the village's anonymity, others want it tarred for the very reason that it will bring more visitors and increase the chances of eeking out a livelihood in the country.
The little village has attracted a collection of artists – at least 12 of them, in fact. Since 2008 the group have opened their homes and their hearts three times a year to introduce people to the local painters, photographers, sculptors, printmakers and ceramicists. Artist Niël Jonker has added bread making courses to the mix, to give the art route an extra bit of flavour.
The Baardskeerdersbos Art Route is a huge success. Every artist has a story to tell; wine, tea, coffee, snacks, veggie meals to share, and of course, their art, which graces the walls of their homes tells a story of its own – it's a personal glimpse at how a bunch of unpretentious, yet successful rural artists live.
Artists include Joshua Miles, Andreé Bonthuys, Philip John, Niël Jonker, Amanda Jephson and Nikki Miles, and of course a guest artist or two. The fynbos scenery alone will have you drooling and yearning to swop the city life for that of a simple village.
Rural farm village Baardskeerdersbos might be, but the sophisticated artist line-up is an exhilirating way to spend a weekend. Stay in the villages of Stanford, Baardskeerdersbos or Gansbaai, and make sure you take in Platbos Forest en route.