Crowthorne, Midrand

Heading out to Crowthorne, which lies north of the Buccleuch interchange and east of where Main Road meets the R55 as it heads out of Kyalami, one reaches a fairly 'rural' part of Johannesburg.

Certainly its a very pretty part of the city, home to agricultural holdings and large country-style estates that belie the general image of Midrand as a business hub in which a number of townhouse complexes have mushroomed. Interestingly, Midrand ceased to exist as an official 'region' in 1998, but it is still used by Jo'burgers who explain the suburbs around the N1 highway north of the Jukskei River right up to Pretoria / Tshwane with this term.

Crowthorne is neighbour to Carlswald, Glen Austin, Halfway House, Halfway Gardens and Vorna Valley and of these, is possibly the suburb most identified with country living.

Life out here manages a skyline that is relatively devoid of buildings, but is only half an hour from Sandton, Pretoria and the centre of Johannesburg. For many, it's a lifestyle choice.

Crowthorne has serious advantages, such as its surprising access to shopping centres (Fourways, Boulders and Menlyn), golf courses like the Kyalami Country Club, Richard Loring's Sound Stage where review and supper shows are one of the city's highlights, and the Beaulieu Bird Sanctuary. No fewer than three rivers run through Midrand - Kaalspruit, Rietspruit and Jukskei - which explains the beauty of this 16 hectare bird reserve.

Midrand's Urban Market, on the first Saturday of every month is a great venue for food lovers and children, with jumping castles, puppet shows, face painting and trampolines to entertain children whilst you peruse the stalls and enjoy a concert whilst having a picnic.

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