Darrenwood, Randburg

The smallish suburb of Darrenwood lies just west of Linden behind Cresta Centre, a series of avenues and crescents that date back to the 1960s, a pretty leafy suburb that manages to remain pretty obscure and out of the way, despite its proximity to the N1.

Darrenwood is also fairly close to the Johannesburg Botanic Gardens and Emmarentia Dam and a wonderful visit at any time of the week. The land on which the Botanic Gardens is situated was once a farm that dates back to 1853, called Braamfontein, and today is a popular spot, particularly over weekends when locals picnic on the green slopes surrounding the dam, throw frizbees or stroll their dogs.

Cresta Centre is one of the northern suburbs’ largest malls that has received a series of facelifts and extensions and is a veritable feast of shopping as a result. There’s a Barnyard Theatre here, just moments away from Darrenwood; a type of theatre, true South African style, where one can meet with friends, take your own food or eat there and enjoy an evening of musicals, rock shows or live bands that will get your feet tapping and your hips swaying.

The Braamfontein Spruit, one of a myriad small streams or spruits that trickle through the suburbs, runs through here. This is the city’s most popular and longest spruit or stream and flows largely unhindered with parklands on either side. The spruit flows from Emmarentia Dam to Parkhurst.

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