Stanford, Cape Overberg

Some of the lovely bed and breakfasts and fine hotels offering accommodation in Stanford showcase the natural beauty of the Cape Overberg, and are wonderful bases for visitors that want to explore South Africa. The unique little village of Stanford, overlooked by the moody slopes of the Klein River Mountains, lies just inland of False Bay, forming the tip of a triangle with the coastal towns of Hermanus and De Kelders.

Peaceful and largely unaffected by change, Stanford is an eclectic mix of shops, galleries, restaurants and coffee shops, and the list of activities for a largely rural village exceeds oneís expectations. Like many of the Overberg towns, Stanford originated as a farm, de Kleine Riviers Valey (the original spelling), and the tree-lined streets today, filled with historical buildings, are testimony to the largely English influence that makes Stanford the third most historically important village in the Western Cape.

The heart of Stanford surrounding the market square - used as a venue for a monthly country market and for the annual Welsh Pony Show - was proclaimed a South African Heritage area in 1995. The original farmhouse of De Kleine Riviers Valey, built in 1785, is one of the oldest houses still in existence in the Cape Overberg and the beautiful stone Church is thought to have been built in the 1700ís as well, although the records have unfortunately been lost.

Two of the Ďmust doísí, when in Stanford are the Birkenhead Brewery, a boutique brewery open for beer tasting and lunches, and the Stanford Walking Trail, which wends its way along the banks of the Klein River through the town and offers visitors some wonderful glimpses of the many birds in the area, including the endangered Blue Crane, South Africa's national bird.

Stanford now has a number of vineyards and more appear to be emerging every year and the local Klein River Dairyís cheese shop offers some mouth watering options including a local Gruyere, one of the few made in South Africa.

The Salmonsdam Nature reserve is only 15 km away and offers 50 km of hiking trails through some beautiful examples of Cape fynbos. De Kelders and Gansbaai are exciting destinations if you want to watch Southern Right whales and Great White sharks, and the Walker Bay Nature Reserve borders the Walker Bay Whale Sanctuary protected area offering a choice of superb land-based whale watching within natural fynbos of the area.

Travellers' Reviews

1 Review from travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

We spent a wonderful weekend in Stanford - the perfect mix of art galleries, antique shops, quaint cafes and pretty village cottages and gardens. We love the scent of the spring flowers and lavender as we wandered the country lanes. Stanford is definitely a must visit village.

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