Named after Lord Charles Somerset in 1819, Somerset
West has thrived and is now the commercial and residential capital
of the Helderberg Basin whilst maintaining its village atmosphere.
Lying on the slopes of the Helderberg, the town is 6km inland
from the False Bay coast and the resort towns of Strand and Gordons
Bay, is 20km from Stellenbosch and its wine route, a mere 35 minutes'
drive to Paarl, Wellington and Franschoek and forms an integral
part of the Winelands Region.
The entire region is renowned for its scenic beauty, flora and
fauna, wine and fruit, gastronomic experiences, friendly hospitality
and historical heritage.
Somerset West caters for all sport lovers with 3 golf courses
(including the renowned Erinvale), a country club, soccer, croquet,
bowls, squash, tennis, cricket, hockey, a pistol shooting range
and golf driving range.
The wine route is part of the greater Stellenbosch wine route
and incorporates wine estates from 10km out of town, the oldest
wine co-operative in the country, a brewery and wine estates bordering
on the town.
About 15km from Somerset West on the N2 is the fruit route which
starts at Elgin and the coastal whale route to Hermanus.
Historic Vergelegen established in 1700 with its beautifully
restored homestead and its unique underground winery.
The old bridge over the Lourens River built in 1845;
The old NG Church around which the village originated in 1819;
The old Pastorie dated 1819;
The Firlands Farm Stall with its art and crafts, steam train,
farmyard, pub, bakery/coffee shop and mini-golf course.
The Country Craft Market with 150 unique handcraft stalls is
Somerset West caters for all sport lovers with 3 golf courses,
a country club, soccer, croquet, bowls, squash, tennis, cricket,
hockey, a pistol shooting range and golf driving range.
Walks and Trails
Helderberg Nature Reserve - a bird lovers paradise, covering 245
hectares with fynbos and walks and trails which would suit easy
walkers and serious hikers, with breath-taking views over False
Bay to Cape Point;
Boland Hiking Trail - a two or three day walk along the Hottentos
Holland Mountain Range to Stellenbosch or Franschoek.
Helderberg Farm Trail - on the R44 from Stellenbosch with splendid
views across the valley and as far as Cape Town;
Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary - Lower Victoria Street to Strand - a
wetland with waterfowl, migrant waders and Ethiopian Snipe.