|Wellington, steeped in history and tradition, has a magical atmosphere
that will captivate you once you discover the town, its people and
its myriad of attractions. Originally known as Limiet Vallei (border
or frontier valley), the area became known as Val du Charron or
Wagenmakersvallei (Valley of the Wagon Maker) towards the end of
the 17th century when the French Huguenots settled here.
After the eventual establishment of the town in 1840, the name
was changed to Wellington in honour of the renowned soldier and
conqueror of Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo.
Nestling at the foot of the Groenberg, the town lies in a picturesque
valley on the banks of the Kromme River with the majestic Hawekwa
mountains silent sentinels on its eastern border. The town is
a mere 45 minutes' drive from Cape Town and within easy reach
of all the other Boland towns.
Wellington is, of course, known for its educational institutions.
Huguenot College, an institution of the Dutch Reformed Church,
offers training to students in social, youth and missionary work.
Apart from fine cuisine and pleasant accommodation, visitors
to the town can discover a magnificent legacy of historic buildings,
may venture into breathtaking hikes or visit one of the cellars
on the wine route for a relaxed wine tasting. Just a few of the
reasons why a visit to Wellington should not be missed.
The Wellington Information Centre is housed in the Old Market
Building which dates back to 1847. The bell in the adjoining clock
tower dating from the same year, used to announce to the town's
inhabitants that the day's marketing activities were about to
A visit to Wellington's berry farm is an absolute must. Strawberries,
Raspberries, Youngberries as well as Cape Gooseberries are grown
here. Visitors can enjoy guided tours as well as their own herry
picking. Delicious jams and herry vinegar can be purchased.
The fact that the majority of South Africa's vine cutting nurseries
are found in the Wellington area, is due to the excellent soils
and climate of the region. Of course the town is also the home
of the Wellington Wine Route and the seven wineries are all open
for wine-tasting and sales.
Wellington also has a few hiking trails and scenic drives to
be enjoyed. There are a number of hiking trails and picnic places
in the mountain and some of the most exquisite species of wild
flowers can be seen at certain times of the year and Bains Kloof
Pass offers an unsurpassed kaleidoscopic view.
The Horseshoe, a favourite route with joggers and bikers, takes
one past many of the old Huguenot farms with their magnificent
Cape Dutch homesteads.