Focus on Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa
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 start.

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.

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