Wine lovers and those who enjoy being outdoors, should definitely make the time to visit Wellington in South Africa's Western Cape region. Take your time exploring one of South Africa's oldest towns, which has many historical offerings.

Did you know?

Sir George Napier chose the name "Wellington" for the town when it was established in 1840 in honour of The Duke Of Wellington.

Wellington, which is within 45 minutes' drive of Cape Town, is located in a scenic part of the Boland at the foot of the Hawequas mountains.

This little town was once the gateway to the interior and experienced something of a boom during the diamond rush in Kimberley in the late 19th century, as travellers to the north would navigate through the narrow Bainskloof Pass.

Established by French Hugenot's in 1688, the town was originally called Limietvalley (Limit Valley), and then later renamed Wagenmakersvallei (Wagon Makers' Valley) as many wagon makers settled and made their living here.

Eventually, in 1840, after the Duke of Wellington's defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, it was renamed Wellington by then Governor of the Cape Sir George Napier.

Today, Wellington's scenic location, fertile soil and relatively easy access to Cape Town have made it a popular tourist destination. There are many guest houses on surrounding farms, good restaurants, a wine route and the historic Bainskloof Pass (where leopards still roam). The area lends itself to outdoor pursuits like horse riding and mountain biking.

The Dutch Reformed Church in Wellington, which dates back to the 1840s, is a spectacular piece of architecture.The town is also an academic hub, with the Huguenot College and Cape Peninsula University of Technology among is list of education institutions.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Wellington Tourism Bureau
Tel: +27 (0)21 873 4604

How to get here

From Cape Town, head northeast on the N1 and then take the R34 exit after around 36 kilometres. Follow signs to Wellington from here.

Best time to visit

If you prefer warm weather, visit Wellington between October and March.

Tours to do

A must see is the Hildenbrand Wine and Olive Estate, which was established by Reni Hildenbrand in 1999.

Get around

The town is best explored on foot and by car. You will need a vehicle to tour the wine farms

Length of stay

A long weekend will give you plenty of time to explore the area.

Where to stay

Wellington accommodation is vast with many pretty country houses, guests cottages and bed and breakfast places on the menu. Try one of them out for some well deserved rest and relaxation.

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