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GGreenside in Johannesburg doesn’t boast the stately homes of nearby Parktown North, nor the revamped trendy cottages of adjacent Parkhurst. But it does offer some of the best restaurants to be found in the city, outdoor activities at several nearby locations, and plenty of décor and lifestyle shopping.
Although it was once part of the Afrikaans farm Braamfontein, the suburb’s name refers to the adjacent suburb of Parkview to the east and its famous golf course. Parkview Golf Club was established in 1916, largely due to the efforts of a Scottish immigrant called LB Waters, who won the inaugural South African Open in 1903 and went on to win it 3 more times.
It is perhaps because of Waters’ influence that so many of Greenside’s leafy streets are named after Scottish golfers or golf courses, such as Gleneagles, Braeside, Mowbray and Greenway.
Parkview enjoys the reputation of being one of the friendliest golf clubs in Gauteng, and the course is known for its superb fairways and greens – and its constant water hazards, thanks to the stream alongside which almost all its links were built. The internationally famous golfer Bobby Locke became a member of Parkview Golf Club after winning both the SA Amateur and the SA Open here in 1935.
Greenside is also home to Pirates Rugby Club, Johannesburg’s oldest rugby club, with a rich history and dedicated members who focus on both the professional and social aspect of the sport. Many overseas players earned their stripes here.
Greenside’s core shopping route runs along Greenway and Gleneagles Road, where interior design stores rub shoulders with art colleges, pavement cafés and Paco, arguably the best carpet shop in the city.
Just down the hill west of Greenside is Emmarentia Dam, one of Johannesburg's most loved stretches of water. Together with the neighbouring Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, the gardens stretch over 81 hectares.
Walk along beside the dam in the early morning or evening and watch canoeists, kayakers and anglers, while small yachts skid across the surface. There are always people on the banks indulging in our favourite outdoor pastime – the great South African braai.
TTravel tips & Planning info
How to get here
From downtown Johannesburg take Barry Hertzog (M7) north and turn right into Gleneagles Road (M20). The area is well-served by both buses and taxis, and there is adequate parking available.
Best time to visit
Any time of year, although in spring (September to November) Greenside blooms brilliantly thanks to its many trees.
Around the area
Emmarentia Dam, Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, Parkview Golf Club, Pirates Rugby Club.
Greenside is best explored on foot.