Bathurst – A 19th Century English Village in South Africa

Bathurst is located in the Eastern Cape and its chief claim to fame is that it was the early administrative centre established by the British Government for the 1820 British Settlers. The town is quaint and does not offer tons of attractions to its visitors but the little that it does offer is quirky and nothing short of charming. Many of the original settler houses and other buildings have been preserved, and there remains much of the look and feel of an English village of the early 19th Century. The Pig and Whistle Inn, built in 1821, is at the heart of the village and is reputedly the oldest extant pub in the country.

We visited the iconic Bathurst Pineapple which is a 17 meter tall pineapple and home to the pineapple museum. It’s only a R10 admission fee and there’s tons of interesting facts to learn about pineapple farming. A must see, even if it’s just to snap a picture of the ginormous pineapple.

Bathurst Pinapple

I am always surprised by the amazing shops hidden away in towns like these. Bathurst has so many wonderful little shops with interesting things for sale. My favourite is Tales Of Antiquity. It is hard to describe but if you can picture a secondhand vintage shop with a mixture of antiques, clothing and bric à brac then you can imagine that Tales Of Antiquity has a lot to offer. I was thrilled to find so many gems including vintage dessert bowls; R110 for 6 and fine bone China tea cups for R35. If you’re looking to host the ultimate vintage tea party then this shop should definitely be on your list of things to see in Bathurst.

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CNN rated Bathurst South Africa’s most eccentric town and now I definitely know why. Make sure you have an entire day to spend here and preferably on a Sunday when the Farmers Market is on. Don’t worry, all the shops are open till late on Sunday too!

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