Worcester is the largest town in the Western Cape’s interior region and offers an idyllic escape away from frenetic city life. Lying on the main route to and from Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth, Worcester forms an ideal stop over with countless wineries, historic attractions, and a range of exciting activities on offer. Browse our list of top notch Worcester accommodations below.
Worcester was established in 1818, and named after Lord Worcester, the elder brother of the then governor of the Cape, Sir Charles Somerset. It is set in the beautiful Breede River Valley, surrounded by an amphitheatre of magnificent mountain ranges and sprawling wine farms. Worcester has a wide selection of quirky accommodations on offer, from B&Bs and guest houses, to self-catering establishments.
Previously a hunting paradise known for livestock farming, Worcester has since become a patchwork of cultivated land, orchards, and vineyards consisting of award-winning wineries. Since 1865, the production from Worcester’s prosperous vineyards has compared favourably with the Stellenbosch and Paarl valleys.
Today the Breede River Valley is the largest wine producing region in South Africa, contributing almost 25% of South Africa’s viticultural output. They have received awards for their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinotage, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Wineries to visit in Worcester include Botha Wine Cellar, Olifantsberg Family Vineyards, De Droons Cellar, De Wet Cellar, Conradie Family Cellar, KWV House of Brandy, Brandvlei Cellar, Eagles Cliff, and Stettyn Cellar.
Worcester boasts a plethora of attractions that draw people from far and wide. Be sure to visit the Kleinplasie Living Open-air Museum that depicts the lifestyle of the early Cape pioneer farmers, where activities like tobacco rolling, candle and soap making, coffee roasting, and bread baking are performed on a daily basis. Other museums worth a visit include the Blindiana Museum, the Old Drostdy (national monument), Beck House, and the Afrikaner Museum which features an interesting collection of 19th century surgical and dental equipment.
Visitors to Worcester will be well entertained at the Golden Valley Casino, which features over 220 slot machines and a range of gaming tables. Golfers can enjoy teeing off at Worcester Golf Club while nature lovers will enjoy a visit to the Karoo National Botanical Garden (the only truly succulent garden in Africa) with over 300 protected species as well as many rare and endangered plants.
Worcester boasts a range of activities to please even the most discerning of visitors. Enjoy a trip on the Hexpas Express, dining and live music at Damas Restaurant, hiking the Botterboom Hiking trail, and browsing the Pure Boland Farmer’s Market held on the second Saturday of every month. Other attractions located nearby Worcester include Aquila Nature Reserve and Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve.
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