Bathurst is the Eastern Cape's very own English Village, and is situated halway between Port Alfred and Grahamstown. This historical town was founded in 1820 and is named after Lord Bathurst, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies at the time. Bathurst was originally meant to be the administrative capital for the 1820 settlers but Grahamstown took this job instead. Visit the Bathurst Agricultural Museum with more than 1300 historical agricultural items on display. Nearby is Bradshaw's Mill, driven by a waterwheel and constructed in 1821 as a mill to make a coarse cloth with wool from the local sheep farmers.
Accommodation at the Pig and Whistle Hotel, a national monument built in 1831 and arguably South Africa's oldest pub was once known as the Bathurst Inn. Just around the corner is another old pub, the Bathurst Arms. St John's Anglican Church is the oldest unaltered Anglican church in South Africa and was a sanctuary to hundreds of settlers during the Frontier Wars. In the old part of the village, which is known locally as Monkey Town, is a Powder Magazine with a domed ceiling that dates back to 1821. If in the area in summer make sure you go to the annual Ox braai on 29th December. Normally in March is the Bathurst Agricultural Show.
Accommodation in Bathurst
Guests Visit to Bathurst, Eastern Cape
Our Daughter is studying at Grahamstown University and Graduation Week" can be a real hassle if you need accommodation in the Eastern Cape's Grahamstown.
Grahamstown bed and breakfast owners can sometimes take advantage of this situation and inflate prices during this bumper week.
Two years ago we stayed at a crappy Grahamstown Hotel and paid R1300 for a REALLY shoddy room. This year we avoided the Grahamstown accommodation "boom" and settled for accommodation in Bathurst.
Bathurst.........now THERE is a town worth visiting. I can't believe the vibe!!! Quaint little restaurants, and fantastic little art galleries not to mention the famous Bathurst "Pig and Whistle", pub, claimed to be the oldest pubs in South Africa.
Accommodation in Bathhurst can only be a bonus, because Grahamstown is only 25 minutes away for tha Graduation Ceremony and walking to a Bathurst Bed and Breakfast after a session at the Pig and Whistle sorts out the drink and drive problem.
Our Bathurst Guest house was more than adequate and I'm thinking that (for the sake of history) perhaps we should have investigated accommodation in the Bathurst The Pig and Whistle.
We visited The Workshop in Bathurst and I was so blown away by the work of Nicky Rosselli that I actually purchased 3 pieces (2x rooster sketches and one angora goat illustration) - thay are just too stunning.
Back to Bathurst accommodation - If you are going to Grad Week, have a look at Bathurst accommodation, rather than Grahamstown accommodation.....you won't be sorry.
Oh, and we ate at a fantastic little Bathurst restaurant - just accross the road from The Pig and Whistle (there is a massive clock in the entrance), I can't remember the name, but it was FANTASTIC !!!
Yay for Bathurst !!
Pete and Cheryl
PS. Port Alfred is also a great town only a short drive away