The enchanting KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander has always been home to artists and crafts-people. In 1985 local artists, potters and weavers joined forces to create an arts and crafts route. Six studios opened their doors to the public and the KZN Midlands Meander was born.
The aim of the Midlands Meander was to encourage the public to take to the country, and to give visitors a chance to find interesting accommodation in the Natal Midlands and see crafts-people at work. By selling directly to visitors, the studios were able to keep prices down, and with the active support of hospitality establishments in the area, such as Midlands Bed and Breakfasts and Natal Midlands self catering accommodation, a unique route was formed. Other artists and crafts-people were encouraged to move to the area and today the Midlands Meander is a stimulating arts and crafts route with quaint and exciting Natal Midlands accommodation options.
The Natal Midlands Meander reaches from the N3 freeway to well into the Drakensberg Mountain Range. Holiday Travellers between Johannesburg and Durban would benefit from an overnight stay in one or two of the Natal Midlands accommodation bed and breakfast or Guest House options.
Scenic beauty and picturesque villages
The Natal Midlands can boast an excellent road infrastructure, which takes travellers through scenic beauty while linking Midlands Meander outlets and picturesque villages along with some of South Africa's leading hotel accommodation and Midlands guest houses, and a host of delightful Drakensberg or Midlands bed and breakfast establishments. Bird watchers and fishermen will enjoy a visit to the Chelmsford Nature Reserve just south of Newcastle, which also forms a part of the Midlands Meander route.
There are many historical buildings in the Natal Midlands, several of which date back to the 1880's. A number have been declared National Monuments including some well preserved Settler Churches.
Whether you're a Natal Midlands local discovering the doorstep experiences of the region for the first time, an overseas traveller exploring this enchanting Midlands Meander countryside, or a holidaymaker en route to the coast, the Midlands Meander has something for everyone - all year round.
The National Botanical Gardens in Pietermaritzburg is a very pleasant place to take a stroll under the shade of beautiful magnolias, some dating from the Victorian era. The Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg has impressive collections of insects and moluscs, as well as excellent exhibits of dinosaurs and early human habitation, all adding to the interesting activities dotted around the Midlands Meander.
THE BATTLEFIELDS Accommodation and activities
It is difficult to imagine that the scenic and tranquil landscape of central and northern KwaZulu-Natal was once the focal point of major military clashes; where over a time span of 70 years, one historical drama after another unfolded in the Natal Battlefields / Midlands region, and all of this against the backdrop of the African veld and the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. This region can get quite cold in Summer and scorching hot in Winter which calls for comfortable accommodation in this Battlefields Region. Air conditioned accommodation or adequate heating should be considered when booking into a Natal Battlefields bed and breakfast or Guest House. Battlefields Self Catering accommodation which is generally more cost-effective should also be considered, for larger parties. If you are uncertain about comfortable midlands accommodation options, then check out the star-graded properties on Where to Stay.
Largest concentration of battlefields in South Africa
The Natal Battlefields Region boasts the largest concentration of battlefields in South Africa drawing visitors from all over the world, especially British holiday makers who take advantage of a healthy exchange rate and book into some of the wonderful Battlefields accommodation guest houses and Midlands bed and breakfasts. In these Midlands Battlefields military engagements were to shape the course of South African and world history, and rock the pedestal of the British Empire. Battles raged over the green hills and sweeping grasslands of the Natal Midlands.
Every town, historical building, battle site and memorial has a fascinating tale to tell, an event to commemorate, a poignant memory to recall.
But don't let the KwaZulu Natal Battlefields description mislead you into thinking you are going to spend your time in the past. The region has the climate, scenery, wildlife, cultural diversity, cuisine and Midlands accommodation hospitality to make your visit unique and memorable.
Although the towns of Colenso forms a part of the Natal Midlands Battlefields Route, accommodation options are very limited.
Estcourt, Ladysmith, Newcastle and Dundee bed and breakfast or Guest Houses form the "bigger town" options, not to say that you should not visit some of the smaller, historic Midlands accommodation options on Where to Stay.
If you need a break from the busy city life, Gilly's offers tranquil wide open spaces, amazing views with incredible sunrises and sunsets.There is a trampoline, tennis court and an entertainment area with braai facilities for the Guests to use ...
The original homestead now houses the breakfast room, dining room, offices and 3 stylishly furnished rooms decorated to suit the original history and ideal for the overseas visitor to relate themselves with Newcastle history. We also offer another...
Welcome to Sycamore Avenue Treehouses - Dinner Bed and Breakfast accommodation - “If we can’t fly with birds we can at least nest with them.” Eccentric, unique and romantic treehouse D,B&B accommodation on the KwaZulu Natal Midlands Meander.
Whether its just for a quick night stop over, or an extended stay Arbor Guest House offers Luxury Accommodation in Newcastle. 10 rooms - all with en-suite bathrooms. All rooms have own entrance leading directly into garden area. Lapa with bar area...
Amberleigh Guest Farm is a working farm situated in the Kwa Zulu Natal midlands 12km outside Howick, easily accessible from the N3 highway.
There are the two cottages; the smaller option has a large bedroom, where the glorious winter sun's rays stream in to keep it warm and cosy. ( The en-suite bathroom is a shower, basin and loo.)
Tucked in the foothills of the Drakensberg lies Tregaron Trout lodge. A peaceful and tranquil haven set on a scenic and well stocked trout dam.
This peaceful accommodation is tucked away in lush vegetation, allowing for breathtaking views from the garden, hence the name "Bella Vista".
Welcome to Ferndene Farm, a little bit of peace and quiet in the Dargle Conservancy Area. We have lots of beautiful space and a very comfortable self-catering home, perfect for large groups of people and families. Or just anybody who wants to stretch out.
Burnside Lodge is in a prime location on the Midlands meander, close to many good restaurants, Nottingham Road, Michaelhouse school and Bosch Hoek golf course. It is newly decorated, with great attention to detail. The main house has 3 queen sized ...
Thorner House is a situated on our sugarcane farm, halfway between Hillcrest and Pietermaritzburg. Beautifully decorated, Thorner House offers a wonderful retreat from the busy city life.
Millford Farm has magnificent suites available for B&B guests each with a private entrance. They have been beautifully decorated by Kate in a most elegant and tasteful manner. In the Victorian style bathroom you will find a slipper bath with hand ...
There are times in a man's life, to fill the car with petrol, grab the missus and kids, pack the fishing rods & mountain bikes, and head for Twin Pools in the heart of the Natal Midlands. At Twin Pools we offer frazzled city dwellers a quiet ...
If your heart yearns for a tranquil blend of seclusion and luxury then Lions River Country Cottages, award winning accommodation, is your perfect escape into the solitude of the countryside.
Nestled in the historical Byrne Valley lies an oasis of peace and tranquility. The Oaks Hotel has been welcoming guests for many generations and is justifiably acknowledged for the quality of its food and the ambiance of its facilities.
Wyford Farm is situated in a pretty mountainous area off Van Reenen Pass (N3) and has a rich recorded history being built in the 1870's as a Trading Store on the route between Johannesburg and Durban
This luxury boutique hotel boasts 31 spacious rooms, (8 Self Catering & 14 Standard rooms, 1 disabled friendly room, 7 Superior rooms and 1 Executive Suite). The rooms are furnished with solid wooden furniture and superior quality fabric.
Sugarlands Farm is 6km from the N3 in the heart of the well-known Midlands Meander. A working Sheep and Beef farm where we have two units available to share our piece of paradise with you. Both units are serviced, self-catering units with full DSTV. L
A mere four hours from Johannesburg and two hours from Durban, deep in the heart of the breathtaking Natal Midlands, rests Bellwood.We offer seven comfortable, fully equipped self-catering cottages.
Hillhouse Accommodation was featured in Elle Decoration - The Country Issue June/July 2013. Also in House and Leisure - The Travel Issue, 101 Dream escapes in May 2015. Again in Getaway mag 2015 and Midlands life in 2008.