Category Archive: Bathurst News

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Welcome to Bathurst

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Bathurst is situated on the fringes of both the Sunshine Coast and Frontier Country, a scenic half hour drive on the R67 from Grahamstown or 10 minutes from Port Alfred, half way between  Port Elizabeth and East London on the R72.


Bathurst is a mere 10 minutes from Port Alfred, with it’s glorious beaches, restaurants, shops, the renowned Royal Alfred Golf Course and water sport orientated activities. Close by is the Fish River Sun with it’s Golf Course designed by Gary Player.  It is in close proximity to malaria free game parks and reserves.

Seeped in the history of the Eastern Cape’s tumultuous past and personifying the essence of the brave and hardy English Settlers which while giving it a distinctly English rural feeling, it’s beautiful indigenous trees such as the giant wild fig trees and the brilliantly coloured Coral trees which predominate remind one that this is still Africa.



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What to do

Bathurst is the acknowledged artistic and designer hub for the Eastern Cape. The quaint 1820 settler village is home to some renowned artists and designers.

The Corner Shop, located diagonally opposite the Historic Pig and Whistle Inn, is owned by Craig and Tori Stowe was recently featured in South Africa’s Country Life magazine in a fantastic double page spread. Their beautiful shop offers art, ceramics, material and other designer bric-a-brac which is worldclass. Down the road, a short drive or longish stroll is Richard Pullen a renowned potter and ceramicist. His unique salt cellars make wonderful gifts. A little away from him is the famous Wiles Gallery the airy showplace for the artistic talents of Jane wiles and her parents, all accomplished artists. Jane and her parent’s paintings also grace the walls of the Historic Pig and Whistle Inn’s new restaurant.

In the Pig and Whistle complex are two arty shops, Boredom Busters, where a popular range of “hands on” children’s activity packs offer much needed competition for Play Stations and other electronic gadgetry that invades lives. A range of hand made kaleidoscopes also offer hours of fascination. Treats offers the best home made icecream in the Country as well as a range of soaps, edibles and clothing.

Bathurst and its diverse offering presents a wonderful outdoor alternative to the modern shopping centre.  

Bathurst in the Eastern Cape,  is the site of the arrival of the 1820 settlers from the UK to South Africa. This quaint village is the site of a number of national monuments, and additionally offers a number of shops and eaterys with unique character.Sadly there used to be a train operating from nearby Port Alfred, offering holiday makers to that popular seaside town the opportunity to take the short 12 km trip by rail. Places to see are:

The Oldest Anglican church in SA, The oldest Weslyan Church the Oldest Primary school and the oldest operating Mill (currently being upgraded). The Bathurst Agricultural show (below) is the oldest continuously operating show in South Africa.

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Historic Block

The sleepy village of Bathurst in the Eastern Cape is the home of many monuments from the early 1800,s.

A short walk which will put you in touch with a few of these old emblems of a bygone era  starts at the . Walking north up, in fact quite steeply up, Trappes Street on the left is Bleak House, named after the Dickens home. Bleak House being an original 1820 settler home is a national monument. Now a coffee shop homemade teas,coffees and cakes are available.

Further up Trappes st turn left and continue down the sand road. On your right is another national monument, the Bathurst Primary School, which is still in daily use (although mother grundies would say the children have too many holidays). The school also reflects the old 1820 settler establishment. Moving along, you will pass the which is the oldest unaltered Anglican church in the country. This too is a national monument and is surrounded by a graveyard well worth a visit.

Continue on until Bird Street where you will turn left. On the right hand side is the old Rectory, now a beautifully restored private home. Continue and turn left again. You will now pass an old 1820 settler cottage also a private home and the the Wesleyan Church built in 1832. Another national monument with an interesting Graveyard. The two churches are still in use. After the Bathurst Arms, you will arrive again at the Historic Pig and Whistle Inn for a well earned refreshment.  Sauce

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