Quaint and quirky; The Bathurst Country Affair
Follow in the footsteps of the 1820 settlers and spend a weekend amongst the pineapples and alpacas, checking out the curious countryside festivities in the quirky, picturesque, Eastern Cape village of Bathurst.
Bathurst Country Affair 2015: 8th - 9th August
There's a cute little village in the Eastern Cape, between Grahamstown and Port Alfred, called Bathurst. Blink and you'll miss it but it would be such a pity because, for such a small place, it has stacks of character and a great atmosphere.
Founded in 1820 by the British, it was the scene of serious conflict between the early settlers and the pastoralist farmers and was the original military hub for the Brits before they moved to Grahamstown for a better vantage point. The whole area around Grahamstown is known as 'frontier country' and there are still many historical reminders of the area's turbulent past.
The architecture in Bathurst is therefore typically old and quaint. One of the coolest (and most fun) weddings I've been to took place in the tiny Methodist chapel with the reception just a hop, skip and jump around the corner at the oldest licensed pub in South Africa, The Pig and Whistle.
The village is home to an arty, academic bunch, with galleries, antiques, crafts, book shops, a yoga studio, vintage clothes and a farmer's deli. Plus, local attractions such as the Fish River, many spectacular game reserves and, need I say more, The Big Pineapple itself.
If any of that has wet your whistle, this weekend there is the added bonus of The Bathurst Country Affair, featuring wine tastings, town criers, live music and entertainments, a pet show, craft beers, exhibitions, historical tours, a buskers stage and various other intriguing/questionable attractions described as 'Hooves and Wheels parade, Mampoer (no clue) Alpacas (as it sounds?) The Village Idiots (see also, Alpacas) and, of course, a pineapple throwing contest.'.
P.S. I feel I should point out at this juncture that the Greenwood Guide did not specifically advise anyone to actually visit the Big Pineapple, unless you have a keen interest in the pineapple industry, in which case, go for it. The only memorable thing that happened to me there was that I drove over my boyfriend's camera.
For more information, go to www.bathurstcountryaffair.co.za. Programmes and maps are available from the Info and Booking Office.
To view our handpicked selection of accommodation in the Eastern Cape, click here.
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