A Magical Town called McGregor
A town where time stands still? Where roads lead to nowhere and surrounded by friendly people? Then you can’t blame us for jumping at the chance to discover the magical town called McGregor.
Feeling abundantly proud to live in a country that has little gems scattered all over the place; the closer we got our destination, the more I got thrilled to discover this small town while the hot, sticky air circulated the car as the sun of the day drew a close.
McGregor is a two and a half drive from Cape Town; 20 minutes from Robertson. Not situated on the main road, the turnoff is far away; driving past many vineyards and open land. It’s an indescribable feeling when you enter the town. Quite hard to write about without using the generalized descriptive words.
The sign greeted us while scones of children driving up and down the streets on their bikes. We stopped alongside the dirt road, orientating ourselves with the environment, stretched our legs and listened to sounds of nature; making sure to take an image of the town name.
Tiny in size, don’t underestimate this small village because there’s so much to do and see.
Established in 1862, most of the houses are built in a Victorian style; adding to the unique characteristics of Mcgregor. White-washed cottages, a few restaurants, two petrol pumps, an NG Church and a few people catching the afternoon sun, you caught by surprise just how much the town can offer you.
With some tarred roads and a few dusty ones in between it really tells you-you’re in a village.
Things to Do and See in 24 Hours
Go back in history at Heritage Society Museum
Situated in the main road inside the Tourism Bureau, the heritage museum is small but filled with stories and pictures on the establishment of this 150-year-old town. It’s got an interesting origin tale that will make you fall more in love with the village.
Opening times: Monday-Friday: 9:00am-13:00pm and 14:00pm-16:30pm, Saturdays: 9:00am-13:00pm and 14:00pm-16:00pm and Sundays: 9:00am-13:00pm | Contact: 023 6251954
Have lunch at How Bazaar
How Bazaar is a quaint gift shop but has a little coffee shop in their courtyard where they serve delicious bakery treats and a wholesome chicken and mayo sandwich. Spend an hour or two in the peaceful space before browsing through the luxurious memorabilia; mostly locally made.
Opening times: Mon – Sat 9:00am-16:30pm and Sunday 9:00am-13:00pm | Contact: 023 6251143
Admired the NG Kerk
This historical church serves the village and the surrounding farming community and, an architect spoil to travelers like myself; just standing in the road, admiring the building.
Spend some time at Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary
Situated 5km outside of McGregor, the Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary is an animal welfare facility that takes care of abused, neglected and retired donkeys and a learning center for those who would like to be educated more about these animals.
With no entry fee, you can spend some time giving these donkeys a bit of love with touching or even just giving them a hug. Support them by purchasing some of their products, adopting a donkey or just dining there for a while.
Opening times: Thursdays to Sundays from 11:00am-14:00pm | Contact: 023 625 1593 | Website: www.donkeysanctuary.co.za
Explore the streets
Stroll the town on foot and discover the details of what makes this town so special.
There’s so much more to see and do that’s worth discovering:
- So many wine farms to visit: If you’re a wine lover, then exploring Bemind Cellar, McGregor Winery, Tanagra winery, and Lord’s wine is a must.
- Venture to Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve: Known for various hiking trails, spotting birdlife and a great cycling trail for adventurers.
- Take a pottery class at Millstone: Get crafty with taking a workshop for potters, beginners, wood-firing enthusiasts and romantics alike that offers the opportunity to work with the wood-fired kiln.
- Enjoy music at Wahnfried: A home where film, live and recorded music are presented in comfortable and elegant surroundings.
Getting there: It’s a two and a half drive along the N1 towards Robertson and a turnoff towards McGregor.
What to expect: There are so many wineries to discover in and around McGregor. The weather is scorching; similar temperatures of the Karoo so it can get extremely hot in the town. They also have a Saturday Market not to be missed.
Until the next adventure.