Things to do in Barrydale
In a world where complexity can be so alluring, I’m astonished by the elegance of Barrydale. Enclosed in a narrow valley at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, and along the iconic road Route 62, this was a town I had longed to visit for some time.
On a clear sky day, driving on long windy roads with patches of greenery and wineland landscapes along the N1, Route 60 and onto Route 62, we admired the country side view with great reverence that we couldn’t help but roll down our windows and let the wind sweep between our hair and on our faces. With a trip that lasted 2 hours and 50 minutes, you have no choice but to encapsulate the magnificent beauty I call home.
We made two pitstops along the way. One at Platform 62 for a bathroom break and two, at Marloth Nature Reserve which was just before our destination.
Barrydale is an uniquely small town situated on the border of the Overberg and the Klein Karoo. The citizens of this charming village broadly smiled as we stepped out and started taking images of their town and one can clearly see why Barrydale is a tourist hot spot – surrounded by historic orchards and vineyards, sheep and dairy farms.
According to history journals, in the 1800s, a farmer by the name of Adolph van Coller decided to reside in this small village. He then granted half his land for the establishment of a village and the building of a church, which was completed in 1877. This little village began growing and was named in honour of the Barry family (who owned several trading stores throughout Swellendam). Thus, a church and a crossroad were responsible for the birth of Barrydale.
What to do
With a population of 4100 residents and where the slow life ambles along in low gear, there is plenty to do in Barrydale. Unfortunately, we were pressed for time so we couldn’t visit each and every restaurant or shop but we did manage to do a few stops during our time there.
Diesel & Creme
Since it opened it’s doors in 2013, this legendary vintage Diner & Motel (The Karoo Moon Motel) known as Diesel & Crème has become popular for its milkshakes which makes the trip here so worth it. Not only are their milkshakes out of this world so are their hamburgers, staff and quirky décor; ensuring for a memorable experience. This venue is child-friendly, bicycle-friendly and motorbike-friendly. Because of their popularity, it’s best to make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
When I saw the sign, my attention was immediately drawn to the brightly coloured yellow building known as Bee Things. This shop sells everything from 100% pure South African honey with different natural flavours to adorable bee like accessories, crockery, and even health care products. Let’s not forget the bee that gave Courtney quite a fright that he eventually just walked out.
The Country Pumpkin
The Country Pumpkin is a restaurant that is hard to miss with it’s vibrant orange exterior and a huge pumpkin in the front. They don’t only serve breakfast and various lunch dishes, Country Pumpkin also has a farm stall that supplies a wide selection of organic, caffeine free teas, dried fruits and a great selection of Aloe Ferox products. Besides the restaurant, they also have a B&B located just behind the restaurant which is extremely affordable for anyone wanting to stay overnight.
Karoo Art Hotel
We did not stay at this hotel because we made our bookings up in Swellendam but the Karoo Art Hotel is a little country hotel that displays Art in a big yet quirky way. Each room in the hotel is individually decorated with pretty art decor that make ones stay all the more fun. Karoo Art Hotel isn’t only famous for it’s accommodation but has a fantastic wine list and amazing live music events that showcases local talents as well as popular musicians.
Hardy’s Memories of Africa
Hardy’s Memories of Africa is an arts and crafts shop that sells items from of most African countries, as well as nguni and game skins which you can see are displayed outside of the shop. The shop features room after room filled with African arts, crafts, and curios. You’ll find gifts and memorabilia originating from all sub-Saharan countries that will definitely make you poorer.
Cocos Ice Cream
If walking the streets of Barrydale made you sweat a bit, grab some ice cream at Cocos for some gourmet gelatos with that real creamy Italian sweetness. You will not regret making a turn where they have such a great selection of yummy flavours.
Ronnies Sex Shop
I was particularly excited to visit Ronnies Sex Shop and no, it’s not what you think it is. About a 20 minute drive outside of Barrydale lies this shop filled with astonishing amount of business cards, writings on the walls from people around the world and, a few clothing items hanging from the ceiling.
It’s essentially a pub where bikers and holiday goers who drive past can sit and relax. There’s a cafe where you can order lunch so Courtney and I spent our afternoon chowing our way through burgers and fries while sipping on a ice cold refresher.
Here’s a list of other things to do while in Barrydale:
- Visit Barrydale Hand Weavers where they uniquely weaver rang pure cotton products in vibrant colours.
- Quad Bike through Route 62, overlooking the Karoo landscape where you can pick your own peaches.
- Explore Magpie Art Collective Gallery featuring creative up-cycled, re-cycled and re-purposed art creations.
- Have cake and tea at The Blue Cow Coffee Shop.
Until the next adventure.