1 Eastern Cape
Set in the foothills and the clean air of the Winterberg mountains, Blanco Guest Farm is one of those wholesome family resorts that has been going for generations – one that seems to run on fun, nostalgia and children’s laughter. Twice a day, there are complimentary horse rides with steady, patient ponies that are happy to amble along with thrilled tots on board. A tractor-trailer ride putters along country lanes. Every afternoon, the dairy cow is milked, surrounded by an appreciative audience of youngsters. The working farm has comfortably appointed rondavels and Manor House suites in which to stay, and all meals are included with a separate kiddies dining area. There are also tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, a squash court, bowling greens, putt-putt, a swimming pool, and 4 x 4 trails and hiking paths through the adjoining game-rich veld. With so much on offer, Blanco is perfect for young families. Many of the parents you meet in the library, in the communal lounge, or on the stoep (typically knitting and chatting) came here as children themselves.
– Julienne du Toit 068 260 1268, blancoguestfarm.co.zawww.countrylife.co.za
Farhills Guest House
When we arrived at Farhills Guest House, a delicious lemon meringue pie, courtesy of the neighbouring Valley Bakery, was waiting for us on the huge dining room table. What a welcome. We were spending a long weekend here as a family to celebrate a birthday. The serviced main house sleeps ten and the cottage four, and the beautifully appointed interior is so spacious we didn’t trip over the kids. Set in an enormous English-style country garden with views of Cathkin Peak, the house has rolling lawns that invite outdoor games, and there is a picnic spot just 300 metres away along a river. Located in the Central Drakensberg, the area’s activities for families are endless, and we packed them into our few days. We hiked the trails up to Champagne Castle mountain range, which included, for the brave, swimming in the icy mountain pools. We also visited the Falcon Ridge Bird of Prey Centre to watch the action by the sky masters. One of the more hair-raising adventures was the Drakensberg Canopy Tour, zip-lining through forest. Those who wanted to play it safe knocked a few rounds on the nearby golf course.
– Liz McKenzie 036 468 1257, farhillsguesthouse.co.za
3 Eastern Cape
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