Walmer Estate and Woodstock are changing. Christine Hogg – a curious local – set out to discover more about the area's hybrid architecture, colonial history and recent transformation.
She found residents, business owners and NGO workers who are all aware that a shift is happening, but have different stories to tell about it. Moosa Sydow reminisces about a community-focused Walmer Estate, Josephine Vollenhoven remembers when the highway was still a playground and Helen MacGregor of the Development Action Group explains what needs to be done about gentrification. En route, you’ll also find out about urban greening, historic farms, and the first telephone line in South Africa.
The Peace Garden
Corner Melbourne and Coronation Roads, Walmer Estate, Cape Town, 8001.
If you're coming from town, get onto Nelson Mandela Boulevard, and take the Melbourne Road turn off. Veer left to go up Mountain Road, take the first right into Chester Road, and then turn right again into Melbourne Road. You'll see the entrance to the Nelson Mandela Boulevard Garden Court on your right. Enter the parking lot and start the route in front of the hotel entrance.
If you're coming from the other direction, also take the Melbourne Road exit, but then take the first left into the parking lot of the Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard.
Places to stop along the way:
Jamaica Me Crazy, Pesce Azzurro, Dress Me Up, Chandani, Steamcraft Restaurant & Bar, The Woodstock Lounge, The Field Office, The Woodstock Peace Garden, Greenpop Tree Nursery
Best time of day:
I don't recommend doing this route at night. Daylight enhances the breathtaking views and prevents suspicious characters from targeting your belongings.
Consider the opening times of the Woodstock Peace Garden: from 7.30am to 8pm weekdays, and 9am to 11am on Saturdays and Sundays. Barney Barnard and his dog live on the premises -- they like visitors, just be considerate. Also, make sure you close all gates you open in the Peace Garden.
Be careful when you cross roads close to the highway and be respectful in residential areas.
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