"All the nice girls love a sailor". So says the old song, and I’m sure it’s still true in Simon’s Town, especially when beautifully turned out naval officers march down the main street on parade, brass band playing. The maritime history of this sheltered anchorage is second to none in South Africa. For more than 350 years it’s been the headquarters of first the Dutch, then the British, and now the South African navy. The carefully restored and maintained buildings along historical St George’s Street exude the history and charm of this more than a village but perhaps still a little less than a town. I’m Maureen Miller – come with me on a stroll along the Historic Mile and I’ll tell you stories about navies past and present, Admiralty House, cannons, Jubilee Square, and a dog who was buried with full military honours and whose bronze image is the only statue in Simon’s Town.
Admiralty House, St Francis Church, Simon's Town Museum, The British Hotel, Jubilee Square, Statue of Just Nuisance
The walk starts at the Simon's Town train station, which is the last stop on the southern line from Cape Town. If you're driving, you can park in the Long Beach parking lot just behind the station.
Places to stop along the way:
Simon's Town Museum, the wharf, Jubilee Square, the Toy Museum.
Best time of day:
Mornings are always best for walking on this side of the peninsula. Sunrises over False Bay are often spectacular, and the wind can get up and blow strongly later in the day making walking difficult.
Always be aware that sun and wind burn, especially in summer, so wear a hat and sunblock, and drink plenty of water. As far as possible, try to ensure that valuables are not obvious, and that you keep an eye on them.
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