Grahamstown: Not Just For Students

(by Caitlin W)

Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape is rich in many things: culture, arts,  history and education. It plays host to the Science Festival each year, and is the home of one of the best Universities in the entire country.

It’s known for its ‘student’ vibe all year round, it’s eclectic atmosphere and it’s gorgeous surroundings. But it’s not just mean for the young. 

There are plenty of things to do in Grahamstown for potential homeowners or vacationers, who are interested in what this quaint yet busy town has to offer. Let’s find out more! 

While Grahamstown isn’t just for students, it’s always good to check out the potential for education – especially if you’re looking to settle down with your own little family. Here’s the great news: there are loads of options to choose from. The schools in the town are all of an extremely high quality as the education sector is of such importance in this area. 
Here are a few to consider: 

St. Andrew’s College
Graeme College
Kingswood College 
Victoria Girls’ High School
Diosecan School For Girls 

The Valley of Ancient Voices

Only twenty minutes from the town itself is a cultural experience you will never forget. Join a tour guide on a four hour walk through a winding valley, which tells the tales of the people who have passed through it. The ancients speak through the rock paintings and relics found within. They speak of the spirits of beasts and humans alike. They speak of the significance of nature and the history of the Valley itself. 

This is a truly culture experience which every South African should partake in at least once in their life. Your guide will take you through the 2km trail of the Valley, enlightening you with regards to the meaning of all that you behold. You can enjoy the wildlife and artistry, and then a picnic at the rock pool. 

The Cathedral Of St. Michael & St. George 
This cathedral dominates the town with its sheer majesty and the amount of history it has seen and contains. It was originally built in 1800 and officially opened in 1830. The spire was reconstructed in 1879. Interestingly, there are many plaques and tablets within the church which commemorate Grahamstown’s use as a frontier post. 

The 8 bells in the tower were originally cast in London in 1878 and the cathedral was the first on the entire African continent to house a full set of such a heavy variety. This cathedral is truly a monument to the history of this country, and contributes to the cultural aesthetic of the town. 

Yellow House

After soaking in all that culture and knowledge, it’s time to kick back and relax for a bit. You can do that on the sundeck or inside the building itself – which is actually the oldest in the whole of Grahamstown and used to be the prison. The Yellow House features local and international cocktails, and some yummy treats to titillate your taste buds. Try their wood fired Pizza, or their pastas, lasagne or sushi. 

Located in the centre of town, a little way away from the University itself, The Yellow House is the perfect place to drink the night away in style. 

Oldest Official Letterbox 

You’ll find this little piece of history on the corner at St. Andrew’s College, and guess what? You can still post letters with it. It makes the list of twenty oldest post-boxes in the world, dating back to 1857, and is definitely the oldest in South Africa. It’s a gorgeous pillar-box red and any letter you post from it gets a special frank. 

Yet another historical artefact to be explored in grand old Grahamstown! 

And there you have it: a town steeped in everything it should be. An adventure for young and old alike. Grahamstown: it’s not just for students! 

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