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Posted on: Friday, 3 February 2012

I Love Britannia Bay Because …

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I ♥ Britannia Bay

I ♥ Britannia Bay

Hi, I’m Lucille Byrnes from Britannia Bay, a suburb of the town St Helena Bay up South Africa’s Cape West Coast.

BRITANNIA BAY IS BEST KNOWN FOR long stretches of pristine beaches, “heaven” and “hell” surfer’s corners and the wreck after which the bay is named.

GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT the deck of my house (where do you get sea and surf in the foreground and backdrop of the Winterberge in one photograph?). From Britannica Heights one can see north to Baboon Point at Elandsbaai, a natural heritage site, and south to the first working lighthouse after you cross the equator at Cape Columbine near Paternoster.

THE BEST wedding PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN AT Sea Trader, the ideal spot to get married on the rocks.

I ♥ Britannia Bay

I ♥ Britannia Bay

OTHER HAPPY SNAPS AT the beautiful grounds of Shelley Point Hotel Spa & Country Club or on horseback riding the shoreline.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO watch dolphins and seasonal whales in the bay and birds foraging in the rock pools.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO knuckle down and read up about our wonderful marine life in Dr Peter Best’s book, Whales & Dolphins of the Southern African Subregion.

I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS winter months; we call this our “secret season”, BECAUSE the wind has abated and the bay is like a mirror. The nights can be chilly but the days are crystal-clear. And of course after good winter rains there’s the spectacle of seeing many hundreds of species of indigenous veld flowers that abound here in springtime.

I ♥ Britannia Bay

I ♥ Britannia Bay

MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS right here at Dolphin B&B+S/C of course!

FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST Groenveld, a restored fishing vessel in Sandy Point Harbour.

MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS the Swiss Deli & Bistro, TRY THE Daniel’s Greek salad and those yummy mussel crepes, otherwise Connie at Beira Mar makes a great espatado.

BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM Gull & Bell Pub & Grill it is also a great place TO MEET LOCALS.

MY FAVOURITE special dinner SPOT IS a table for two at Cattle Baron.

Britannia Bay’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS the long stretch of pristine coastline that attracts dozens of African Black Oystercatchers, one of the many species of migratory Palaerctic seabirds that breed here.

I ♥ Britannia Bay

I ♥ Britannia Bay

MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS go bird watching and tick up the myriad species that can be identified in the many nature reserves the West Coast has to offer.

FOR SOME CULTURE, I LIKE TO GO TO visit the West Coast Fossil Park and gaze through the window of antiquity at the remains of sabre-toothed tigers and the first bear found south of sub-Sahara.

TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO focus my telescope skywards and count the stars (and my luck!)..

IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY diving for kreef (crayfish), walk the coastline through the Groot Paternoster Private Nature Reserve to Paternoster, or try and beat that little white ball (and your partner!) at a round of golf on the nearby 9-hole links.

I ♥ Britannia Bay

I ♥ Britannia Bay

MY FAVOURITE DRIVE IS through West Coast National Park or to Tietiesbaai in Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.

MY FAVOURITE gift SHOP IS Lazy Catz Décor, run by Judy, where I might find a special piece of silver made by Karin of i-Treasure or one of Maggie’s handcrafted pottery bowls.

MY FAVOURITE whale and dolphin WATCHING SPOT IS Sandy Point Harbour.

IF YOU’RE HERE AT Easter or at the end of August, JOIN IN THE FUN AT the St Helena Bay Arts & Crafts & Food Markets. Winter visitors can marvel at the dexterity of the local fisherwomen vlekking seasonal snoek. Their cultural heritage is unique and the quaint tongue of the locals will bring a smile to the face of those who stop to savour their vernacular.

MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS beacon perched on a rocky outcrop at Shelly Point.

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS paint-balling at the Weskus Mall.

I ♥ Britannia Bay

I ♥ Britannia Bay

BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS looking for shells on the 7 km stretch of beach at Britannia Bay…

WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I LIKE TO be pampered at the wellness centre at the Shelley Point Hotel.

THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE are the granite rocks that enfold the town and are dotted in the calm waters of the bay.

MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS escaping to the stark and beautiful Cederberg Mountains, only a couple of hours’ drive away or Bird Island in Lambert’s Bay.

WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, I work in a local soup kitchen. Last December the children put on the most wonderful carol-signing concert at Shelley Point Hotel which was their way of saying thanks to the community for its annual contributions.

I Love Britannia Bay BECAUSE whether it is to wonder at the splash of spring flowers and whales mid-year, or to amble along pristine beaches in summer, the holidaymaker can be assured of a ‘Weskus’ welcome … and you’re sure to have a whale of a time!

Desirable Digits

Cape Columbine Lighthouse: +27 (0)21 449-2400
Sea Trader: +27 (0)83 744-1133
Shelley Point Hotel: +27 (0)22 742-1508
Swiss Deli and Bistro: +27 (0)76 798-5182
Cattle Baron: +27 (0)22 742-1394
Gull & Bell Pub & Grill: +27 (0)22 736-1917
West Coast Fossil Park: +27 (0)22 766-1606
West Coast National Park: +27 (0)22 772-2144 / 5
Lazy Catz Décor: +27 (0)76 886-4440

Have you vis­ited Britannia Bay? Why not tell us what you thought by sub­mit­ting a review. See: Britannia Bay Reviews

Britannia Bay Links:
Britannia Bay Attractions
Britannia Bay Self Catering
Western Cape Accommodation
Hotels in the Western Cape

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