Free State / Free State Visitorials / Visitorials: We Love South Africa

I Love Clarens because …

Updated Friday, 16 April 2021

Hi, I’m Gavin Northcote from Clarens in the Eastern Free State.

CLARENS IS BEST KNOWN FOR great scenery, the outdoors, restaurants and galleries.

GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN by a friend in front of NG Church in the main street. It is the most beautiful old sandstone building in Clarens.


THE BEST SCENIC PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN AT the Golden Gate just 15 minutes outside Clarens.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO hike on the many footpaths, and play tennis.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO visit the many art galleries and coffee shops.

I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS April and May, because of the beautiful autumn colours in the tree around Clarens.

September and October are also special months, when the new green leaves of spring are starting to emerge, and all the fruit tree blossoms are in full bloom …


MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS 278 on Main. Sue has created a wonderful eatery which serves hearty meals. The Steak and Guinness Pie is a must.

FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST Valley Cats. Jeanette van der Merwe’s special touch can be seen in all she serves from the cakes with coffee, right through to the carefully created panini’s and chicken pie.

MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS Valley Cats, try the Biltong Salad.

BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM The Highlander Adventurer and Pub.


MY FAVOURITE PICNIC SPOT IS at Golden Gate National Park.

FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN TRY Clementine’s Restaurant – a cut above the rest and a real treat if you can afford it. Sometimes they have live entertainment.


CLAREN’S BEST KEPT SECRET IS The Blanket Shop, just up the hill towards Bethlehem. Mrs Demezza will be glad to welcome you in. (The Blanket Shop is famous for its traditional Basotho blankets – and has supplied blankets to the Basotho people for over fifty years.


A great deal of African tradition can be experienced at this quaint shop, which is still designed as the original ‘trading store’ where all sorts of odds and ends can be found).

MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS to go for a pizza at The Highlander. Their food is always of a high standard, whether it be steak, fish or vegetarian pizza.

TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO walk around the town during the week.


MY FAVOURITE WALK / HIKE IS Mallen Walk. This starts near the tennis courts and winds its way, contouring the west mountain slope around Clarens.


MY FAVOURITE SHOP IS The Secret Garden. The owner, Val, has got a wonderful variety of small and useful gifts for the whole family.

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS Lion Rock, just 40 kms from Clarens outside Bethlehem.

Lions from all over the world have been brought to this sanctuary to live out their lives in peace and protection. Game drives can be taken to view not only the lions but also other species of cats and antelope.

BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS is visiting Cascades waterfall in the Northern Drakensberg.


IF MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I’D LIKE TO go hot air ballooning!

MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS Hlalanathi Berg Resort, Set in the Northern Drakensberg with pristine views of the Amphitheatre and Tugela River.

WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, I spend time in our local township Kgubetswana, caring for HIV/AIDS sufferers.

I Love Clarens because of the wonderful people and we’re surrounded by mountains.

Love Clarens

Useful Clarens Links:

Desirable Digits

278 On Main + 27 (0)82 556-5208
Valley Cats +27 (0)83 507-0195
Clementine’s Restaurant +27 (0)58 256-1616
The Highlander Adventurer and Pub +27 (0)58 256-1912
The Post House +27 (0)58 256-1534
The Blanket Shop +27 (0)58 256-1313
Lions Rock +27 (0)58 304-1691