Welcome to Barrydale
Epitomizing small town quirkiness, the tiny village of Barrydale is situated right where the Overberg meets the Klein Karoo and forms part of the Cape’s famous Route 62. It has often been referred to as the gateway to the Klein Karoo, offering a hub of history, energy and lively characters.
Bordering between the two extremes of the lush, fertile Tradouw Valley and the stark, semi-arid Klein Karoo, Barrydale forms part of the Swelledam municipality. Even though Barrydale is considered to be a village rather than a town, visitors should not be fooled by its small size. Barrydale has an impressive list of unique offerings that has earned it a place on South Africa’s tourist map and won the hearts of locals and travellers alike.
The village has an abundance of wonderful eateries and unique places to stay that leave visitors spoiled for choice. Nature lovers will revel in the scenic backdrop of the Langeberg Mountains, while the hills and valleys become decorated with flowers during summer and spring. Waterfalls and rock pools are hidden within the landscape and there are many different trails you can take to find them.
Barrydale also boasts close association to Thomas Bain’s Tradouw Pass, which is such a masterpiece that both the Klein Karoo and the Overberg claim ownership of it. The village itself is surrounded by orchards, vineyards, sheep and dairy farms, but is most famous for producing award-winning wines and brandies. Much of the original buildings and farms are still present today and vistas over the town are reminiscent of a pastoral era.
Pieces of history lie everywhere, from the beautiful mix of Cape Dutch and Gregorian architecture to old stone and mud houses and the Van Coller cottage, built by some of the first residents of Barrydale with their family still living there today.
The community of Barrydale finds beauty and appreciation for the old, a kind of nostalgia for the handcrafted and tactile. From the telephone exchange that only went out of use as late as 1996, a thriving hand-weaving business, antique shops, a Bioscope Theater, a heirloom jewellery shop and a vintage-style American diner, the inhabitants of Barrydale have an affinity for preserving and celebrating the romantic charms of the past.
A diverse landscape underpinned by just a hint of eccentricity makes Barrydale a perfect escape from the demands of urban life. This small country village with a lot of sass deserves to be explored in its own right.