Things to Do in Stanford
The village of Stanford is presumably a nice and quiet village that provides tranquillity and relaxation, but it has a secret. Stanford and its famous river that flows through it is the secret to any nature and adventure loving soul out there. This town boasts with numerous indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family, local and visiting alike.
This artsy little town is bustling with activity that ranged from the entertaining to the adventurous to the inspiring. You will soon find why this hidden gem in the Overberg is fast becoming a most sought after escape to many. The local markets, fruitful wines, exploring hikes and walks and all manner of activity in town will keep you busy and entertained till the cows come home.
The famous weekly Saturday morning and monthly Friday night markets are known all over. The markets reveal all the local fresh produce and home-made goodies you can think of. Freshly baked goods and all sorts of arts and crafts can be found at these markets. Above all they are social gatherings for the town and its surrounding areas and gives everyone a good excuse to have fun and catch up on the latest gossip.
The numerous pubs and quaint eateries scattered about town will also not fail to delight. The friendly hosts are eager to help and food and desserts are freshly made and sometimes served under the starlit sky. Locally brewed beers and wines are served with every delicious meal, to give you a true taste of Stanford. The surrounding wine estate and brewery also allows for a charming day outing. All are welcome to join in a wine tasting afternoon followed by cheese platters or light lunch and a lazy sunset. The nearby estates also do water bottling and one even holds the town’s name.
The beautiful surrounding wine estates, nature reserves and farms also host numerous walking and hiking trails, which can be led by a tour guide or done alone. The meandering trails can also be cycled or done by quad bike and are all fairly easy to do. The trails lead you through endemic fynbos, along the shores of the river and even up mountains. They allow you to learn about all the birds, land-dwelling and floral species found here and about the river and lagoon wetlands. An all-encompassing adventure for young and old alike. Also not to be missed is the horse trails of the area. This adventure on horseback can take you into the valleys and up the mountains or lead you along the pristine beaches of Walker Bay. From July till December this is one of the best spots along the coast for land-based whale watching.
The walks are not restricted to nature though. The local artists and art enthusiasts have banded together to show you a little of the artistic side of Stanford. The walk takes you through the narrow streets of the hamlet and some even venture into the studios of some of the artists. The walk allows you to see the local artists’ works and working environments in its prime. They might even divulge a few secrets of their art.
For a more relaxed day, why not enjoy a family picnic on one of the surrounding farms. Spend a beautiful day discovering the natural plant life and breathe in that fresh countryside air while enjoying a light lunch. Admire the open landscapes and rolling hills of vineyards during your picnic meal. And afterwards enjoy the old thrill of riding on a tractor trailer through the vineyards and fields. Alternatively enjoy your picnic on the sandy shores of the Klein River with a large playground and various farm animals to keep the kids entertained.
More to the liking of the men, Stanford’s Klein River is a prime location for fishing, also fly fishing. The river is brimming with Steenbras, Kob, Springers and Elf among other species. One of the nearby farms hosts fly fishing where Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Mozambican Tilapia and Bass is up for grabs. The fly fishing is done in two dams that get their water from springs nearby and ensures a good sporting day. And while the men take care of the big fish, the kids can try their luck at catching Bluegill and Tilapia in the smaller dams.
And last but certainly not least is Stanford’s very popular boat trips. Following the Klein River the trips allow for socialising, bird watching and swimming. Some of the boats even have braai facilities on board to make for a proper get together. Cruising along the river you can admire the surrounding landscape and plant life while listening to the sounds of the nearly 200 different species of birds found in the area. The cruises can be a couple of hours or take the whole day, it’s up to you. There can also be decided whether you would like a day trip or a night trip to truly appreciate the twinkling night sky. On the smaller scale canoes or kayaks can also be hired to tackle the river by yourself or maybe just you and your partner, allowing you to get real close to nature’s beauty.
The perfect tranquil escape that holds a twist of adventure can be found in Stanford. The small welcoming town is bustling with activity and hospitality that will make you want to stay indefinitely. A truly diverse community with artsy, cultural and adventurous activities for all to enjoy. Stanford is the perfect countryside getaway that holds many a thrill and secret.