King's Lodge Hogsback

What to do in the area

Hogsback offers much for nature, art and craft lovers and those who like to get away to a place with a fascinating history and heritage spots.

Hiking Trails

The indigenous mountain forests above the Tyumie Valley are criss-crossed by well maintained, clearly marked paths to scenic spots and waterfalls, from easy strolls to adventurous day-long hikes. The trails to the Madonna and Child, Swallow Tail and Kettle Spout waterfalls have delighted walkers for generations – and justly so – and bird watchers will be pleased by sightings of the rare endangered Cape parrot. Sadly, there are only about 500 of these left in the wild. Hogsback also offers guided horse-riding tours if you want to rest weary feet.

Starways Pottery

Hogsback has attracted artists for many years and there are artists' studios, craft shops and tea gardens to explore, including the Starways Pottery studio of award-winning potter Anton van der Merwe, who has exhibited in the UK, Europe and in many collections in South Africa. If you're after a bit of quiet contemplation, you can visit the Labyrinth at The Edge, an eleven-circuit labyrinth similar in design to the one in Chartres Cathedral in France, and the Voice of the Earth Eco-shrine built by artist Diana Graham.

UFH Alice

For those interested in the unique history of the area, Alice is a mere 40km away, where the University of Fort Hare houses one of the world's largest collections of contemporary African art and the African National Congress' archive. There are three heritage routes in the area that will give you an insight into the 19th century Xhosa king, Sandile; the 19th century prophet and warrior, Makana; and the Wesleyan mission schools, Lovedale and Healdtown, that produced generations of African intellectuals and struggle leaders such as Nelson Mandela. Well worth a visit in Hogsback itself is one of the country's smallest churches, St Patrick's on the Hill, which was built in 1935. Although officially part of the Anglican Diocese of Grahamstown, today services are shared by Presbyterians, Methodists, the NG Kerk and Anglicans.

Christmas in July

Hogsback often gets snow in the winter by virtue of it being 1 200m above sea level, the Christmas in July festival is a perfect time to visit to try catch some snow action. The festival has grown through the years and boasts great music, arts and crafts, food, sporting activities and farming workshops plus the annual "switching on of the Christmas tree lights".

Arts

September hosts the annual Hogsback Arts Spring Festival. In addition to the arts, music and craft, the members of the Hogsback Garden Club open their gardens to the public at this time, when the azaleas and rhododendrons are on full display.

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