Mildly Meandering through the Midlands

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Mildly Meandering through the Midlands

It’s high time that you allow yourself the privilege of taking a trip through the Natal Midlands. Indulge yourself and share in the natural beauty of the gentle, undulating green hills and the warm-hearted, friendly people who call this wonderful place their home.

Here life is lived at a gentle pace and you are encouraged to stop and smell the roses as you meander through the winding, country roads. Covering a distance of around 80 kilometers between Pietermaritzburg and Mooiriver, the Midlands Meander opens up a world of creativity and diversity to those who take the time to explore it.

The Midlands Meander was created in 1983 as a means of introducing the public to this beautiful part of the world, while at the same time marketing local arts and crafts. Many of these highly skilled crafters and artists left the city to fulfill their dream of enjoying a simpler uncomplicated lifestyle.

The Meander route provides a delightful stopping, shopping and browsing trip, past numerous antique shops, art galleries and crafts studios, cheese makers, beer brewers, tea gardens, cozy pubs and country hideaways. Pop in, meet these talented and interesting people, and observe the expertise that goes into the creation of their product.

A trip to this part of the world is called ‘downtime’. Here you idle away the hours, browsing and indulging your senses or simply relaxing at a country hotel, while the world continues by.

The landscape is dominated by green pastures and pine forests with numerous rivers and streams of crystal-clear water flowing down from the Drakensberg highlands. The area has a wonderful mild climate, and is a summer rainfall area, with dry winters.

So, whatever your interest, be it fast or slow, artistic or gastronomic, be it a day trip or a week long holiday, head on out to the Midlands Meander and experience the country at its best.

The Midlands offer excellent hotels, guesthouses, country lodges, bed and breakfast places varied enough to suit all tastes and budgets so whichever you choose, it promises to be a memorable stay. The many restaurants and country kitchens serve up a feast of healthy, organic food and other homemade refreshments.

Virtually all the hotels and guesthouses offer lunches, dinners and teas, from splendid three course cuisine to ‘eat at the counter’ pub grub …… you simply have to try them!

Equestrian pursuits of a more genteel nature include polo and mock foxhunting, which are a great attraction. Trout fishing is another huge draw card enticing lovers of the ‘gentle art’ of fishing to the well-stocked waters.

Nestling in the shady grounds in the heart of the Midlands Meander, you’ll find a thriving independent brewery which forms part of the Beer or Brew Route.

This brewery has long been keeping the locals and visitors happy with their range of naturally brewed ales and lagers made with the purest spring water, finest quality hops and malt to create their outstanding range of beers. 

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The Beer or Brew Route on the Natal Midlands offers travellers the opportunity to explore the wonders of brewing beer and takes them to some of the most scenic spots in the beautiful Midlands area. There are certainly many reasons for exploring the Beer Route, apart from the most obvious one – anyone for a beer?

Interestingly, the word ‘meander’ means ‘to wander aimlessly’. So, take your time, relax and enjoy meandering along the winding country roads of the beautiful Midlands Meander as this, promises to be a truly unforgettable experience, and you may find yourself very reluctant to leave.

Be sure to take your wallet along with you, as it is virtually impossible to leave the Midlands Meander empty handed and besides you need to take home at least one souvenir.

Denny McQueen

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