If you are visiting Nieu Bethesda and the Owl House, enrich your experience with a stay at Murrayfield Guest House, owned by the author of...
If you are visiting Nieu Bethesda and the Owl House, enrich your experience with a stay at Murrayfield Guest House, owned by the author of the 'The Owl House', Anne Graaff. Murrayfield Guest House is a characterful and gracious village home built in the 1850s, set in a country garden with barn, dam and orchard.
A stunning example of a Victorian farmhouse, Murrayfield features a lovely front veranda ideal for sunsets and stargazing, high ceilings with fans for the heat of summer, a fireplace for cosy winter evenings, an old fashioned full-length bath for a good soak after a country walk, a large veranda overlooking the garden, and of course a large brick barbecue.
Murrayfield is artistically and entertainingly furnished with a mixture of old and new, and is equipped with heaters, electric blankets, bed linen, towels, and tea and coffee. There are three units available that can be rented separately or together.
Nieu Bethesda is a pretty and authentic Karoo village situated in a beautiful valley in the Eastern Cape, about an hour's drive from the town of Graaff-Reinett. It was founded in the mid-nineteenth century and the village has many wonderful country homes which exemplify the Victorian architecture of this period.
The village provides a wonderful venue for a Karoo holiday, offering good walks, a great variety of bird life for the birdwatching enthusiast, an artistic and relaxed atmosphere for those who want to unwind and enjoy the creativity and tranquility of the place, and lots of choice from where to eat and what to do.
The village is of course famous for being the home of outsider artist Helen Martins who created the Owl House, and a visit to the Owl House is almost obligatory for visitors to Nieu Bethesda. The Owl House inspired the well-known writer, Athol Fugard to write the play 'The Road to Mecca'. Nieu Bethesda also has a fascinating fossil museum, and the valley is rich in pre-mammalian fossils, older than the dinosaurs. In addition, there is the opportunity to visit a nearby farm and view San rock art, the fossil beds, wool shed, and Boer War engravings. Jacob's Donkey Cart Tours provides an excursion around the village with an entertaining commentary, and a visit to Sneeuberg Trading to meet the local brewer and cheese maker and sample his excellent produce is another treat not to be missed.
Nearby Graaff-Reinet is a centre of Karoo culture and history featuring national monuments, and several significant museums and art galleries including the Pierneef Exhibition. Also nearby are the Valley of Desolation in the Camdeboo National Park and the scenic Mountain Zebra National Park which protects one of the world's rarest land mammals.