Somerset West Accommodation: Nearby towns with accommodation:
Strand Accommodation | Stellenbosch Accommodation | Gordon's Bay Accommodation
Grabouw Accommodation | Rooiels Accommodation | Houw Hoek Accommodation
Somerset West (Afrikaans Somerset-Wes) is a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is situated in the Helderberg area (formerly called Hottentots Holland), about 50 km (30 miles) east of Cape Town and 10 km from Strand.
The town is overlooked by the imposing Helderberg (meaning "clear mountain"), a part of the Hottentots-Holland range of mountains.
The town was named Somerset after an English governor of the Cape Colony during the 1800s, Lord Charles
Henry Somerset, with the suffix 'West' being added after 1825 to differentiate it from Somerset East, another South African town in the Eastern Cape. In the 1830s, Sir Lowry's Pass, named after later governor Sir Lowry Cole, was constructed to link the town with outposts further east over the Hottentots-Holland mountains.
The Helderberg Nature Reserve, a 363 hectare natural wildlife preserve opened in 1964, contains a wide variety of smaller fauna (buck, tortoises and other reptiles) and outstanding specimens of indigenous flora such as protea and fynbos.
Somerset West contains a number of sporting facilities including several world class golf courses.
The historic town of Stellenbosch is reachable via the R44 highway (approx 18 km/11 mi away). The area between Somerset West and Stellenbosch also encompasses many vineyards and wineries (e.g. Rust-en-Vrede, Alto, J.P. Bredell) where visitors can sample and purchase wine.