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Your guide to Nottingham Road
All About Nottingham Road
Surrounded by rolling hills and golden plains, the town of Nottingham Road is 45 minutes northwest of Pietermaritzburg — the capital of KwaZulu-Natal province — and 90 minutes west of Durban. By name and by nature, Nottingham Road recalls old-world England, but its cultural heritage is rich and diverse. The scenic South African agricultural town nestles in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountain range, which climb nearly 3,500 meters and are a popular abseiling location. At Nottingham Road’s cafes, you can taste the local bounty, from artisan cheese to freshly caught trout, and sample refreshing beers at the brewery a few minutes south of town.
Nottingham Road lies in one of South Africa’s premier fly-fishing destinations, and many of the anglers are after rainbow and brown trout. Golfers also flock here to play on the five courses in the area. About 30 minutes away in Howick, the Nelson Mandela Capture Site and on-site museum documents the life of the transformative South African leader.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Nottingham Road?
Nottingham Road enjoys a moderate climate year-round. The winter months — June through August — are the coolest and driest, though the temperatures rarely drop below freezing. The rest of the year is pleasant, with the highest rainfall accompanying the heat in the summer months of December through February, and spring bringing a burst of bright color to the hills.
What are the top things to do in Nottingham Road?
Just a nine-minute drive from town is one of South Africa’s first official conservation areas. Stop at the log-cabin information center on your way in to learn about the area’s biodiversity before you step onto the hiking trails, which wind through mistbelt grasslands and native forests. Hundreds of bird species make their home here, including African fish eagles and colorful Cape parrots, and duiker and antelope are just some of the animals you may observe in the distance.
The Natal Midlands are renowned for their prime fly-fishing destinations, and Nottingham Road offers various options to learn from expert locals and try your hand at snagging a trout or two year-round. The winding Bloukrans River draws anglers from far and wide, Penwarn is home to seven bass and trout dams, and Upper Dargle is a celebrated higher-altitude spot for catching rainbow and brown trout.
The Midlands Meander
Nottingham Road is just one stop on the arts-and-crafts route known as the Midlands Meander. At the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal region, the Meander is a route between Pietermaritzburg to the east and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg park and mountain range to the west. The trail puts the spotlight on top-quality crafts and fine arts, including hand-dipped candles, handwoven fabric, and pottery, many of which can be found at artisan studios in Nottingham Road. But it’s also a great jumping-off point to explore all the area has to offer.