Smithfield - Your Great Escape

Smithfield may not be the centre of the universe as some of its people would have you believe but it certainly does have a claim to being one of the most attractive and accessible small towns pretty well in the centre of South Africa – and an ideal weekend escape for the people of Bloemfontein.

Halfway between Gauteng and the Sunshine Coast of the Eastern Cape and the Wild Coast, it is also on the shortest non-Transkei route between Cape Town and Durban.

Vintage town with modern hospitality

The third oldest town in the Free State has packed a lot of history into its 158 years. More recently it has also developed into an example of the best in modern hospitality, without losing its historical charm. International tourists mix with weekenders from closer to home, all attracted by the exceptionally comfortable guesthouses and restaurants serving excellent food. Smithfield has set new standards in caring for the needs of discerning visitors.

Our attractive little town, set among picturesque hills overlooking the beautiful undulating plains of the Transgariep, is an easy drive from the City of Roses and the ideal spot for a relaxing weekend. Within little more than an hour you are enveloped by tranquillity. The peace and quiet of our unspoilt country life, the champagne-clear air that really is worth breathing (and which transforms the night skies into pure drama); these are some of what makes our so town special.

Great weekend escape

You’ll have the opportunity to stroll in the tree-lined surroundings, or hike in the well-wooded hills which stand guard over the town. You’ll find the golf course is a nine-hole gem, while the tennis and bowls clubs are delighted to welcome visitors. Surrounding countryside roads and tracks are quiet enough for hours of fun cycling. And if the spirit moves you, make use of the quiet surroundings to simply chill out with a good book.

Art and festivals

Art has become an important part of life here and a number of resident artists regularly display their work publicly in the local art and craft galleries. From time to time artists from elsewhere in the country are also invited to exhibit. The Red Barn is the venue for the monthly workshop of the highly active quilting club, displaying the beautiful work produced by members. And the Red Barn also hosts performances of the Platteland Preview festival, showcasing some of the best on offer from the famed National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.

We like to believe it was Smithfield that gave the description “Friendly” to the N6 holiday route – but judge for yourself. Simply head south on the Friendly N6 - into the Really Friendly Country.

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