There’s a haunting presence in Montagu, where when walking down Bath Street from Mitchell’s Pub, the bells begin to toll at the Moederkerk and an owl perches on the lampost in front of you. Just as the street lights begin the flicker, you think you see a ghostly ginger cat playing rolling in the street and you start to question whether or not you drank too much muscadel.
Heather, of course, was the name of a beloved cat that lived in a house diagonally across from the church. You’ll know that you are in the area where Heather used to roam based on the warning signs on at-warning signs on the side of the road reminding drivers to slow down.
We learnt about Heather and her ghost that still roams through Marchelle and her Flying Feet Montagu Ghost and Historic Bike Tour. Cruising around town on old Dutch bicycles – each one uniquely decorated by a local artist – in search of any wandering spirits we could find.
We won’t give too much away on the lurking ghosts of Montagu (but we were told that there’s a part two if you return), you’ll have to come find out for yourselves.
Beyond the lurking spirits, you’ll also delve into the history of the town and the people that walked its streets long before you. But the town isn’t just ghosts and history, it remains just as relevant as when its lingering ancestors roamed the streets. There are plenty of things to do, like hanging from a cliff to taking trips on the back of a tractor.
Other things to do in town
Montagu is one of the top climbing destinations around the globe with over 650 routes which cater to climbers of all levels. Climbing in Montagu is so good, that even world-renowned rock climber, Tony Lourens, moved there and published a book on rock climbing in Montagu.
From one-pitch to multi-pitch routes on rocks that are most ideal for hard sandstone, you can even arrange an organised tour to head out to the mountains.
Wining and dining
Although a bit too much muscadel can have you seeing some apparitions, be sure to pair it with some food thanks to the wide range of restaurants in town. Fancy Italian? Then head to Piccolo Tesoro. Feel like a perfectly grilled steak? You can’t go wrong at the Grill Room. Be sure to also explore nearby wineries surrounding Ashton and the local Montagu Co-operative Wine cellar.
Explore the range of restaurants here.
The red sandstone cliffs around the Montagu are otherworldly, where the Bloupunt trail can take you to a series of small waterfalls, or take an easy stroll through the kloof on the Badskloof trail. Be sure to pop into the Tourism Bureau office for a hiking map and some tips.
Tractor trip & Potjiekos lunch
Starting on the Protea Farm – just 29km from town – the Montagu Tractor Trio takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, meandering the jeep track to the summit of Arangieskop above 1 500 m altitude.
From there, you’ll have a bird’s eye view over the Koo and Robertson valleys while enjoying a delicious potjie.
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