Walking Tour 12:

Simon’s Town Tour


Tour Length: 3 hours

Tour Themes: XXXXXXX

Meeting Point: Admiralty House

End Point: XXXXXXX

Fitness Level: Medium

Language: English

Price: R150

Starting Point

End Point

A Bit of Background

Simon’s Town – More Than Just Nuisance

Is Simon’s Town in Cape Town?

Though that may still be a controversial topic to tackle, it can’t be doubted that the old dorps have always been complementary, even co-dependent, and for at least their first three-hundred years they grew in tandem both in stature and in intrigue.

Today of course it’s a lovely faux-Torquay run by penguins and surplus dealers, but – as I never tire of repeating on other stops – the little dreadnought marina used to be the ornate skeleton-key to the entire Southern hemisphere. No single bay in the world perhaps harboured so many of the horrors and glories of high British Colonialism or had so much imperial revenue thrown at it through covert wars just to protect its sanctuary status. It’s easy for us today to see the Navy and the fripperies of St George’s Street as just the living reserves of mindless Victorian kitsch, but history doesn’t start as tragedy and end as farce: they’re always simultaneous.

Let me confess that I do adore Simon’s Town, and I’m looping my Winter Circuit of 12 peninsula tours here not just because it’s the logical end-point of the old Main Road, but because I desperately need a regular excuse to visit. So hopefully this can be yours too!

Every tourist guide and local history will tell you that our city sits on both the ‘Cape of Storms’ and ‘the Fairest Cape in all the Circumference of the Earth’, but a dozen generations of merchant sailors, navy men of all stripes and ages, freed slaves, marooned Kroomen, decorated pooches, Tommy emigres, VOC die-hards and forcibly-removed families will attest that Simon’s Bay straddles those extremes perhaps more than any other borough on the Point.

So join me in front of Admiralty House for a long, loping wandel through the human, animal, maritime, historical, architectural, ethnographical and psychogeographic litanies of the truest part of False Baai.

We’ll stop at the top of the Tredree Steps after two hours and change having covered absolutely everything in-between so you’ll have no rational need to ever return or learn any more about the barnacled ships or the outcast Deep Southerners…

Thus, bring your memories, your questions, your curiosities, your own factoids, your anecdotes, your snacks, your walking shoes, your donations, your appetite for hake and your joy at getting to live so close to one of the last great havens of the seas.

RSVP for places, tell your friends, make this an event, and start getting excited just as you finish reading this.

Archive Gallery

All photos, unless otherwise stated, are from the collections of Michael Fortune, Etienne du Plessis and the Cape of Diab group.

Our friends in Hout Bay

Reference Books for this Tour


  • Book 1
  • Book 2
  • Book 3
  • Book 4

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