Escape to the Midlands

The Midlands MagazineSeptember 9, 2020
The Old Hotel

Looking for the perfect spot for a weekend away in the countryside? Try one of these amazing locations in our beautiful Midlands!


The Old Hotel

The Old Hotel was once the trading post between Durban and Joburg, and in many of the old photographs you can see donkey carts and horse carts outside of the main area. When the current owners stumbled upon this gem in 2012, it had not been lived in for many years. They decided to dig a bit deeper and find out more about the house and its history. The Curry family, where Curry’s Post gets its name, lived here for many generations. It went from an old hotel and post office to a family home where many generations of Curry’s grew up. “We managed to restore the house, keeping most of its unique history, including the old fireplace in the kitchen. We imagine this is where they spent a lot of time as it can get very cold in winter in the Midlands. The pot that is hanging over the fireplace was found exactly as it is,” explains owner Beth. She decided to turn the main house, the old post office and postmaster’s cottage into self-catering accommodation, as it really is a warm and inviting ‘home away from home’. “The Midlands is full of adventures around each bend. I love that one can never get bored of visiting the Midlands. There is so much to do and so much to see. For me, the Midlands is a celebration of farming and good produce, outdoor activities, adventures and a place to make memories with family and friends,” says Beth.

084 566 1337

87 Curry’s Post Road, Howick


Dargle Forest Lodge

Dargle Forest Lodge is the combined dream of farm owners Bridgette and Sean. After stumbling upon the land in 2015, they immediately saw its potential and decided to share this piece of paradise with other like-minded people and families. They have, in a few very short years, turned an overgrown, derelict, small farm into what it is today and are continuing to develop it. Located in the pristine, open planes and woodland hills of the Dargle Valley, nestled between the Inhlosane Mountain range and pine forests, lies the family-run Dargle Forest Lodge and Wedding Venue: a back to nature and back to simplicity, cabin-style retreat, just a short, scenic drive from the Midlands Meander, offering a glass chapel and a barn-inspired venue to seat 150 guests. This is an idyllic place to connect with your loved ones or to celebrate your special day surrounded by panoramic views. Each of our wooden cabins and safari tents is set amongst a pine forest and simply kitted, offering a rustic charm along with all of the basic comforts. Each spot has a deck or platform from which you can soak in the endless views or watch the Midlands mist roll in around you. “We are fairly new and from the beginning we’ve received incredible support from our community. The location, natural beauty, Midlands mist and warm hospitality make the area a prime destination spot,” says Bridgette.

083 234 0436


Mount Park Guest Farm

Mount Park Guest Farm is situated in the beautiful Upper Dargle region of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, at the foot of the iNhlosane Mountain. The 120-hectare working farm has close to 30 hectares of natural forest which is home to a fantastic variety of bird and mammal life as well as a vast amount of plant species. The diverse combination of grasslands, indigenous forest and freshwater flowing streams provides an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, and is a photographer’s dream! Mount Park provides affordable and comfortable accommodation without compromising on quality by promoting wonderful family memories. “The accommodation ranges from camping to self-catering and bed-and-breakfast, right up to full boarding. The units range from the Main House, which dates back to 1856 and sleeps up to 18 guests. Each room has an en-suite, from our family cottages (which sleep up to five guests) to our small wooden cabins which are ideal for couples. We offer an accommodation option to suit everyone and their budget,” explains owner Ian Field. There are also seven gorgeous hiking trails on the farm and the on-site restaurant, Bull and Spier, provides delicious meals and beverages for all guests who require them. From scenic walks to fly fishing and canoeing, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Mount Park!

033 004 0068


Haycroft Farm

Haycroft Farm is an exclusive, country wedding venue and offers guests self-catering accommodation. They can sleep up to 62 guests and have converted an old equestrian farm into a fabulous venue which caters mostly for weekend destination weddings. When they don’t have a wedding, Haycroft is open to overnight guests who want to escape to the country, without having to spend half of the day travelling. They are a 10-minute drive off of the N3 highway and Howick centre. Haycroft offers various accommodation options, but the most unique option is The Stables. This was the original stable block where horses were kept. It was rebuilt but the design was kept very similar to what it originally was, so there is a lovely courtyard in the centre where guests get to chat to friends and family. There are 19 double rooms off of this courtyard. The Bridle Barn, which sleeps 10 guests, is totally self-sufficient. This guesthouse has been built totally off the grid. It is therefore secluded and private, as it is on its own section of the farm, which is a little way away from the venue, chapel and other accommodation suites. “When you work somewhere as beautiful as Haycroft Farm, you tend to take the Midlands beauty for granted. The rolling green hills and picturesque backdrop of the mountains is hard to beat,” says the owner, Pippa.

083 452 8088


Falling Waters Lodge

Falling Waters Lodge is a stunning, upmarket, self-catering lodge situated on the Lions River in Fort Nottingham. It has stunning views over farmland, mountains and river frontage, including a picnic site right on the river. It sleeps 13 people in five bedrooms. It is situated on 5,5h of beautiful, natural bush and pine forest and it has a bar/entertainment area that flows onto a wooden deck, three fire places, a sauna and a jacuzzi bath. The property is self-catering but there is the option of a private chef for your stay or even just for a special meal during your visit. There is wonderful, highly-trained staff on-site to service the lodge, make fires, set tables and just assist where necessary. It is 10 minutes from Nottingham Road, 10 minutes from Dargle and under 30 minutes from the popular Piggly Wiggly on the Midlands Meander. There is so much to do here, and activities available include walks, bike rides, bass fishing, trout fishing (R195 per rod – catch and release), paddling and clay pigeon shooting. The property is completely private, secure and is perfect for friend or family getaways as well as small corporate breakaways. Falling Waters is the perfect place to get away and enjoy the spectacular Midlands countryside!

071 364 0173

Facebook: @fallingwaterslodgenotties


Mission House

Mission House started off as a dream while the owner, Penny Jardine, and her husband, John, were living and working in London over 20 years ago. They were hoping for a piece of land away from the city, where they could live simply, raise their kids, Frances and Moses, work with their hands and be hospitable to people needing a retreat. “We found our spot and started from scratch, as there was nothing on the property apart from a rundown shed and a borehole. We got to work planting trees, making a garden and getting the shed liveable. We’ve been here close to 18 years now,” explains Penny. Apart from their home where the family lives, Penny rent’s out a big house, called ‘360′ because of its views, situated on a ridge that has breathtaking views of the central and southern Drakensberg and Lesotho, and rolling views of the biggest mist belt forest in the country, the Karkloof Forest. 360 is large, airy and spacious and sleeps 12 comfortably, so it’s a great place for a family, a couple of families or a bunch of friends wanting a getaway, or a group of people just wanting to relax or enjoy the outdoor activities which are close by. There is also a cottage, called ‘180’, that sleeps two adults and one or two small children. Mission House is also pet-friendly – bonus! “We get really excited about sharing the beauty of this place with others, and making them feel at home here.”

082 326 0149

39 Curry’s Post Road, Howick

Facebook: @missionhouseaccommodation


Ashton Wold Estate

Ashton Wold Estate is located on the beautiful Midlands Meander. Surrounded by rolling hills and wildflower meadows and woodlands, this country estate, with recently renovated cottages, provides the perfect getaway and escape from the city.


The farm was bought by Leon and Ilona Potgieter in August 2016, who then started with the renovations of all of the buildings. In August 2017, the first two cottages were ready and, along with them, many more ideas for developing this estate into a treasure for nature lovers and a place to reconnect with your soul came about.


Ashton Wold is the ideal spot to relax and unwind and to explore all that the KZN Midlands has to offer. Bring your mountain bike or kayak or take an early morning run or walk around the farm. There are beautiful streams and a small waterfall to enjoy, dams stocked with bass for fishing, and lots of birds and wildlife to be seen around the area. Cuddle up in front of a fire with a good book in the evenings, and enjoy some quality time with family and friends. With breathtaking sunrises and views, our spot is well worth a visit for keen photographers!


Photo by Semicolon Photography

Gatehouse Cottage is a country holiday house that sleeps up to five people. This cottage boasts a gorgeous vaulted ceiling over the open-plan living, dining and kitchen area. It has two en-suite bedrooms, one with a queen size bed and the other a double bed, plus a single. It is located next to the dam that is stocked with bass, with lots of great fishing spots nearby.


Brimstone Cottage is a romantic, open-plan cottage sleeping two adults. It has a vaulted ceiling over the open-plan living area. With an open-plan, romantic bedroom, a four poster double bed and a bathroom with a bath, this is definitely fit for a honeymoon. The cottage is located next to the dam stocked with bass and has a patio onto the dam.


Bluestone Cottage One is a country cottage that sleeps up to four people. This cottage has a magnificent vaulted ceiling over the open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, two bedrooms (both en-suite) and is also located near the dam.


Bluestone Cottage Two is a luxury, country cottage that sleeps up to six people, four adults maximum. This cottage offers stylish living with an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, two en-suite bedrooms and the lounge offers a double sleeper couch with underfloor heating, suitable for children. Guests in this cottage can also enjoy a deck overlooking the dam.


It is not uncommon to spot a variety of wildlife on the estate including deer, rabbits, foxes and a variety of birds, such as the yellow-billed kite and spotted owls. The location is rural but conveniently close to Howick (26km) and The Windmill (21km). As a working farm, you can also witness the daily farm activities, horses, cattle and piggery as well as seasonal planting and harvesting. Whether you’re looking for a weekend full of outdoor activities and exploring the Meander, or some quiet time with a loved one, Ashton Wold offers it all!

082 440 1882


Rocklog Farm

Rocklog Farm is situated in the KZN Midlands, halfway between the quaint town of Howick and the tourist hotspot Nottingham Road, on the foothills of a serene mountain near Curry’s Post, nestled between indigenous forests and towering Californian redwood trees. “Since 2019, we have offered accommodation to holiday-goers, wedding guests, business travellers or locals exploring the beautiful Midlands Meander. It’s an idyllic escape from the crowded bustle of the city.” Social distancing is easy in vast, open landscapes. The cottages are fully furnished, have Wi-Fi, and have an endless supply of sustainably sourced chopped wood. The Farm now hosts a kiddies party venue, fully equipped with all of the catering and hosting needs of the parents. The kids and parents have the option of immersing themselves in a safe farm atmosphere, feeding the horses and other farm animals such as the ducks, goats and chickens who get up to the strangest things! For lunch, allow the kids to craft their own wood-fired pizzas. The hosts can help with providing both adventure and tranquility to the guests. Be it from serving crafty pizzas, a 4×4 drive to the Rock Pools, chilling at the swimming pool Lapa or organising braais in the Boma. “Rocklog Farm wants to become part of and contribute to the fabric that makes up the Midlands tourism community, working with our fellow businesses in the Midlands to improve quality of life for its people.”

078 542 8662

Facebook: @rocklogfarm           


Beverley Country Cottages

From romantic, peaceful getaways to fun-filled family holidays where children can run free in a safe environment, Beverley Country Cottages is the right place for you. Choose your abode from four spacious, well-appointed cottages and two comfortable bed-and-breakfast rooms, which share the wide, open spaces on this glorious working farm. The cottages are conveniently furnished for self-catering. Breakfast and dinners, however, are available on request and served in the comfort of the cottages. All bedrooms are en-suite and, to cut the Midlands’ winter chill, crackling log fires ensure complete relaxation in the cosy lounges. The small touches of fresh flowers, homemade biscuits and a welcoming jug of fresh farm milk go a long way to make you feel at home! Beverley Country Cottages is situated in the beautiful Dargle Valley, with 360-degree views surrounding us of farmlands, grasslands and forests, with the majestic iNholsane Mountain overlooking us all! Neighbouring beautiful trails take you through indigenous forests and grasslands, mountain bike trails are in the making, and if you are keen on tennis, that’s available too on our tennis court! Spotted Nguni cattle, noble horses, as well as friendly dogs, chickens, Nigerian dwarf goats and Guinea fowls add to the ambience of this place you’d like to call home. Winning the South African Tourism Lilizela award for the best three-star self-catering establishment (with exclusive use) on a provincial level four times, and winning the national trophy twice, is testament to the service excellence you can expect at Beverley Country Cottages in the green, rolling hills of the Natal Midlands.

082 895 4002