Brenton-on-Sea has over the past two decades changed from a small holiday village into a popular permanent base for residents seeking tranquil seaside living.
It is no surprise that more residents are choosing the area beyond the holiday periods – Brenton-on-Sea is a secluded community, home to spectacular natural beauty.
The suburb overlooks a 5km stretch of unspoilt beach where dolphins, whales and other marine animals are sighted regularly. It is surrounded by large fynbos-covered dunes and rich in wildlife, including several buck species roaming freely through the area.
It is also here where the Brenton Blue Butterfly Reserve, home to the endangered Brenton Blue Butterfly, was established in 1998. The reserve is the only known remaining place where this butterfly – indigenous to the area – occurs despite intensive search efforts along the Southern Cape coast.
The natural assets of the area also lend itself to various outdoor activities especially along the beach, which has pilot Blue Flag status.
One of the most popular beach activities is several breath-taking walks including the Brenton-on-Sea Beach Walk – a 4,5km hike to Buffalo Bay – and the Fishermen’s Walk – a scenic cliff top path which leads to small hidden beaches along the way. The area is also popular among fishermen and is home to several angling spots including Die Blokke, Jaapse Bay and Castle Rock. For water-based activities, Lake Brenton is just a stone’s throw away where there are slipways for boats and other water craft.
While there are no major shops or any other amenities in the area, Brenton-on-Sea is only about 10km away from the Knysna CBD where there are several shopping malls, schools, doctors and hospitals. Brenton has a few restaurants and a small supply store which stocks the bare necessities.
While popular among permanent residents, most of who either commute to town for work or have home-based businesses, Brenton-on-Sea remains a firm favourite among holidaymakers. The area is abuzz with activity over holiday periods and offers a large number of accommodation options – from B&Bs and self-catering units, to luxury holiday rentals and the Brenton Haven Hotel.
Staying here feels like you are living in another country – the Republic of Knysna with Brenton-on-Sea its capital. It is peaceful, removed from traffic and the N2, and beautiful, with one of the best beaches in the country.
Derrick Coetzer, resident
Brenton-on-Sea offers a large variety of beach activities – from swimming and sunbathing, to fishing and beach hikes.
The area is also home to the Brenton Blue Butterfly reserve.
Best in Food:
At the heart of Brenton-on-Sea is the Brenton Haven hotel which is home to a stylish, yet relaxed restaurant – Butterfly Blu Resturant – which overlooks Brenton Beach and Buffalo Bay.
Another favourite is Nautical South which offers beach-inspired meals with mainly fresh local produce.
Brenton-on-Sea is a short drive to the Knysna CBD and the N2 without any major traffic.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.
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