Suburb focus on Cowies Hill

Private Property South Africa
Megan Deane

Jane Linley-Tomas, East Coast Radio DJ, tells us about her neighbourhood.

Most will recognise Cowies Hill from the Comrades Marathon, which takes place every year between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is a small leafy suburb near Westville, with beautiful natural surroundings, and is ideal for families.

Jane Linley-Thomas, East Coast Radio DJ, has made Cowies Hill her home. “As a child, I grew up in Cowies Hill. The Comrades Marathon set up was definitely a highlight of the year. My dad would wake up at dawn and mow the verge on the side of the Comrades route, where we would set up our trestle tables, complete with snacks, drinks and comradery, which is something Mike (husband) and I now do with our kids; the tradition lives on,” says Jane.

“My mom actually found our home. Mike and I had been looking for months and thought we had found ‘the one’; my folks checked it out and didn't feel our passion. In a state of despair, I declared I couldn't look at one more house and handed the baton over to my mom. The very next day, she phoned me while I was at work to say she was standing in the driveway of our new home. She sent through a picture and I knew if I didn't have this home I would surely die! Mike and I came to look at it, and I honestly thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. It was everything we had ever wished for and more, from the wooden floors, parquet staircase and the botanical garden, to the glass stacking-doored sunroom, we knew we were home.”

For Jane, her home is more about what you feel than what you see. “It's a solid home with light and bright spaces, surrounded by greenery as far as the eye can see. The trees and birdlife in this area are unbelievable. We painted the exterior grey and added bright red touches by painting the garage door, post box, grill gate on the kitchen door and laundry. Mike and I collect art, music and furniture, so our space is a mix of bright clashing and electric treasure.”

Cowies Hill is in an ideal location, close to a range of top-class amenities. This suburb is centrally situated, making it easy to travel north, south or further west, as the highways (N3, N2 and M13) are easy to access. “We love loading our bikes up and heading for the promenade. Also, a hot and sticky day calls for a rock pool mission down the coast. I love to run, walk and jog 5km with the Chilterton Athletics Club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings,” says Jane.

“Lupa (Westville) is our place; Mike and I are there once a week for some one-on-one time. Whereas you could set your watch to me getting my daily coffee fix as I swoop past Shell Blair Athol on the way to work. As my van pulls in, my coffee is strong, hot and waiting.”

Despite having so many places to go in and around Cowies Hill, Jane spends most of her Sundays at home with her family. “We spend hours in our garden and in the pool. If it’s a cold and miserable day, we drop the blinds on our outside veranda and the Lego box gets hauled out, along with colouring books and playdough. Mike and I love a glass of wine next to our fireplace.”

Best in food:

  • Lupa Osteria restaurant
  • RocoMamas
  • Marula’s restaurant
  • Chez Nous family restaurant
  • Woodcutters restaurant

Things to do:

  • Find retail stores, pubs, and the cinema at popular shopping mall, The Pavillion.
  • For the health-conscious, there are a choice of fitness centres and clubs to join.
  • Enjoy a relaxing day at the Westville Day Spa.
  • Take a stroll to the local tennis court.
  • Visit the library.
  • Entertain the kids at Pallet Jack’s.
  • The adventurous can explore the trails on foot or mountain bike through Giba Gorge
  • Enjoy the nativity lights and scene along St James.

Top schools nearby:

  • Cygnet Pre-Primary School
  • Westville Boys’ High School
  • Westville Girls’ High School
  • Westville Junior Primary School

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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