Lifestyle and Decor

What it’s like living in Strand, Western Cape

Private Property South Africa
Kit Heathcock |
What it’s like living in Strand, Western Cape

Incredible beaches, excellent restaurants, good schools and a laidback lifestyle make this a popular suburb for property buyers.

The name says it all – Strand living is all about the beach. Its long sandy beach, with the warm waters of False Bay, is the go-to summer spot for the whole of the Helderberg basin, attracting holiday-makers from far afield and locals from adjoining Somerset West. For Strand residents, surfing, beach walks and a variety of watersports are part of everyday life.

“Strand is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in the country,” says Mikhail Thompson, Son Surf School. “It’s a long beach with lots of open sand, safe for swimming and good for learning to surf. It doesn’t have great waves for advanced surfers, but you can surf consistently in any wind. They are redeveloping the promenade at the moment, including a retaining wall, which is awesome. The promenade is nice for walking, cruising with prams and on wheels.” Strand gets packed in December, he says, but there’s plenty of beach to share and lots of parking, hence the area’s enduring popularity with beachgoers.

The laid-back beach lifestyle means there’s a growing market for holiday rentals and second homes in Strand, but there’s also a stable community of permanent residents, many whose families have lived in the area for generations. “Strand still has a small-town feel, which I really enjoy,” adds Mikhail, who has lived in the area his whole life. “The neighbours talk to you and we have two schools close by, so there are many kids and bikes around. And a lot of young families are buying up older houses and renovating, so there’s a feeling of rejuvenation.”

Anytime you want a change from the wind, sea, sand and surf, there’re the beautiful Helderberg Mountains for hikes or mountain biking through the fynbos. Foodies will love the world-class fine dining on the historic wine farms around Somerset West or towards Stellenbosch. While shopping within Strand is limited, the huge Somerset Mall is close by and has a variety of stores, so there’s no need to head into Cape Town unnecessarily. For those who work in the city, it’s easy to commute and the Cape Town International Airport is even closer along the N2.

Closer to home, Waterworld provides endless fun for the kids, Strand Golf Club is adjacent to the Lourens River estuary – rich in birdlife and natural beauty – and nature lovers can enjoy the Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary, the Cheetah Outreach and the stunning sunset views over False Bay.

Strand is close enough to Cape Town for the days you feel like putting on red lipstick to go do some fashion shopping, but it’s also perfect for when you want to feel part of a community, with schools close by, the beach within walking distance and hidden gems to be found

-Melissa De Villiers, Pajamas and Jam.

Where to eat in Strand, Western Cape:

  • Pajamas and Jam: for breakfast and lunch surrounded by antiques
  • Oh Hello: for coffee and cake
  • De Brasserie: for elegant dining
  • Wang Thai: for wonderful Thai cuisine
  • Casa del Sol: for fish and chips, sushi and cocktails
  • Ciao Bella Pizzeria: for Italian fare
  • Ben’s on the Beach: for bistro food and sea views

Things to do in Strand, Western Cape:

  • Walk on the beach and along the new promenade.
  • Learn to surf at Son Surf School.
  • Swim in the warm Indian Ocean and tidal pools.
  • Enjoy waterslides and family fun at Waterworld.
  • Visit the Cheetah Outreach to learn about big cats.
  • Visit the Helderberg wine estates.
  • Play golf at Strand Golf Club.


  • Strand High School
  • False Bay High School
  • Hottentots-Holland High School
  • Curro Sitari
  • Reddam House Somerset

Property statistics for Strand

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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