It is the last weekend of the month and Simply Sam Trading is open, Saturday and Sunday, from 10-4pm, in the beautiful Hamlet of Fort Nottingham. We are now located on our own property, in the original building of the 'Cafe le Fort' restaurant, at the entrance to the village . Besides our little haven of interesting antiques, vintage and gift items offered at Simply Sam Trading, there is so much more to see and do once you're here in this picturesque historical hamlet.
We see Fort Nottingham as somewhat of a destination venue. Why is this? Well firstly you are transformed into another world, to a place where time has stood still, an escape from the bussle of City life. Fort Nottingham is the reason why Nottingham Road is so named which is due to the Sherwood Forester's 45th Regiment from Nottingham, England (my home town) being called upon to protect the local people and their cattle from marauding Bushmen. The stone barn (circa 1869), which now houses the Fort Nottingham Museum, was originally part of a camp erected by the regiment whilst more permanent quarters were being built. There are beautiful walks around the village and in the Fort Nottingham Nature Reserve and the owner of the Museum' is happy for people to picnic next to the museum. A children's play area, means the children are happy.
The infamous Els Amics restaurant of Pietermaritzburg fame, is open for lunch Saturday and Sunday (bookings only). The gardens are beautiful, with views across to the Cape Chestnut Forest, and Val is known for her love of Indigenous plants. For reservations telephone Val on 0824870922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are keen to spend a few days in our little Hamlet Paula Davey runs the lovely Chameleon Cottage, once an original stable, which has been furnished with all your creature comforts in mind. Call Paula on 0829292275
We look forward to seeing you this weekend if you are fortunate to be in the area. If not, you can always visit our web store open 24 hours a day.
online web store: http://www.simplysam.co.za/
Deliveries are undertaken personally to Gauteng and Natal with all other South African or International deliveries arranged on your behalf.
The Fort Nottingham Nature Reserve is a small reserve 15km west of the village of Nottingham Road. It consists of grassland, wetland and afromontane forest biome. The Tony Kerr hiking trail starts in open grassland at the picnic site near where the Khathaza Stream. It traverses the slope of a thickly wooded hill and dips in and out of several gullies and seasonal watercourses. The walk should not take more than two hours. Even during the dry season, the trail is cool and damp in places due to the thick canopy cover of the indigenous trees.
The lower slopes of the hill are fairly densely covered with Ouhout (Leucosidea sericea), an invasive indigenous shrub. Some of the trees in the indigenous forest are Common Spike-thorn, Forest Knobwood, Red Pear, Sneezewood, Yellowwood, White Stinkwood, Cape Chestnut and Tree Fuchsia different species of ferns, orchids, lichen and mosses.
A stillness hangs over the forest, broken by the occasional bark of a bushbuck, samango monkeys calling and a myriad of bird calls. Porcupine and bushpig leave evidence of their presence where they have rooted in the undergrowth for food. Reedbuck is often seen on the grasslands.
Late stone-age workings bear evidence of the history of this site. The stone cairn near the entrance was part of a temporary tented campsite used by the 45th Regiment whilst stone was being quarried to erect permanent quarters at the village. Wagon wheel tracks made by the Voortrekker settlers en route to Loteni are still evident. Of interest are the unexplained faces carved into the sandstone bank along the Soldiers Road to the quarry. Dobie, a trader who traveled through the area from Kokstad in the 1860’s drew a sketch of the first Fort Nottingham buildings against a backdrop of the forested hills.
Visit the museum at nearby Fort Nottingham to learn more about the history of this area.
The Lions River Honorary Officers are involved with restoring the Fort Nottingham reserve to its former glory. As with so many natural areas, the reserve is being threatened by invasive alien plants. Along the eastern border pine trees and Australian blackwood from a neighbouring farm have started to invade the reserve. On the western border bugweed and black wattle are making their presence felt. The grasslands are also being threatened by bramble and the indigenous Ouhout.
This excerpt taken from the Lions River Honorary Officers website http://lionsriverho.co.za/30422/48657.html