So far this week has been gloomy, grey and wet, firmly establishing winter’s presence. Fortunately, in true eccentric Cape Town weather style, today is nice and sunny and while we still need our jackets, we can enjoy the crisp fresh air outdoors without fear of being rained on. On days like this, it’s a good idea to take advantage of our wonderful parks, like the Trafalgar Park in Woodstock.
To tourists and outsiders, Woodstock is hipsterville filled with incredible graffiti, quirky places and great finds. One of these great finds is the Trafalgar Park. Steeped in history, built on community and full of potential, this park is a great way to escape the heavy metropolis for a bit and enjoy some time with loved ones outside.
Cape Town is full of historic gems, and you can find one in Trafalgar Park. The French Redoubt is a relic that stands proudly in the park. According to the City of Cape Town, in 1781, the French garrison built a line of defence consisting of four forts and redoubts. This was done to assist the Dutch East India Company who were afraid of being attacked by the British.
Five years after it was built, the line fell into a poor state of repair. In 1795 after the British occupation, the earthworks which connected the redoubts and the forts were restored. They helped form a defence line with the British blockhouses on Devil’s Peak. In 1827, they stopped using the line, and the structures were demolished, All that’s left now is the French Redoubt, and in 1968 it was proclaimed a National Monument.
Trafalgar Park was formally established in 1905 residents of District Six. Then is was known as the East End Plantation.
The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and entrance is free. There are nice footpaths to walk and grassy areas to relax in. There is play equipment for the little ones to enjoy and you are welcome to cycle in the park or walk your dog, as long as you keep them on a leash.
On Sundays, the Woodstock Market happens in the park, where you can browse a great selection of arts and crafts, bespoke furniture and of course a great selection of food and drink. In winter, they only have two markets a month, but there is one happening this Sunday (29 May 2016). To keep up to date of when markets are happening, check out the Woodstock Market’s Facebook page.
There is also a pool that you can enjoy on the hotter days of the year. The pool area can accommodate a maximum of 950 patrons, with a maximum of
150 people in the swimming pool. you can enjoy a nice picnic on the grass and go for a dip in the pool. The pool is open from 10 am – 5 pm daily, and costs R6 for adults and R1.50 for children. Pensioners can enjoy the pool for free.
The future of Trafalgar Park
The City of Cape Town are currently in the process of advocating to revive Trafalgar Park. They have a number of plans, for the park that include physical restoration as well as integrating the community to reclaim ownership of the park. One of the biggest issues being looked at is security. This is a potential reason why the park is not being used to it’s full potential, but the government with the help of the community are planning to change that.
Once the plan is approved various upgrades will be happening in the park in different phases. It’s good to see the government values Trafalgar Park as much as we do!
When Monday – Sundays
Where Searle Street, Woodstock
Cost Free, Pool R1.50 – R6
Contact +27 21 400 3031
Photography courtesy City of Cape Town and The Woodstock Market