Langley Kirkwood was born in England in 1973, but moved to South Africa when he was young. Having had a passion for acting throughout his life, Langley studied at Wits and has gone on to win numerous acting awards, both on stage and on screen.

He’s made a name for himself internationally, and you may recognise Langley as Captain Bryson from the locally-made series, Black Sails, and more recently as Colonel Douglas Stowe in the third season of HBO’s Emmy-winning series Banshee. He’s even appeared in the full-length films, Dredd and Invictus, amongst others.

Langley has two children, and spends his days between Cape Town and Los Angeles. Cape Town Etc managed to catch up with this rising star and homegrown South African, who seems to have a real passion for the outdoors and a love for Cape Town’s more energetic offerings.

langley kirkwood

Having spent so much time abroad, what draws you back to Cape Town?

Capetonians are spoiled. Blessed. Spend any length of time in any major city around the world, and then attempt the myriad different outdoor activities we have on our doorstep; it becomes immediately clear just how ridiculously spoiled we are in Cape Town.

How would you compare the outdoor activities on offer in LA to what we have here?

The interpretation of the word ‘trail’ appears to be vastly different in downtown LA to our local definition. In Cape Town, for example, I associate the word with skinny folk sporting hydration packs, shaggy hair and a smile, while in the big cities of the US, ‘trail’ is associated with man-made ‘greenways’ (flat, cement cycle and foot paths, usually running alongside a stream in a built-up area), or dusty, over-trodden jeep tracks in the Hollywood hills. This is where throngs of people, desperate to escape the smog and their apartments, venture out to snatch whatever open air they have time to grab.

In Cape Town, one simply has to throw on a pair of shoes and grab a pack or a bottle, and be up the mountain in an hour (if you’re Ryan Sandes) or two (the rest of us). Whatever your poison, whether it’s on your feet, wheels, or in the air or water, Cape Town is a city without compare when it comes to enjoying the best that our planet has to offer. The fact that one can enjoy it without having to compete with half the city’s population for space on the road, the wave or the trail is just an added bonus.

langley kirkwood

What are your top five outdoor activities in Cape Town?

As a trail-runner, and loyal devotee of our magical Table Mountain and its beauty, I have a slight bias. But my top five outdoor activities, in no particular order are:

Trail running
The Hout Bay Trail Challenge and/or the Crazy Store Cape Table Mountain Trail Challenge. Both these runs are around 36km and traverse Table Mountain in different ways, and can both be run in relay stages if you’re not up to running it all in one go. Every Capetonian should try one of these events at least once. If you do, you’ll be back for more.

Riding a bike around the peninsula
Enter the Argus (Cape Town Cycle Tour) and do a few long, easy training rides around the Cape Peninsula with a bunch of friends.

Go for a surf
Surfer’s corner in Muizenburg has loads of surf schools, all offering packages to get you and your kids up and away on your boards. And the water’s warmer than the more challenging Atlantic side breaks.

Open-water swimming in Clifton (or the Sea Point pavilion pool in winter)
Get your blood moving and wake up with a gasp!

Full-moon hikes up to Maclear’s Dam from Constantia Nek
On the jeep track, so not technically challenging, but great fun for adults and kids.


Catch Langley Kirkwood as Colonel Douglas Stowe in Season 3 of Banshee on M-Net Edge (Channel 102) every Tuesday from 21:00 – 22:00 (till 8 December 2015)


Photography courtesy Langley Kirkwood and Ant Smyth

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