Things To Do In Pringle Bay | Top 5

things to do in pringle bay

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I’ve been fortunate enough to live in the Western Cape for a good few years, and it never fails to amaze me with all it has to offer. Now, I’m not just talking about Cape Town. There are many hidden gems along the rugged coastline of the Western Cape that have just as many things to do as the South African capital.

Since living here, I’ve made it my mission to explore as many of these places as possible. That’s what brought me to Pringle Bay, which is just under two hours from Cape Town. 

Often overlooked, Pringle Bay is a quiet haven that’s both an invitation and an escape. It’s a place where the natural beauty blends with the tranquillity of the coastal town. 

Although it is a really (really) basic town, there are still plenty of things to do in Pringle Bay. Luckily for you, I’ve done all the hard work and am here to be your tour guide!

Have a Beach Day – Pringle Bay Beach


Pringle Bay Beach is a coastal paradise along the scenic Whale Coast Route, where azure waters meet golden sands beneath the shadow of the Hangklip Mountain

I couldn’t start a list of the best things to do in Pringle Bay without mentioning the obvious – visiting Pringle Bay Beach. 

I’m not the biggest fan of beaches; however, there’s something about Pringle Bay Beach that called for a spur-of-the-moment beach day. Located between the Kogelberg Mountains, the beach’s white, uncrowded sand stretches for about 2 km.  

I often have trouble switching off, but lying on this beach with the waves as my backing track was the most relaxed I had felt in ages.

The beach was clean, the parking convenient and the atmosphere quiet. This type of serene day was exactly what I was looking for when I decided to visit Pringle Bay.

A few words of advice: remember to bring along snacks and plenty of water to avoid the same hangry situation I found myself in. There are no restaurants or cafes directly on the beach as you would find in a more built-up coastal town.

However, if you prefer not to spend the day lying on the beach, I’d recommend taking a trip down to watch the sunset or sunrise. My partner and I got to experience a few sunrise sessions here when we first got to Pringle Bay. It was an intimate way to start the day together and the views were out of this world.

Stay in Unique Accommodation – Pringle Bay Express

Pringle Bay Express is a charming miniature train experience in Pringle Bay, enchanting visitors of all ages with leisurely rides through this coastal village

Location: 1668 Valsbaai Rd, Pringle Bay

Before you start conquering this list of things to do in Pringle Bay, you’re going to need somewhere to rest your head at night. While there are a few accommodation options available in Pringle Bay, none of them is quite as unique as the Pringle Bay Express – a 1900s train-carriage-turned-beach-house.

Booking this entire six-sleeper accommodation was a bit excessive for just my partner and me, but I am a sucker when it comes to staying somewhere a bit different.

This converted train carriage retains many of its original features, from the teak shutters and train bunks to the cabin doors, giving it an old-school vibe. However, because it is so authentic, it’s probably not the most luxurious stay you’ll ever have (a bit like the overall experience you’ll get in Pringle Bay). Regardless, it had everything we needed.

On top of its charm, the Express is just a three-minute walk from Pringle Bay Beach. And, to cater to all the beachgoers, there’s an outdoor shower hidden underneath the train to rinse off any leftover sand from the beach.

The hosts are also hospitable, gifting us a bottle of wine upon arrival and stocking the cupboard full of spices. This especially came in handy when I decided to try my hand at a good old South African braai in the sunroom, which is right off the main carriage.

If, like me, you love staying somewhere unconventional, you need to add this stay to your Pringle Bay to-do list.

Go for a Hike – Hangklip Peak

Hangklip Peak, standing majestically on the Whale Coast near Pringle Bay, is a captivating natural landmark offering panoramic views of the coastline and surrounding landscapes

Location: The hike starts from a parking lot located at 522 Clarence Rd, Pringle Bay.

I’m no hiker but I do enjoy living quite an active and healthy lifestyle. And, seeing that Pringle Bay is located at the foot of the Hangklip Peak, I couldn’t help but wonder about the views from the top.

A word of warning: this 6.1 km trek is quite challenging, and not for the faint-hearted. Now that’s out the way, let’s get onto the good stuff – why this hike is one of my top things to do in Pringle Bay.

The path starts gently, guiding you through the fynbos. As you walk by, the wildflowers and herbs give off a uniquely South African scent of the flora.

The trail begins to ascend gradually – this was the point where I could feel the burn in my legs, a reminder that this hike wouldn’t be a walk in the park. However, it was also at this point that I realised that the burn was all worth it.

As you climb, the views begin to unfold – the Atlantic Ocean stretched out in front of you with the miniature village of Pringle Bay below.

The steeper it gets, the more rocky the terrain is, so be careful with your footing. However, when you eventually reach the summit, it’s a moment of triumph. Standing atop Hangklip Peak, I was surrounded by a 360-degree spectacle.

Thankfully, the descent is a lot more manageable; a nice cool-down after the intense workout to get to the top. In total, it took me around three hours to complete this trek.

All in all, if you want to experience the beauty of Pringle Bay, I’d suggest doing it from above. The only downside is that there’s not a lot of shade along the route, so you’ll need to wear loads of sunscreen and take plenty of water. I also suggest heading out in the early morning to avoid the midday heat!

Grab a Bite to Eat – Hook Line & Sinker

Hook Line & Sinker in Pringle Bay is a coastal culinary haven, where the freshest seafood meets a relaxed beachside atmosphere

Location: 382 Crescent St, Pringle Bay

Those of you who’ve been to Pringle Bay should know that a visit to Hook Line & Sinker for a meal is a must. This is something I quickly figured out as I got chatting with one of the locals who recommended it. I’ve learnt that you can never go wrong with a local recommendation, so I decided to book a dinner with my partner at this seafood restaurant.

Let’s just say, I was certainly not disappointed. This restaurant in the heart of the village only has about six tables, making it cosy for a date night. As you may have guessed from the name, their speciality is everything seafood prepared on an open wood fire.

While the menu is quite simple, the flavours certainly pack a punch. You can choose between freshly caught fish, calamari, or prawns (or get a combo), served with a side of rice or chips. That’s it. The seafood here is done exactly how it should be – simple, fresh and cooked to perfection.

Of course, no date would be complete without some pièce de résistance to end the night. We decided to share the chocolate pot, which was just as good as our main courses.

Next time I visit (and there certainly will be a next time), I’m going to head here for lunch. Being from Glasgow, I’ve battled to find a good chippie and I think that this spot may just do the trick. During lunchtime, they serve “fish and chips on newspaper,” which may not sound like much to you, but it sounds like a bit of home to me!

I’m going to put this out there: this is the best seafood restaurant in the Western Cape and well worth a visit (or two) during your stay in Pringle Bay. Bookings are essential though, so just make sure to plan in advance!

Take a Day Trip – Betty’s Bay

Directions: Take Hangklip Rd to reach the stop street by the R44. Turn right on the R44 and follow the road for 3.1 km. Then, take a right onto Porter Rd to make your way into Betty’s Bay.

Betty’s Bay is located a convenient ten-minute drive away from Pringle Bay, making it the perfect location for a day trip. The only catch is that you’ll need a car to make the journey, as there’s not much in the way of public transport in these parts of the Western Cape. Like Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay is a small holiday town located on the other side of the Kogelberg Mountains.

To get the most out of your trip, it’s best to plan all the things you want to do before you head out. Luckily, I’ve done the groundwork for you so all you have to do is follow this itinerary:

Morning:

  • Visit the Stony Point Penguin Colony: Start your day by heading to the Stony Point Penguin Colony. The entrance to the Stony Point Nature Reserve opens at 8 am, so it’s best to get there early to beat the crowds. This is an amazing way to take in the ± 3,600 African Penguins in their natural habitat as they waddle and swim about.Just be sure to check that they are open before you head out to avoid disappointment. As of October 2023, the boardwalk to see the penguins was closed for renovations.
  • Explore Betty’s Bay Main Beach: After the penguin colony, take the six-minute drive to Betty’s Bay Main Beach. You can take a leisurely walk over to the penguins or head left and stroll towards Dawidkraal.On the way, keep an eye out for sand plovers dashing around on the sandy shoreline. You might even spot some Sacred Ibis and African Black Oystercatchers. It’s a bit of a bird-watching bonus!

Lunch:

Seabiscuit in Pringle Bay is a cozy cafe nestled within the coastal village, offering a warm and inviting space for coffee enthusiasts and food lovers alike
  • Lunch at Seabiscuit: Seabiscuit is just four minutes from the beach – the ideal place to refuel before continuing your adventure. I opted for the classic sirloin steak with pepper sauce while my partner went for the grilled sole with toasted almonds and lemon butter sauce (I did have a bit of food envy). The service is friendly and the food delicious.

Afternoon:

  • Stroll through the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens: To beat the post-lunch slump, I’d suggest an easy walk through these gardens. While not necessarily the most exciting thing to do, the rich fynbos flora is quite a sight. And hey, at least you’ll get those steps in!
  • Sunset on Clarence Drive: I’d suggest heading out of Betty’s Bay just before sunset. Driving back to Pringle Bay as the sun turns the sky into a mix of purples, oranges and pinks is breathtaking. It was the perfect backdrop for my partner and me to chat about our favourite parts of the adventure we just had.

There you have it: your day trip to Betty’s Bay sorted. It may not be an action-packed day, but it’s in these quiet towns where I can enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

FAQs

When is the best time to visit Pringle Bay?

The best time to visit Pringle Bay is in late October and November. This is usually the time when it’s not so crowded and the weather is still quite pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 16 °C to 25 °C. You may still get the odd overcast or rainy day at this time of year, but the weather is generally warm.

How far is Pringle Bay from Cape Town?

Pringle Bay is just under a two-hour drive from Cape Town (around 131 km away).

Is it worth going to Pringle Bay in winter?

Pringle Bay is a great place to visit in winter if you don’t mind a bit of rain and aren’t too worried about visiting the beach. This coastal town is the ideal place to recharge your batteries, and its quiet and cosy atmosphere is even more inviting during winter. You’ll also get the bonus of missing the crowds, giving you a great opportunity to mingle with the locals.


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