Walking Tour: Muizenberg–St James Walk

  • Start Muizenberg Station
  • End Muizenberg Station
  • Length 3km; one hour

This invigorating coastal walk provides spectacular views of False Bay and gives you a sense of the history and once-grand nature of this seaside suburb.

From Muizenberg Station, head north past Muizenberg Park to Camp Rd, passing the red-and-white-painted synagogue, which dates from the 1920s, when Muizenberg had a large Jewish community. Concrete steps lead up to Boyes Dr, from where there's a commanding view across Muizenberg and its broad, flat beach.

Head south on Boyes Dr, looking out for whales in season (roughly August to October). A wrought-iron gate on the left-hand side has steps leading down to the grave of Sir Abe Bailey (1864–1940): ‘soldier, former sportsman, philanthropist, mining pioneer’. You should also be able to glimpse Bailey’s house, Rust-en-Vrede, with its red tiles and high gables, on Main Rd below. The home was commissioned by the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes, but he never lived in it.

Keep walking along Boyes Dr until you reach the Jacob’s Ladder steps leading down Capri Rd towards St James Station. Next to the station is a set of brightly painted Victorian-style bathing huts, which this area is known for, and a tidal rock pool – ideal for a cooling dip. A coastal walking path starts here and heads back towards Muizenberg.

As you approach a grand, Spanish-style mansion with green-glazed roof tiles (called 'Gracelands', after Elvis’ pad), you’ll see another underpass that lets you nip across to busy Main Rd to visit Rhodes Cottage, where Cecil Rhodes passed away in 1902.

Back on the coastal path, on the righthand side, is the thatched Bailey’s Cottage, built in 1909 and another of Bailey’s residences. Closer to Muizenberg, on Main Rd, is Casa Labia, which belongs to the family of an Italian count who built the property in 1930.

Further along is the whitewashed Posthuys. Built in the 1670s, this one-time lookout post for ships entering False Bay is one of Cape Town’s oldest European-style buildings. It’s a minute’s walk from here back to Muizenberg Station.