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Hike #20: St James’s Peak

Muizenberg from above

This was one of our least eventful hikes.  Nobody got lost, nobody got scared, and Alison didn’t even fall on her backside once. Probably the most exciting thing that happened was Alison getting all pernickety and deciding to start hiking without Derek because he was 4 minutes late.  (Note: on our next hike, we were all late – by as much as 40 minutes. But, #Swedes.)

Unfortunately, this is a really easy, well-marked trail, and it was a lovely sunny day, so it was rather busy.  Since part of the reason at least one of us hikes is because we’re a misanthropist, this was unfortunate.  Also, we didn’t really find the peak of St James’s Peak.


Duration: 3 hours

Distance: 8.8 km

Trail directions we used: The Silvermine and Hout Bay Slingsby hiking map

Parking: At the Bailey’s Kloof steps, right opposite the Shark Spotters station on Old Boyes Drive

Remember: To check out the map sign at the beginning of the trail, because maybe that way you will find St James’s Peak. (Note: route marked on map sign is only 3.8 km in total.  We managed to find another 5 km to walk. So, actually, that was impressive.)

St James Hiking Trail map

Post-hike eating place: The Brass Bell for vis ‘n tjips


  • A huge range of happy, well-watered fynbos and flowers looking bright and sparkling after the recent rain.
  • Pootling about in Muizenberg Cave – although it’s not really a cave as much as a large rock shelter with a little stream running through it.
  • Admiring Stonehenge – the strange rock outcrop on the bluff  on the right as you walk up Bailey’s Kloof.
  • Rather nice views of False Bay.
  • Getting to The Brass Bell just in time to nab one of the last free tables.

Alison Westwood is a travel writer and hikist. You can read more of her writing at

Photographs from the St James’s Peak Hike

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