Thistledown Country House, Howick

One of five rooms has its own fireplace and is often specially requested during the bracingly crisp winter months. The en-suite bathroom which accompanies this particular bedroom features a bath which has been restored, having originally come from the Imperial Hotel in Pietermaritzburg, at which at one time was used by the Prince of Wales during his visit there. Most of the bathrooms feature Andrew Walford washbasins.


Lunches and dinners are served, but advance booking for these is essential. The menus are cosmopolitan in nature, although there is a Japanese element to many of the dishes. During the cooler months, the open log fire in the cosy lounge is a popular place to sit and sip sherry, port or red wine. The large sociable dining room is also available for small weddings and functions.
Thistledown is the ideal place to stay when visiting the attractions of the Karkloof Valley, which is part of the Karkloof Conservancy. One can visit the Karkloof Conservation Centre to view the many species of birds form the hides. Abundant bird life thrives in the rambling garden of Thistledown itself, with 129 species having been identified in the area. Guests can observe the local feathered population form the comfort of the panoramic veranda.
Just one and a half hours away from Durban, and four and a half hours from Johannesburg, Thistledown is ideally situated for exploration of some of the other attractions of the Midlands Meander, including Karkloof Canopy Tours, which operates a cable slide over the indigenous forest.

Thistledown Country house is set on 20 acres of superb farmlands, just below the Karkloof Hills in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. These hills are covered with the second largest tract of indigenous forest in South Africa. Guests are offered elegant country living in the restored farmhouse.

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