22 Dec 2014 | By Sun International
A Walk along the Sea Point Promenade
Put on your walking shoes and head to the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town for some fun family activities. The popular promenade, which is something of a Mother City institution, runs the length of Sea Point's beachfront from Mouille Point to Bantry Bay, within easy access of Cape Town accommodation at the Table Bay Hotel.
If you're looking for things to do with kids, skip the often-overcrowded V&A Waterfront for fresh air and expansive lawns along the promenade.
The jogger's mile
Known by some as the ‘prom’ and others as the jogger’s mile, this strip of green that follows the water’s edge is as lauded for its health and fitness function (there’s even an outdoor gym) as it is for being a great place for people-watching. Whether you’re taking a stroll or running the 11km route, you’ll get a snapshot of Cape Town's multicultural diversity.
Early morning joggers take to the paved pathway to get in some exercise before work, and moms arrive around mid-morning pushing prams and entertaining little ones at the play areas. You’ll see workers lunching on the lawns, teenagers taking a stroll after school, and if you’re there during ‘rush hour’ you’ll be joined by after-work walkers and runners taking in the fiery sunset.
Insider tip: Check out Promenade Mondays, Moonlight Mass and Greenpop (who run free Yoga classes on the promenade) for regular events.
The adventure playground
If you’re looking for things to do with kids, the promenade is a child-friendly destination. Among the promenade’s public playing areas, the adventure playground below the historic Green Point Lighthouse (still operational) comes complete with a jungle gym and train ride, and guarantees hours of fun in the sun. The promenade also has its own maze and 2 mini-golf courses.
Pack a picnic basket. The lawns are expansive, and dog-friendly. Be sure to visit the Green Point Urban Park – there’s a pedestrian route from the lighthouse. Even celebrities, with their tots in tow, have been seen here soaking up the chilled vibes.
Sea Point’s coastline is rocky and not ideal for swimming, although you can get in the water at Rocklands Beach and at a couple of tidal rock pools: Milton’s Pool, which is safe for kids, and Graaff’s Pool.
According to local legend, Lady Graaff, who once lived across the road from the beach in Sea Point, would on a daily basis cross the road in front of her home to swim in the sea for health purposes. There was, however, a railway line that used to obstruct her path of travel to the beach. To accommodate this problem her husband built an underground tunnel from their mansion to the natural pool where she bathed daily. The “secret” underground tunnel still exists and runs beneath Sea Point’s Beach Road.
The pavilion swimming pool
If you want to swim, the Sea Point Pavilion swimming pool on the southern end of the promenade is a Cape Town landmark (and considered one of the world’s top 10 pools). The public facility offers a 50m Olympic sized pool, 2 kids’ pools and a diving pool with a 5m board. It’s open every day of the year. Although the pools are unheated (and can be challenging in winter) the ocean views are spectacular.
The public art
The promenade is considered Cape Town’s most successful and inclusive public space, and as such is a prime site for public art displays. A collective called Art54 was established to co-ordinate public art projects between the City, the Municipality and artists.
If you take a stroll down the promenade, you'll see the “Rhinosaur” by Andre Carl van der Merwe, a bronze artwork that illustrates the current rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. Along the wall, interactive photographs provide a window into xenophobia in an exhibition entitled “Soft Walls”. And love it or hate it, Michael Elion’s giant pair of sunglasses entitled “Perceiving Freedom” is here to stay (for 2 years).
Do you go walking along the beachfront when you go on holiday?