The town of Somerset West - named after Lord Charles Somerset, a former governor of the Cape Colony - is located 45km south-east of the city centre on the N2 motorway and at the foot of Hottentots mountains.
Follow the N2 over the range and you hit the Cape's winelands; keep going and you reach the Garden Route. The town also lies near the shores of False Bay on the warm Indian Ocean side of the cape peninsula. Given the distance from Cape Town, Somerset West should be considered an independent entity with most of its inhabitants employed in the various agricultural and manufacturing enterprises in the area.
The town is also popular with the older generation, and those Capetonians who enjoy a country atmosphere and who don't mind a long commute. Shoppers are well served by the mammoth Somerset Mall, but there's not much nightlife to be had out here; entertainment in these parts is derived almost exclusively from Mother Nature. The area has a couple of above-average independent schools but, as is the norm across the Cape, most children commute to the Southern Suburbs for lessons.
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Somerset West area
Somerset West, Cape Town, South Africa