In 1817 four farmers , who owned different parts of a divided Vergelegen , decided the time was rigth for the building of a church.
The British governor Lord Charles Somerset granted permission for the construction of a church and the laying out of a village around it, and graciously allowed the patrons of the church to name the new village `Somerset`.
In 1850 the name of the settlement was changed to Somerset West to avoid confusion with the town of Somerset East.
Modern - day Somerset West is a far cry from the tiny settlement that it once was , but the town still has an historical air which adds to its character and charm. Oak trees and thatched cottages , historic buildings and national monuments combine with the presence of a bustling , close - knit communtity to give the town a pleasant , comforting aura.
Nature - lovers will feel right at home in the beautiful Helderberg Nature Reserve , which stretches up the slopes of the magnificent H e l d e r b e r g Mountain , offering walks and views of the Helderberg. For more serious hikers , the nearby Boland Trail offers two or three - day encounters with the mountains and flora of the region.
The famous beaches of Strand , Gordon's Bay and Macassar are less than a 15 minutes away by car , making the Helderberg a paradise for water sport enthusiasts and sunbathers.
C a p e T o w n is a mere 48km away and Stellenbosch which lies at the heart of the historical C a p e W i n e l a n d s , takes only 20 minutes to reach by car.
To the east lies the spectacular scenic coastal drive to Pringle Bay , Betty's Bay , Kleinmond and Hermanus , while the N2 over Sir Lowry's Pass brings one into the wonderfully lush deciduous fruit growing regions of Grabouw and Elgin.
A bird`s eye view WESTERN CAPE.....