Pilgrims Rest
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 24 54.184 E 030 45.079 pop. 1,800 | elevation 1,285m/4,216 ft

Pilgrims Rest is an old mining town dating back to the late 1800s when prospectors came from across the world to try their luck panning for gold. Not much has changed in the town in the past 100 years, which makes it a great area to walk around and get a feel for early South African gold mining communities.

There are four museums in town all on Main Street within a couple blocks from each other. Tickets must be purchased at the Pilgrims Rest Information Center.

Central Garage Transport Museum

Two doors up from the information center is the Central Garage Transport Museum which has displays of vintage vehicles and transport methods used in the area.

Printing Museum

Across the street from the Central Garage Museum is the Printing Museum which displays the history of the printing of the Pilgrim & Sabie News and the press of Pilgrim's Rest gold fields from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

The House Museum

The House Museum is a restored Victorian style home with wood and iron architecture typical of the area.

Dresden Museum

Down the road a bit is the Dresden Museum, a typical general dealers store from the time period of 1930-1950.

Diggings Site Museum

To see demonstrations of alluvial gold mining and the equipment and conditions in which gold miners lived head to the open-air Diggings Site Museum. A tour can be arranged at the Information Center.

The Alanglade House Museum

The Alanglade House Museum was built in 1915 as the mine manager's residence in Pilgrims Rest and is reconstructed with early 20th century furnishings.

There are many craft stalls in town with the largest concentration on Main Street in Uptown as well as a number of small shops.

Pilgrim's Rest Caravan Park

Pilgrim's Rest Caravan Park is a sprawling caravan/camping park with dorm facilities for large groups. The camping area has braai pits, tables, a volleyball court and when we visited, a large bull roaming around the facility. They also sell firewood.

Royal Hotel

Royal Hotel is the largest establishment in town with a main hotel building, two annex buildings with rooms across the street (the Victorian Cottage and The Bank House), a bar, and the Royal Hotel Restaurant.

District Six

District Six is six original mine workers' houses from the 1920s. These self-catering units are just off the main road perched on the hillside with a view below. There is no reception on location so be sure to make your reservation in advance.

Royal Hotel Restaurant

Royal Hotel Restaurant is attached to the Royal Hotel and is the largest and most popular restaurant in town.

C.H. Chaitow's Restaurant & Pub

C.H. Chaitow's Restaurant & Pub is a good place to meet up with locals having a drink at the bar and enjoy lunch outside with a view of Main St.

Scott's Café

Scott's Café has a large gift shop attached and serves up pancakes, sandwiches, burgers, steak, desserts and drinks.

Stables Deli & Café

Stables Deli & Café serves light snacks, coffee and tea.

The pub crawling options in Pilgrims Rest are limited but there is generally a group of people crowding the bar at the Royal Hotel and C.H. Chaitow's Restaurant & Pub.