Locked up and loved up: A honeymoon at The Old Jail

Locked up and loved up: A honeymoon at The Old Jail

It’s probably a little early for jokes about the old ball-and-chain (note: it’s always too early), but if you’re going to be stuck in prison together, you want it to be The Old Jail in the town of Willowmore.

Built in the 1880’s, this prison-turned-boutique-guest-house north-east of Knysna oozes old-school charm. The Old Gaol, as it was then called, comprised a hospital cell, hard labour cells, awaiting trial cells, a female cell and kitchen cell.

After closing down as a prison in 1960, the property passed through many hands, and was uninhabited for almost 12 years, until the current owners took over and slowly turned the rustic grounds into a guest house, while still keeping many of the gorgeous Victorian features of the building. The cells and exercise areas have been converted into elegant rooms, each with its own private courtyard.

The Old Jail has three rooms in total, each air conditioned with modern amenities, high quality period finishes and private courtyards.

All three rooms are en-suite with original features, quality bedlinen and private entrance. They are easily accessible from the large safe parking area.

Farmers Suite 1  and Farmers Suite 2 have fully equipped kitchens and are two-roomed suites. Farmers Suite 1 has a sleeper couch for two sharing children 10 years and younger. Farmers Suite 2 has one extra bed for a child. This room has inter-leading doors with The Donkey Room for larger families.

The Donkey Room has an open plan bathroom with two single beds and is a sleep and go unit with an under counter fridge.

Full of history, the Karoo town of Willowmore has functioned as a farming and trading town since its discovery in 1819. There is an abundance of greenery and stunning hiking trails to explore, as well as many farmlands around. Take a trip to the Willowmore Town Hall, or visit one of the many museums around to explore and uncover the past.

If you choose to leave your room (after all, you aren’t actually in prison), Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area nearby offers several hiking, mountain biking and 4×4 trails.

Picture/s: The Old Jail

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