Welcome to a valley where you’ll feel at home. Enjoy the beautiful scenery cupped by lush green hills and forests. Settle in and relax with delicious country meals and an inviting atmosphere where all are welcome. De-stress with walks which take in the surrounding sights or soak up the sun, lulled by the sounds of birdsong.This delightful escape is only a short journey away (45 mins from Pietermaritzburg and 75 mins from Durban).
The perfect place for a weekend getaway or family holiday.
It is a guarantee that once you have experienced the magic of The Oaks, that you will carry a hint of this back home with you along with good memories to treasure.
Newsflash: The Changing face of The Oaks in a new Season
The mists which hung above our valley have been blown away by a fresh wind which has breathed a new beginning into our well-loved haven and your happy place. Watch this space as we continue to update you with news of our adventures as we merge familiar memories and comforts with progress and tap into your needs and dreams to create a space which blends the old with the new seamlessly.
We are taking this opportunity to dispel any uncertainty which exists about “The Oaks” and invite all old ‘Oaks” family to share our journey as we embark on a new phase for The Oaks as we all knew it. We will be inviting guests to join us for our revival of the hotel over the June long-weekend (14-17 June) and two further weekends (dates to be announced). We welcome you to chat to us any time and to let us talk to you over these weekends and through a quarterly newsletter which we will email to you.
Gavin and Kerry Atterbury will remain at the heart of matters, managing “The Oaks” which will be directed by Cathy and Roland Eberle, former longstanding guests and family friends. There will be no mysteries as we revive “The Oaks” and it is our aim that the weekends mentioned above will clarify our way forward.
We don’t expect to achieve this overnight, but we hope that you will stay with us and note the changes, as we shape and fit our “happy place” to become the place you’ve always dreamed of. We invite you to take the familiar turn-off down our country road and step out beneath the oak trees, breathing in the scent of happy times with good friends, delicious food and plenty of activities. We will make sure that there will also always be quiet places to read a book, sketch, listen to the birds or just doze to the gentle humming of the bees. You may discover relaxing meanders you have never been on before or adventure not yet experienced.
We are excited at the prospect of change and growth and welcome constructive input so that guests can also participate in some of the change and development and take delight in having been a part of what is long overdue. Just as the seasons change in our valley, we are preparing to adapt to changing times.
We offer a range of activities to suit all needs. For those just wanting to relax and enjoy a quiet time: there are comfortable lounges, beautiful gardens and verandahs where one can sit, read, catch up with friends, play board games or even have a nap. For those wanting to get rid of that excess city energy, we offer a range of indoor and outdoor activities to occupy those who enjoy being on the go. Our bird-life is prolific and many an hour can be spent identifying the different calls or sightings. A visitor’s log of birds sighted or heard can be filled in at the front reception. Set in a valley with hills and forests we are perfectly situated for gentle strolls or longer more strenuous walks. The terrain lends itself to mountain-biking, from short 5km rides for beginners to longer 40 km rides for the more experienced, The Oaks offers a variety of scenic routes with varying levels of technical difficulty.
Indoor activities include: Darts in the bar, adults-only pool room with dart board and skittle table, a full size snooker table, table tennis and TV in three lounges. WIFI is available to guests, received in the main hotel building and areas. A nominal fee is charged. Our charming bar has a cosy and inviting atmosphere where many new acquaintances are made and old ones renewed. During the chilly winter months the log fire ensures you’ll stay snug and toasty.
Outdoor facilities & activities include: Swimming pool, two tennis courts, bowling green, 18 hole putt-putt course, children’s playground area and outdoor chess set.
Fun for Children includes: A tractor ride -During the school holidays or other busy periods. Moms and dads are welcome to join in to hold the smaller ones. Donkey rides -Younger children can enjoy a daily rides on Pedro the donkey. His companion Ruby is not ridden but definitely enjoys some toast or an apple, as does Pedro.
Not many Sunday mornings go by without hearing the throaty roar of motorbikes coming to enjoy our delicious Sunday breakfasts with our home-made fresh scones being a highlight. Car clubs, sometimes vintage, sometimes modern, also enjoy the road trip followed by a hearty meal.
Richmond Country Club is just 20 minutes away and offers a 9 hole golf course.
Richmond Museum in the town of Richmond, 15 minutes drive.
Baynesfield Estate Museum in Baynesfield, 30 minutes drive.
The Atom Museum is no longer open.
Cunningham’s Ridge itself (which is a conservancy) with views over the Byrne valley on one side and towards Richmond on the other. On a clear day the Drakensberg mountains can be seen.
St Mary Magdalene Anglican Church and cemetery on the edge of the village. The site of the first church, built in 1854 can be seen. The present day church was built in 1922.
“Over there” post-organic farm right next door to The Oaks Hotel, a great attraction for the little ones.
The Byrne settlers made the Byrne Valley their home in 1850. Their ship, The Minerva,was wrecked just off the Bluff, Durban on 3 July 1850. Most of their worldly treasures, possessions and food were lost, a devastating set-back for these brave pioneers. They had an arduous journey from the coast to the interior. They mistakenly thought the land they had bought was on the coast but soon discovered they had been duped by the unscrupulous Joseph Byrne. Hence the name of the valley.
Richmond Museum houses many artifacts from this period and makes an interesting outing. Part of The Oaks Hotel itself is an original homestead, which previously belonged to Richard and Bessie Hosking (neé McLeod). There are a few other houses in the valley that were also original homesteads. The Oaks was a guest farm until the late 1940’s when it first became a licensed hotel. The current owners have made The Oaks their home since 1984.