Barrydale is a tranquil village of homes with expansive gardens at the bottom of the Tradouw Pass. Enclosed in a narrow valley at the foot of the Langeberg mountains, Barrydale exudes a timeless country charm.
The village developed around a church built by the farming community shortly after the Tradouw was completed. It is said to have been named after Joseph Barry, a prosperous businessman, or his family at least.
Barrydale is the gateway to the Overberg and Klein Karoo and is known for its production of deciduous fruits. There was, however, a time when farmers bred ostriches and some of the grand homes in the town were built from the feather-boom fortunes. At the beginning of World War II, Barrydale farmers, who had failed at a previous attempt to produce grapes, formed a wine and brandy co-operative which has achieved great success. Daily tours of the Barrydale Wine Cellars can be arranged.
Barrydale is home to an eclectic collection of shops. There is Jam Tarts, a jam factory where you can taste and buy; the Plaza Flea Market that is filled with the most extraordinary junk and bric a brac and Mary's Ern which sells products made from raffia.
There are tours and tasting to be had at the Joubert-Tradouw Wines/Vleiplaas Farm where you are allowed to pick your own fruit. They will make lunch or dinner by arrangement. The Tradouw Fruit Packers offer tours of the packing sheds during season.
There are many hikes and walks in and around Barrydale. Booklets with trails designed for different age groups are available at the Tourism Bureau. The Grootvaderbosch Nature Reserve is an indigenous forest with walks and hikes. The Kannaland Nature Reserve offers many activities other than hiking - there is swimming, tennis and a collection of farm animals. They also offer accommodation.
Dr Peter Frazer has a labyrinth that can be walked at his farm by appointment, and other farms in the area offer excellent trout fishing and 4 x 4 trails.
Sports activities in the town include tennis, jukskei and bowling.
The Tradouw Mountain pass is characterised by unusual rock formations, waterfalls and shallow pools.