St James, Cape Town

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St James
Beach houses at St James
Beach houses at St James
St James is located in South Africa
St James
St James
 St James shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 34°07′08″S 18°27′33″E / 34.11889°S 18.45917°E / -34.11889; 18.45917Coordinates: 34°07′08″S 18°27′33″E / 34.11889°S 18.45917°E / -34.11889; 18.45917
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
Municipality City of Cape Town
Main Place Muizenberg
 • Total 0.37 km2 (0.14 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 491
 • Density 1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 7.3%
 • Coloured 6.7%
 • White 79.6%
 • Other 6.3%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • English 87.1%
 • Afrikaans 6.1%
 • Xhosa 2.3%
 • Other 4.5%
Postal code (street) 7945
PO box 7946

St James is a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, situated on the False Bay coast between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, and historically known as ‘millionaire’s mile’.[2] The well-to-do little suburb is squeezed between the rocky shore and a steep mountain, and measures about 200m by 2 km. Its name derives from the early St James Catholic Church, built circa 1880. Most of the suburb was built between 1910 and 1950, after the railway line was built connecting Cape Town to False Bay. St James is fast becoming one of the trendiest places to stay in Cape Town.[2]

St James beach is well known for its trademark colourful Victorian bathing boxes [3] and large tidal pool.[4] During the summer months, the beach is a favourite amongst locals and tourists [3] who come to swim and soak up the sun. It’s a particularly popular choice for families [5] with young children as the many rock pools provide hours of fun and exploring, as well as safe swimming in temperate waters.[2] The beach is also incredibly well sheltered [4] making it a suitable option for beach goers when Cape Town’s strong winds blow during the summer months.

Properties in this picturesque, seaside village are sought after and usually fetch a high price. Most of the homes in the area date back to the days when the Cape was still a colony of the Victorian Empire [4] and their colonial past [3] is evident in their façades. They reflect the splendour of the early gold-and-diamond mining era.[2] The houses were built from limestone, plaster and stone, complete with traditional thatched roofs. St James Cottage was built in 1853 and during the Anglo-Boer War, the owner Abraham Auret helped to hide prisoners of war in the loft of his barn after which they attempted to escape across the bay.[3]

Boyes Drive runs above St James and provides some of the most scenic views of the False Bay coastline. St James is conveniently located close to the Simon’s Town train line [4] making movement between the quaint coastal villages quick and easy. With a number of accommodation options to choose from, visitors to St James are sure to find suitable lodgings. There are also fascinating walks and hikes around the area to be enjoyed by all. During whale season, there are fantastic in-land whale watching opportunities where whales can be seen mere metres from the shoreline.[2]

The Main Road that runs from St James through to Kalk Bay Harbour has a Mediterranean feel to it and is filled with charming antique stores, boutiques, book shops, art galleries and sidewalk cafés. Being a fishing village, fresh fish can be bought from the local fisherman at the harbour for an authentic South African seaside experience.[2]

Guest Houses/Accommodation[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sub Place St James". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "St James Guesthouses". 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Cape Point Route Info". 2004. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "SA Venues St James". 1999. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Cape Town Tourism". 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.