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is an area of gentle hills which straddles the N3 highway immediately to the northeast of Pietermartizburg
in the Natal Central
area of the KwaZulu Natal
region of South Africa
The geography and climate of this area felt pleasantly familiar to nineteenth century British colonists as they moved inland from Durban
. In just a couple of decades they managed to turn it into a "Little England", complete with stately country houses, productive farms and quaint villages.
These days, if you avoid the main N3 and instead head along the old R103, you will find yourself on what has become known as the "Midlands Meander" ... a leisurely drive through some very English scenery, quaint small towns packed with craft shops and restaurants, with a good selection of pleasant country retreats at which to stay.Hartford House
... is a genuinely upmarket country house option which is especially strong for horse-riding.Karkloof Spa
... is a funky modern alternative which also has a small private wildlife reserve.