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East London’s Woodleigh, located deep in suburbia, is sheltered by tracts of parkland to the south with the Nahoon River flowing a short distance to the north. Woodleigh is a bicycle ride away from the sparkling Indian Ocean on this south-easterly section of the South African coastline.
Aside from the suburb’s close proximity to the Nahoon River and beach, Woodleigh is near to schools, shopping centres, restaurants and the city’s nightlife. The leafy James Pearce Park lies to the east, a venue popular for wedding photographs, picnics, flea markets and walking the dog.
The origin of the suburb’s name is unknown but we would like to think it’s named after Agatha Christie’s town of Woodleigh Common.
Top 6 reasons to visit Woodleigh
1. Relax on East London’s welcoming beaches. Nahoon Beach is the closest and the city’s most popular for swimming, fishing at the river mouth and surfing the challenging waves at Nahoon Point. For families, Orient Beach has 2 swimming pools, a grassed areas and several restaurants overlooking the ocean.
2. The city hosts the annual East London Agricultural Show, well frequented by the locals and visitors from neighbouring towns. The show offers polo matches, show jumping events, a craft market, food stalls, dog show and funfair.
3. The Vincent Park shopping mall is less than 4km from Woodleigh. The centre has 70 stores, 5 cinemas, a large open food court, banking hall and plenty parking.
4. Walk through the 10ha Queens Park Zoological Gardens, situated in a natural coastal forest belt, to appreciate the endemic fauna. The East London Zoo is incorporated into the gardens and has over 40 mammal species on view. The wild cats and primate enclosures are always popular.
5. Visit the Art Versatile gallery in Vincent to view the fabulous pottery created by Litha Ncokazi. His works of clay are winning awards and are highly sought after.
6. Try your hand at surf skiing, find good swell to surf the waves on these sleek carbon-fibre boards. Several beachfront stores hire out the boards and safety gear.
International flights arrive via Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg at the East London Airport, 14km from Woodleigh. Various car rental agencies operate out of the city centre and East London Airport or you could book a rental online. Metered taxi and shuttle companies are available throughout East London. If you have the Uber app, book a ride using your mobile phone.
Did you know?
The East London Aquarium has a few rare Cape pygmy lobsters, the only aquarium to have such creatures on display. The lobster grows to a maximum of 12cm (4.7”) in length and only a few specimens have been recorded along the South African coastline.
Mercedes Benz plans to increase production capacity at its Daimler plant in East London, one of four plants worldwide selected to produce the new C class model. Similar investments into the plant have in the past injected billions into the South African economy.