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The Cock House, Grahamstown
The Cock House, Grahamstown
This award-winning guest house in Settler Country is known for its relaxing, home-from-home atmosphere.
Location: Cacadu, Eastern Cape
Type: Guest House
Price Range: Standard R350 - R500 pps
  • Elegant
  • Relaxed
  • Historical
Guest Rating: 0
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One of Grahamstown's best-loved landmarks, The Cock House offers you country-style home comfort and elegant dining in the historic "City of Saints". Already with some awards under its belt, this warm and inviting guest lodge is a National Monument.  You'll find a relaxing, home-from-home atmosphere where you'll be treated like a special and very welcome guest.  There's a lovely collection of books in the library for those rainy days or to enjoy while you wait for your partner to get ready.  The cosy pub is great place to meet at the end of the day for pre-dinner drinks.

A bit of the history: the guest house was named after the Hon. William Cock, an enterprising 1820 Settler who created Port Alfred harbour. It was built in 1826 by yet another settler, Benjamin Norden.  Some of its more famous previous inhabitants include Dr John Atherstone and the famous South African author, Andre Brink.

Since it opened as a guest house in 1991, many guests have returned time and again to the convivial atmosphere of The Cock House - including our most famous guest of all, Mr Nelson Mandela, who has stayed on three occasions.

An excellent addition to The Cock House is 4 x 2-bedroomed, luxurious self-catering apartments for those who prefer a little more independence.  These apartments are wheelchair friendly.

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Contact Details

Contact Person: Reception
Email: cockhouse@imaginet.co.za
Website: http://www.cockhouse.co.za/
Phone: +27 (0) 46 636-1287
Fax: +27 (0) 46 636-1295
Street: 10 Market Street
City: Grahamstown
State: Eastern Cape
Country: South Africa


Directions: From the N2 highway, take the Grahamstown offramp signposted 'Business Centre / R67 Port Alfred. Turn into George Street and continue down the hill to a 4-way stop street.  Turn right into Market Street and the Cock House is just on the right, number 10 Market Street.


Each of the 9 double guest rooms has been individually decorataed.  All have bath and/or shower, hairdryer, TV with selected DSTV channels, telephone and tea/coffee facilities with homemade biscuits.

Wheelchair friendly apartments


The Cock House has its own in-house restaurant:  Norden's.  Here you'll find the cuisine follows traditional lines with international influences and makes full use of fresh local and seasonal produce.  There's home-baked breads, fresh garden herbs to season the soups and sauces and death-by-chocolate desserts to tempt every palate.  There is also a seriously good wine cellar to choose from.

Breakfasts are a treat with a marvelous spread of freshly-baked muffins, homemade muesli, fresh fruit and fruit juices as well as cooked breakfast with eggs as you like them.

Norden's Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day except Monday lunch.  Don't miss the sumptuous Sunday Buffet lunches!


  • Observatory Museum
  • Historic Grahamstown
  • Game drives
  • Norden's Restaurant
  • Golf


No. of rooms: 17
Pricing: Standard R350 - R500 pps
Children Policy:
Usual Guests:
  • Families
  • Business
  • Independent travellers
  • Gays

Best time to visit:
Festival time (July) and the quieter months over Christmas & New Year - when all the students have gone home, yet you're within easy reach of the sea and historical sites.

What to pack:
Grahamstown can get seriously hot in summer - and winters can be wet & cold.  Dress accordingly.

  • Elegant
  • Relaxed
  • Historical
Why visit The Cock House
Best Features: Wonderful decor and freshness.  The welcoming atmosphere.  Gorgeous food at the gracious Norden's Restaurant.
Bear In Mind: Fully booked during Rhodes peak times (eg orientation and graduation) and festival times - eg English, Science & National Arts Festival times.  Book well in advance.  

Things to Do and See
The Cock House is perfectly located for exploring historic Grahamstown with its annual National Arts Festival and Sci Fest.  The city has a variety of beautiful Victorian architecture worth looking at, the unique Observatory Museum, Rhodes University and several well-known schools.

Your hosts will help you to book:

  • Walking tours of Grahamstown

  • City and township tours

  • Game drive tours (e.g. Addo, Kariega, Pumba)

  • Frontier Country tour.

  • Map for self-drive tour to Port Alfred, Kenton, Salem and back to Grahamstown.

  • Golf at Grahamstown, Port Alfred and Fish River Sun

as well as assist you with any other activities you'd like to do.

Low season

Mid season

Peak season


Terms & Cond

Terms & Conditions

  • To confirm a booking we require a deposit of R100.00 per room per night.
  • This can be paid via credit card or bank transfer.
  • For credit card payment, we require the number, expiry date and the last 3 digits at the back of card.


  • Cancellation less than seven (7) days prior to arrival date forfeit the full room rate.
  • Cancellation seven (7) to fourteen (14) days forfeit 75% of the room rate.
  • Cancellation fourteen (14) to twenty-one (21) days forfeit 50% of the room rate.
  • Cancellation twenty-one (21) to twenty-eight (28) days forfeit 25% of the room rate.

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