Whilst Clifton and Camps Bay are far better known to tourists, Lagoon Beach offers the classic view of Table Mountain, with fun around the lagoon, and a view of Robben Island in the distance. In summer the sun sets behind Lion's Head and in winter amongst the ships in the bay, and the spot is a photographer's dream (as it got dark whilst we were there, my little daughter called me outside, she was entranced by Cape Town lighting up with different colours, and seeing the ships' lights in the bay come on). The downside is that in summer it's often windier than Clifton (in autumn and spring the wind isn't as much of an issue). Like Clifton and Camps Bay, Lagoon Beach has the cold water of the Benguela Current lapping against its sands. It's more a beach for going for walks and building sandcastles than swimming. There's a MyCiTi bus stop close by, from which it is 15 minutes into Cape Town City, but your life will be far easier if you hire a car at Cape Town Airport after landing.
On the opposite end of the mouth of the Diep River to Lagoon Beach is Woodbridge Island, which is a residential area which was built in the 1980s. Here's a photo of the wooden bridge from which the island gets its name - before the new bridge was constructed along with the residences, it was the only way of driving to Milnerton Beach.
Before the 1980s development of Woodbridge Island, the only buildings were the lighthouse (commissioned in 1960) and Zonnekus, which is the yellow building in the middle of the photograph, and was Sir David Graaff's beach house (built by Italians during the great depression, and the material was shipped to South Africa).
Is this lagoon beach in the Virgin Atlantic advert?
This photo was taken on the 20th April, and the sun was setting far north of lion's head and signal hill (at the point where the sun is setting you can see a ship).
Plan your visit to Lagoon Beach to enjoy a sunset (make sure you have your camera handy). This photo was taken on the 26th of December, which is close to the most southerly point at which the sun sets over lion's head.
The Lagoon Beach Hotel is close to the beach and offers the classic view of Table Mountain (you must go for a sea view). It's closer to the lagoon and restaurants than Leisure Bay and Spinnakers.
Leisure Bay Luxury Suites are self-catering apartments, with the option of meals. All rooms face the ocean, but get a room on the 3rd floor to maximise the view.
Spinnakers are privately owned apartments next to (south of) Leisure Bay Luxury Suites, some of which are available to be rented out. The penthouses are sea-facing and can sleep up to 6 people in 3 bedrooms.
Hire a car at Cape Town International Airport, and then it's about a 20 minute drive to Lagoon Beach along the N2, M5, Koeberg Road and Boundary Road.
As you sit in your apartment it's interesting to identify the ships there, cruising from Cape Town, and sheltering from storms in the bay.
And here's the view of Spinnakers from the end of the pier:
Beauty amidst the gloom in this photo taken in late May in Lagoon Beach. This rolling fog and mist was never far away, accompanied by an orchestra of foghorns, cheering it on.
Sandbags to protect the dune just in case there's a winter flood:
I spotted this sign as I was driving from Lagoon Beach in the dark...fortunately I was going straight (so didn't have to yield to pedestrians?)
Written by Rob Baker