Only 20 minutes drive north of Johannesburg and en route to the Cradle Humankind, the Ngwenya Glass Village is an ideal place for a family day out with twelve arts and crafts shops to browse, as well as restaurants, cafes and the famous Gilroy’s Brewery, all set amid a pleasant green space shaded by trees and with a children’s playground. At the hub of the village is the Shades of Ngwenya glass-blowing factory where unique artworks, gifts, trophies and other glassware are made using recycled glass.
The factory makes use of recycled crushed glass, around 500kgs daily, which are melted down in a furnace and then moulded into a range of items by the glass-masters. On a visit you can browse the many items on sale and watch the craftsmen at work. There are also plenty of other arts and crafts stores within the so-called village, selling locally hand-crafted items such as ceramics and wire and bead art. And no visit to Ngwenya would be complete without stopping for lunch or a drink at Gilroy’s brewery where refreshing German-style craft beers are brewed.