Sandton Field and Study Centre: Boring Name, Beautiful Park

Second in my series of Sandton Snapshot posts.

While reading my recent post about the impending publication of SandtonPlaces, you may have wondered where the photo on the mock cover of the book — a shot of a dog playing in a river — was taken. A good friend of mine from Sandton, who lives and works a couple of kilometres from where I encountered that cute doggie, looked at the mock cover recently and asked me, “What does this have to do with Sandton?” Haha. Prepare to be enlightened.

The photo was taken at the Sandton Field and Study Centre, a park that borders William Nicol Drive to the west and the Sandton suburb of Parkmore to the east. The Braamfontein Spruit, one of Joburg’s main waterways, runs right through it.

The Sandton Field and Study Centre is a five-minute drive from Sandton City. But if you go there at the right time and stand quietly next to the water, you might momentarily forget you’re in Joburg and think you’ve been teleported to Montana.

Parkmore - Field and Study river

The Braamfontein Spruit (spruit is the Afrikaans word for stream) babbles through the Sandton Field and Study Centre.

Parkmore - Field and Study trees

I took these photos during the South African winter, which is why the trees are bare. 

Unlike James and Ethel Gray Park, my other favorite park in the Sandton area, the Sandton Field and Study Centre’s name doesn’t do it justice. This might be one of the reasons why hardly anyone seems to know about it. Trust me though, the Field and Study Centre is nowhere near as boring as its name implies.

In addition to the lovely trees and water, the Field and Study Centre includes a large community centre in a century-old house (read more about the house here), offering exercise and language classes and various other activities. There is a horse stable, a montessori school, and a nice outdoor restaurant called the River Café. The park is also a great launching-off point for hiking or biking the Braamfontein Spruit Trail, which I’ve been meaning to do forever but haven’t gotten to yet.

Parkmore - Field and Study waterfall

The Spruit. I still don’t know how to properly pronounce it — sprit? sprewt? sprew-it? — but I think it’s a lovely word nonetheless.

So don’t be put off by the boring name. The next time you’re looking for an outdoor outing in Joburg, check out the Sandton Field and Study Centre. Bring your dog.

Parkmore - Field and Study dog

The famous mystery dog. I’m still on a quest to learn his name.

The entrance to the Sandton Field and Study Centre is on Louise Avenue in Parkmore, near the corner of 14th Street. The centre does have a website, but I’m hesitant to link to it because Google tells me the site might be hacked. Shame. The URL is fieldandstudy.co.za.

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17 Comments

  • Reply colin February 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    How large is the park? It’s beautiful.

    • Reply 2summers February 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Hmm, I’m actually not sure. There isn’t much information about online. But it’s quite big – big enough for a nice walk.

  • Reply tjphull February 16, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Reblogged this on tjphull.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough February 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Lovely spot. And it DOES look like a perfect place to take the dog. Hope your weekend is ending on a high note.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Reply 2summers February 17, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Thanks Kathy, you too.

  • Reply Peter van der Merwe (@Peter_vdm) February 17, 2014 at 8:09 am

    It’s pronounced spray-t 🙂

    • Reply 2summers February 17, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Haha. I was nowhere close. Thank you.

  • Reply Justin September 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Safety & security? Are there vagrants in the park?

    • Reply 2summers September 12, 2014 at 8:52 am

      I’m sure there are some vagrants in the park, as there are in pretty much every park in every major city on earth. But the park is perfectly safe as long as you practice common sense.

      • Reply Justin September 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

        Awesome, thanks for the feedback. I’m going tomorrow with my wife and doggy, and will go to the River Café for lunch afterwards. Also looking forward to purchasing a copy of the Sandton Places book for my coffee table!

        • Reply 2summers September 12, 2014 at 9:03 am

          Great, enjoy! I’m sure you’ll love the park and the book 🙂

  • Reply hellonearth06 October 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I grew up in Sandton and the Field and Study was one of our regular visits – I used to do extra maths and science here (Who remembers Star Schools?) every Thursday evening. I love field and study!

    Have you reviewed The Ernest Ullman Park in Morningside Manor? Its a true gem of the northern suburbs and the place that I did Brownies, Girl Guides, learnt how to do Cake Icing!, and voted in the 1994 elections…

    • Reply 2summers October 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      I haven’t blogged about Ernest Ullman but I did go there to take photos for the SandtonPlaces book. It’s a beautiful park and has such an interesting story. Thanks for your comments.

  • Reply Annie January 9, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Hi, just came across the Field and Study Center looking for nice places to walk my dog and your blog came up in a wider search I was doing. Just to help out their actual website is: http://fofs.co.za I am a fellow Joburg expat and photography enthusiast so thanks for all the great insights on your blog!

    • Reply 2summers January 9, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks so much Annie. I think their site was under construction when i wrote this. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂

  • Reply Colin Alston May 23, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    It’s pronounced ‘spray-t’, but you sort of pince your lips to make the `aeui` sound on the back of a slightly rolling ‘r’, which doesn’t really have an English comparison that I can think of.

    • Reply 2summers May 24, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Haha, thank you. I’ve been practicing this for the last few years but I still can’t get the rolling R just right.

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