In 1983, Dave and Sue Barnett and their three small children purchased a bare farm in the mountain grassland of the Southern Drakensberg. Their first residence on this property in an old caravan with an outside toilet was gradually replaced with something more substantial in bricks and mortar and by 1986 the family made this land their permanent home. They gave the farm the name of "Castleburn" from the combination of the majestic Garden Castle mountain that towers over the property and the word "burn", a Scottish name from Dave's boyhood for a small stream.
The family earned a living from construction and a small farming operation and dreamed of building a lake one day in the valley below their home and having cottages on its shores looking over the water to the towering Drakensberg mountains.
This came about in 1991 when their year was spent labouring to create a massive earth dam wall and in building the first four thatched cottages and the clubhouse – but almost overnight at the end of that year the rains arrived to fill the lake and Castleburn was born.
Two years later, Peter Foaden of Magic Breakaways and Dave Barnett met and formed a winning relationship between them which endures to this day and which has seen Castleburn grow into the unique mountain resort of the Magic Breakaways Leisure Developments portfolio.