I am a British-Belgian. I was born and educated in the UK but now have Belgian nationality. My wife Liz and I moved to Belgium in October 1987 where I setup my own freelance technical copywriting business. You can read more about how I ended up in Belgium here. Technical copywriting has been my day job since then. I have also written extensively on Belgium for various publications such as The Bulletin, Flanders Today, Brussels & Wallonia, AWAY magazine and others. I started this Discovering Belgium blog in 2011.
Liz and I have four adult children and two young grandchildren. All our children were educated in the local Flemish schools, which I can highly recommend.
Subscribe to Discovering Belgium
If you want to keep up-to-date with every new post on Discovering Belgium, it’s easy. Just add your email below and you will get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog or Belgium just drop me a line and I’ll see if I can answer it or find someone who can. You can WhatsApp me too:
I wish you much pleasure discovering the fascinating and varied country of Belgium, whether you are passing through or here to stay. If you find this blog useful, here’s how you can support it.
Taru from WIC TOURS has forwarded your website/blog to myself and Helen Palk as we will be taking over the WIC TOURS group for next year. Of course we have to get busy now to plan ahead…I have submitted my email for blog updates and look forward to taking a day trip with you one day. I’ve just returned home from the floralia-brussels…splendid, indeed.
Thanks for your comment Lori. Glad you liked Floralia. Look forward to hearing more from WIC members.
Just came across your blog & thought you might be able to offer ideas.
We are travelling to Begium for the 1st time later this month. We arrive at Brussels airport and have booked 1 night in Brugge & 1 night in Antwerp. Originally, thought we’d rent a car at BRU and travel, we are staying 3 nights outside of Namur with family friends. Our final destination is a wedding in Heidelburg the first weekend in July.
I just found out that there is a 300euro surcharge to return rental car in Stuttgart, so I am now thinking about renting 2 cars, one for Belgium and i for Germany and taking trains in between.
I would love any advice that you could offer, including places to see, where to find train inf, etc.
Have just emailed you some suggestions Donna
Hi Denzil. So happy to have found your site. I am looking for a good 3 day walk in a scenic part of Belgium that is accessible by train from Brussels. There is so little I found on the web in english.
I was hoping for a 30-35 mile walk. I will do this in November so I know it will be chilly :). Any recommendations on the right maps, etc. would be great.
Thanks so much for your recommendations.
Hi Denzil, This week I am spending four days exploring parts of Flanders and I would like to see Castle Marnix de Sainte Aldegonde in Bornem. I know I can’t go inside without an organised tour, but can you advise where might be a good place to view the castle? Can it easily been seen from the street or is it better to view it from across the water, Oude Schelde?
Hi Wendy. You can see the castle from across the other side of the River Schelde, from Binnendijkstraat. Unfortunately you are more likely to get a better view in the winter when the trees are not in leaf. But I am fairly confident that you will be able to see it in June too, although it’s a few years since I was there. In fact there is a marked footpath that goes along the Binnendijkstraat. I will email you a map that shows it.
Hi Denzil, just to let you know I did get a good view of the castle across the River Schelde. As you said there are a lot of leafy trees but there was one very clear view, and its a beautiful castle. Thanks for your advice and for sending me the map.
So glad you had a good view Wendy and enjoyed the castle. Looking forward to seeing the artistic results one day?
If I do paint it I’ll be sure to let you know.
Dear Denzil, Thanks to you that I came across the wood craft in Belgium… I am very very interested in learning wood crafting especially using scroll machine… Do you know someone apart from Patrick who can teach me.. He gives lessons, but they only start in September… I would be very thankful for your info !
Somya, thanks for your comment. I am seeing Patrick tomorrow and will ask him if he knows of any other courses. Then I will email you the results.
Hoping to do a linear walk in the Ardennes next spring,over 5 to 8 days staying at band b or small hotels. Is there any publications in English if possible of recognised routes.
Thanks for your question Jim, I’ll give it some thought and get back to you by email.
Dear Denzil, Kudos to you! Just came across your blog and your words are really inspiring. I am moving with my husband to Belgium in a couple of months and I am planning to discover more of Belgium through your blog. Do you have any suggestions on the best places for us to live in Belgium(Flanders or Brussels area) so that we both can really explore the charm of Belgium and yet be in a good and safe neighborhood ? Would love to see a post on that probably!!
Hi there, thanks for your positive comments! So glad you enjoy the blog, and for your idea for a post on good and safe neighborhoods, which has given me something to think about. Let’s take this discussion offline as there are so many influences on where is a good place to live in Belgium (work, school, language, etc.).
Hi. Love your writing and the way you arise appetite to follow your footsteps. Was thrilled to read about Bruegel trail. WE are 2 young ladies (60+) staying in Hoogstraten for 5 days (came for the Zundert flower parade)
Plan to do the trail on the day we plan to go to the amazing Hores art galery in st marten latem. I have 2 Q: how long it takes the trail – easy walking? 2/ where in belgium can we see Bruegel’s (all of them) paintings?
Thank you for answering
Thanks for the compliments Amira! I have sent you an email with a brochure and map of the walk, plus a video link. It’s 7 km so about 2 hours of easy walking. As far as I know, there is no single place in Belgium (or anywhere) where you can see all his originals. Enjoy your visit to Hoogstraten and Sint-Anna-Pede!
Hi Denzil, I’ve been looking for information about Belgium and your blog has been the most helpful! Thank you!
I’ll be traveling in January with two kids (9 and 5) who have never seen snow, and I’d like to make the most of it. Skiing is too much, but playing with sledges and other winter fun would be great. I think they’d appreciate walking tours as well, although they’re not used to the cold, so I’d rather not make it too long.
I believe you have suggested the area around Modave to go with small kids?
Do we need to have a car or is possible/better to just get there by train? I’m thinking about the roads, we’re still not that used to driving through the snow.
Thanks again for all the great information. Should you ever need advice when traveling to Barcelona, please let me know.
Thanks for your question Luciana, I have replied to it by email. Glad you have found my blog useful!
What a great site you have! I got more info in a few minutes than much time spent already.I am a writer working on a story (sequel) where characters go to Belgium. Difficult to find info needed–much written about this charming and fascinating little country’s cities, little about forests. I need info about the forests between St. Vith and La Roche. My character searching for portal to another world hidden in the forests–British soldier in WWII is supposed to have found. Of course, difficulty of hiding anything there today creates a problem: locate probable spot where he could have wandered alone from just south or west of St. Vith and gotten into deep forest–and that spot would have to be still there today, perhaps disguised somewhat.
Am excited to make story partially features this exciting place–want to travel there in future–wonder if you could help me out with ideas for solution to my problem? I would be very appreciative! Thanks. Roger Crane
Thanks for your positive comments about my blog Roger, and for such an interesting question. Never been asked such a question before. I will reply to you by email and hope I can help.
Hello Denzil, I really enjoy your blog and I would like to nominate you for the Epically Awesome Award, http://studentinsnowdonia.com/2016/01/25/youre-awesome/, you really do not have to do anything if you do not like awards, but it is at least a token of my appreciation
Gee thanks Callum! Or as they say in Welsh in Aberystwyth: “Boo Bangor!” 🙂
My children and I are travelling to Ostend next week. 15th to 19th. We would like to see Belgium from a local perspective. Would you suggest a place we could meet some Belgians or a place that is likely to be less touristy and more open? Or perhaps you know someone from your church who lives close to Ostend who wouldn’t mind some extra company on one day? 🙂
Hi Yvonne, I’m afraid I don’t know anyone in Ostend, so can’t be much help to you. Maybe someone reading this might be able to help. If I think of someone I will let you know. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your time in Ostend.
I’ve been thinking about you, your family, and your beautiful Country as the news plays across my screen. May you and your loved ones be safe, the families affected find solace in others feeling their loss and sending prayers, and peace be restored to your wonderful city and Country.
Thank you for your kind thoughts Judy. I and my family are safe, although we were very concerned about our youngest daughter who lives and works very near to Maelbeek metro station. But thankfully she too is safe and well. Yes these are distressing times for the people of Brussels.
Hi Denzil how do I purchase your books?!? We are in Belgium now w my 2 sons 8 and 6. I would like to take them to castles or mansions that we can enter and see the interiors somewhat intact. Can you help me?
Hi Corky, thanks for your questions. You can certainly purchase my books directly from me; I will send you the payment details by email. Regarding castles, if you look at the widgets on the far right column you will see the widget called “Categories”. Select “castles” and you will see the posts I have written on castles in Belgium. Depending on where you live in Belgium, you might find one near you. If you live in or near Brussels, and want to see an outstanding castle interior, Gaasbeek Castle is a great place to start.
Trying to press like to your comment but it keeps sending me to wordpress. Thanks for all your suggestions and articles. I am a fan!
I thank you for your positive appreciation of my blog Corky.
You have a cool blog. In the future, I really want to visit Belgium.
Thanks for the compliment Vinnieh. Belgium looks forward to welcoming you!
It looks like a really marvellous country.
It is. It has its problems of course, as does every country. But I enjoy its great variety in landscapes, languages and cultures, its close relationship of the old and the new, and the ease of walking and cycling here.
I very much look forward to discovering it.
wishing you & your sweet family only the best, Denzil – happy 2017 🙂
And the same to you Daal. And thanks for your encouragement to me on my other blog.
Wonderful site Denzil. Love your country and the photographs that you share. I am glad I got to know a bit moer of Belgium through your blog. Thanks 🙂
Thanks so much for your appreciation of my blog, Hemangini. Positive comments are always uplifting. Maybe one day you will visit Belgium and see these sites for yourself.
Great comment! We can “travel virtually” via blogs! Actually, although I write a travel blog and follow travel blogs, I don’t travel! I do in Belgium of course, but it’s only a small country. I don’t fly off to other places. I’m a home boy at heart.
haha isn’t that amazing? I read so many people writing about travel and how travel changes life and views about ones own countries, which must be true but how many of us can get the true colors of our own country? That makes what you do even more amazing. 😀 heehee Good night & sweet dreams to you.
thank you for getting in touch through my other blog, Lia in Brussels. I’ll be keeping it silent for a while, as I’m posting from The Humble Fabulist since my move to New York – I thought I’d keep them separate. I’ll catch up when I get back to Brussels but meanwhile I’ll be keeping myself updated through your posts.
OK Lia, and in the meantime I am following your exploits in NY!
Your blog and your writing is so clear and interesting. Hope you are having a great new year.
Thank you Marsha, that is a kind comment. Yes I am having a good year so far. I feel very positive, and my new blog is taking off too which is inspiring me. Hope you continue to have safe and fun travels in Australia.
Ah I didn’t realize you were back home. It looks like you had a great time. You are on my old blog Martha. The new one is http://lifesentences.blog/ which gives me an opportunity to expand a little, be a bit more creative …
Great blog! You don’t mind us sharing some posts to our Belgium community on Google+ do you? 140K followers now and growing fast. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the compliment Harry. Yes, feel free to share on your Google+ page. Thanks
Hello..all the way from India..this is Priya here, myself, husband and 3 yr old are visiting Belgium between 26th April and 30th April. We are keeping Brussels as our base and we plan to visit one more town (ghent or bruge)..It would be nice if you could help us on some itinerary for the other two days . Cycling as a family to explore the country side seems like a nice idea or anything different that we could do as a family?? Pls do help…thank you
Thanks for contacting me Priya and looking at my blog. For these two days, do you prefer to stay in Brussels or nearby, or would you like to travel to see other parts of Belgium? Also, where in Brussels will you be staying? (The centre, or the outskirts?).
Wonderful blog! I look forward to learning all about Belgium and more. With the ultimate goal of travelling from Canada to Belgium in the future. Keep up the great writing! 🙂
Your positive comment is just about the best medicine, Doctor Andrea!
Now you have me smiling! 🙂 🙂
Hi Denzil, Thank you for following Jane’s Lens. I hope you enjoy my work. You have a wonderful blog and I love your passion for Belgium and the outdoors.
Thanks for the compliment Jane; when I look at your blog I realize what a photography talent really looks like. Some of your shots are breathtaking.
Wow, thank you so much.
I used to do more photography but as my eyes deteriorated and I needed spectacles I was having difficulty seeing through the viewfinder of a DSLR properly and was getting more and more frustrated. Now I just use a Lumix portable which obviously is easier. Is this a problem you encounter, maybe not yourself but with other people? Do you know of a solution?
Welcome Calensariel, and thanks for stopping by.
Hi Denzil, thank you for following my blog!!
It’s a pleasure. You have some lovely photos of birds.
Thank you so much!
Thanks for stopping by and liking my post on how important is a good night’s sleep. I am enjoying my visit to your little corner of the blogosphere.
Thanks for dropping in!
Thanks for stopping by Raili. I hope you enjoy your virtual tour of Belgium. I will be testing your knowledge, you know! 🙂
Lol! I should have taken notes 🙂
That’s kind of you to observe and comment Sharon, thank you. I haven’t been too well recently so haven’t been able to get out and about, but I hope that will improve shortly.
I’m very sorry to hear this, Denzil. Sending wishes for a quick recovery.
Your blog is high quality blog. My hat!
Thank you! I appreciate your visit and comment.
You should return when we can travel again! And stay longer this time!
Is your Nature Walk in Vossem book still available? I have Tervuren, Leefdaal and Neerijse (all done and appreciated by the way) and would like to do the Vossem walk(s).
Hi Maria, thanks for asking but I never got around to making the Vossem book, and all the books are now out of print and sold out. I decided not to make any more but just describe the walks on this blog.