Don’t you just love it when – after a week of cloud and rain – Saturday dawns dry, bright and sunny (if still rather cold!). So was the weather today, and so I headed for Holsbeek and the Hagelandse Valley. It’s an extensive area of woodland, meadows, streams and marshes, and is criss-crossed with plenty of well-signposted footpaths. At this time of the year you definitely need rubber boots, as some of the paths are very muddy. On my 8 km walk I didn’t see a single person, but I did spot a goshawk, some buzzards, a red squirrel, and the usual woodland birds such as woodpeckers, nuthatches, treecreepers etc. It’s definitely a place to return to in the spring, when the woodland flowers will be in full bloom. Here’s a map of the area: Map of Hagelandse Valley. You can park in Holsbeek at the back of the church, where there is also a map on a board. If you’re travelling by bus, De Lijn bus no. 310 goes through Holsbeek from Leuven station. Here are some photos of the area and its inhabitants. (The photos of birds are not mine).