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Meerbeek to Bertem woods

Time to sit down in the woods!

The small village of Meerbeek is part of the larger town of Kortenberg, where I live. Despite it being only 15 km from the centre of Brussels, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how quiet and rural this area is. This walk is a perfect example. Plenty of fresh air, dense beech forests, singing birds, early Spring wild flowers, and peace. And thankfully some sunshine after a long grey winter.

The walk starts – as so often – from a church. In this case, Sint Antonius Meerbeek.

Sint Antonius church Meerbeek
Starting point is Sint Antonius Church in the centre of Meerbeek

It’s named after the patron saint Saint Anthony the Eremite, who was the protector of livestock and especially pigs.

The church is next to a small supermarket, which is handy should you wish to top up your backpack with supplies for your walk. I wonder if they refuse to sell pork in respect of their local saint? There’s a good-sized car park here. The nearest bus stop is Meerbeek Gemeentehuis just a short walk away. Meerbeek is on the main Brussels-Leuven bus route. Below is the map of the route; the GPX track can be downloaded from my RouteYou page.

If 12 km is a bit long for you, you can split it in half by walking up the Augustijnenstraat to make two 6 km walks. Both of these are also described on my RouteYou page.

This is a most pleasant country walk, taking in agricultural areas with at one point a great view over distant Leuven. The best bits are probably when you walk through both the eastern and western areas of Bertem Woods, which is split down the middle by Bosstraat. At this time of the year the lesser celandines and wood anemones are just coming into flower, bringing colour and beauty to the forest floor.

Here are some sights to see along the way:

Roadside chapel in Meerbeek
One of the many roadside chapels that you find literally everywhere in Belgium
Augustijnstraat in Bertem Woods
The Augustijnstraat through the eastern part of Bertem Woods
Time to sit down in the woods!
A perfect spot for a family picnic in the woods.
Vossenhol
The route goes through the Vossenhol forest play area for children
You will pass under the radar!
Pave path to Bertem
The old paved path leading from the fields into Bertem village
Xocolata chocolate shop Bertem
New in Bertem is the Xocolata chocolate shop, conveniently located on the route!
Koeheide nature reserve Bertem
Next stop is the Koeheide nature reserve in Bertem
Meerbeek to Bertem woods
Then it’s back into the western area of Bertem Woods
Wood anemones in Bertem Woods
In March and April, the wood anemones are the stars of the forest floor
The gorgeous buds and flowers of willows always brighten up a Spring morning
Time for another sit-down amongst the wild flowers!
Before returning to Meerbeek village via the fields

Two guides to accompany your walk

To help you identify plants that you might see along this country walk and others, you may be interested in two e-guides I have produced.

The first is free. It’s a short photo guide to 10 Early Spring Wild Flowers, such as the wood anemone, lesser celandine, dog-violet, wild garlic, oxlip, lady’s smock and others. Many of these you will see on this Meerbeek walk. So hopefully this little guide will help you identify them. You only need to add your email address to get it.

wild flower eBook

The second costs 4.99 EUR. It’s a guide to 25 of the most common farm crops. Once you’ve got it on your phone you can pull it up on your screen to identify a farm crop that you may not know.

Guide to Farm Crops

Both are available from the Discovering Belgium Store.

9 thoughts on “Meerbeek to Bertem woods”

  1. Hi Denzil, thanks for sharing this walk – looks lovely especially now in early spring! Would you say it is suitable for a walk with a pram (for our toddler who is far from being an experienced walker at this stage:)?

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