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.
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:
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.
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.
Both are available from the Discovering Belgium Store.