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Walk along the River Lesse from Gendron-Celles station

The River Lesse in Belgium

An outstanding 14 km walk along the River Lesse, starting from the Gendron-Celles railway station, and passing the Château de Vêves.

I’ve been walking in Belgium for over 30 years, and blogging about my discoveries for ten. And now and again I come across a walk that has to go in my Top Ten. This walk along the River Lesse, starting from the Gendron-Celles railway station in the province of Namur is one of them. It has a bit of everything. A challenge from a hiking perspective, with a few climbs (aided by conveniently placed ladders!). An impressive château. Some stunning views over the Ardennes countryside. And a gorgeous river walk.

It’s a circular walk of 14 km but could be extended if you want something longer (just let me know). The map of the route is below. As always, you can click to enlarge, download as a PDF, while the GPX track is on my RouteYou page.

As it starts from the train station, it’s accessible by public transport. By car there’s plenty of parking space along the N910 next to the station or outside the Auberge de la Lesse. One of the first things you’ll see is this board indicating all the various paths heading up the hillside. Ignore it and walk along the N910 road for 100 metres and turn left at the first junction, cross the footbridge, turn immediately left and you are on the right track.

After a steep climb you’ll be rewarded with some glorious views over to the village of Furfooz. If you want to check it out you can do so. On the map you’ll see at the 2 km mark you could continue into the village to look around it. Otherwise turn right.

Château de Vêves

Rounding a bend, you will come face to face with the Château de Vêves that’s built on a rocky outcrop. When it’s open post-COVID and you have planned the necessary time, a visit is recommended. Their website is strangely only available in French, so you may have to fiddle with Google Translate. A castle already existed here in the 8th century, but its familiar pentagonal shape with its six round towers of varying size date back to 1410 when the Beaufort family reconstructed it. Inside the rooms are full of 18th century furniture, rare china, historical souvenirs and paintings. If you are looking for the best photo of the Château, it’s not from the front gate. Just walk a little further. Cross the N910 into Chaussée Romaine and you’ll get a great view.

Along this road there are also some charming cottages.

The route then takes you along quiet country lanes to Gendron village and the fields beyond.

Along the River Lesse

At the 7 km mark – so halfway – you begin to hear the magnetically attractive sound of water and you know that the River Lesse is just ahead. Actually the sound of the water comes from the confluence of the Lesse with the Iwoigne. At this point nature has laid on the most excellent picnic table: a flat rock alongside the Lesse with just the most delightful view up the river that you could imagine.

I could have sat here for ages – and did – but eventually dragged myself away and headed onwards. From here to the end-point at Gendron-Celles station you just keep company with the river. It’s two hours of total bliss. I hardly met another soul, the weather was perfect, the autumn foliage was stunning, and a couple of kingfishers entertained me as they zipped upstream and downstream.

Walk along the River Lesse

Mind you, I must point out that parts of the route are a bit tricky. It goes over some rocky outcrops, and in wet weather I could imagine the path is a bit tricky. Thankfully some ladders and steps have been provided.

The River Lesse in Belgium

So that’s it. A most delightful walk along the River Lesse. Let me know how you get on. Send me your photos and I would be happy to publish them here. If you’ve not already subscribed to Discovering Belgium, do so below so as not to miss any posts.

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9 thoughts on “Walk along the River Lesse from Gendron-Celles station”

  1. Great walk yesterday !!!! We cheated a bit as it was late in the day and we have a 9-year old, so we started from Gendron, followed the Lesse and then cut back back via the Rue Chapelle du Compte (blue and white flaglike marker). Thanks for the picnic stone tip ? We’ll do the other half of your route during the week.

      1. Many thanks Denzil ! All the best for 2021 !!!!
        We did the other half last week (from the train station to the castle). Really nice as well. On our way back we wanted to shortcut via the N910 and found a path that runs parallel to it on the other side of the stream (safer than walking on the N910).

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