The Royal Walk in the Geographical Arboretum

Royal Walk Tervuren

After exploring the four corners of the world via the Asia Walk, the Mediterranean Walk, the East America Walk, and the West America Walk in the Geographical Arboretum of Tervuren, it’s time to shine the spotlight on the Royal Walk.

Royal Walk Tervuren

It’s called the Royal Walk (Koninklijke Wandeling) because it loosely follows the forest road laid out for King Leopold II during the reforestation of the domain in the 1870s.

The 7.5 km Royal Walk is signposted in light green and is easy to follow. There are three starting points, as indicated on my map:

The three starting points are the car parks at:

  1. Midway along Jezus Eiklaan, 3080 Tervuren. By public transport, you need to get off De Lijn bus 317 at the Tervuren-Jezus Eiklaan bus stop. You’ll then need to walk 1.7 km from the bus stop to the car park. It’s a pleasant enough walk. But if you add this distance to the actual trail (both ways) then you will be walking 11 km.
  2. The end of Eikestraat, 3080 Tervuren. By bus, De Lijn bus no. 317 stops at the Tervuren Eikestraat bus stop at the northern end of Eikestraat. You can get there from Kraainem metro station, which is easily accessible from the center of Brussels. From the other direction, bus 317 leaves Leuven station and goes directly to Tervuren Eikestraat. From there it’s a 7 minute (700 m) walk to the starting point.
  3. The end of Kapucijnendreef, 3090 Overijse. By public transport the nearest bus stop is Overijse J.de Meeusstraat, from where it’s a 1.2 km walk, which will bring the total to 10 km. A number of buses go there from Brussels Midi, Hermann-Debroux metro station and others.

Each of the starting points look like this:

Starting point of the Royal Walk

The great advantage of the Royal Walk is that it keeps to a broad, man-made forest road. This means that you won’t be walking on wet grass or along muddy trails. Moreover, it’s ideal for baby buggies and prams, and also for children’s bikes. There are plenty of benches along the way if you want to sit down for a while with a flask of soup or a picnic. They are really fit for a king or a queen! (With plenty of spaces for the little princes and princesses to run around!).

Picnic bench in the arboretum of Tervuren
The Royal Walk and its benches

As you can see from the map, it’s more or less a figure of eight. If 7.5 km is too long for you, it’s easily possible to shorten it by taking a few shortcuts, as you can see from the map. Feel free to download/print the map, or get the GPX track from my RouteYou page. Or simply follow the light green signposts.

Follow the light green markers
Follow the arrows on the light green marker posts

Another advantage of the Royal Walk is that it takes you through a number of different geographical areas of the arboretum. These are all mentioned on the light green signposts, so you know what section you are walking through. However, not many of the individual trees are labelled.

From the Jezus-Eiklaan starting point you’ll go first through the New World section. You should be able to identify the magnificent Redwoods (Sequoias) and the Monkey Puzzle trees (Araucarias) from Chile.

Monkey puzzle tree
Monkey Puzzle Tree
Monkey puzzle tree
Monkey Puzzle Tree

Along the Kapucijnendreef and other avenues, it’s the native Beeches that are the stars of the show, rising like a cathedral into the sky.

The Royal Walk in the Geographical Arboretum

On the most southerly section of the route the drive is bordered with lime trees and surrounded by the Sonian Forest with its Oaks, Silver birches, Scots pines, Black pines, Douglas firs and Larches.

The Royal Walk
Koninklijke Wandeling Tervuren

Later the route takes you through the Old World section of the arboretum, with tree groups from Japan on one side and China on the other side. Finally you’ll pass by Southern Europe, before dropping by to see the conifers and the deciduous woodlands of the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

Among the pines
Redwoods and pines

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The Royal Walk in the Geographical Arboretum of Tervuren

13 thoughts on “The Royal Walk in the Geographical Arboretum”

    1. Thank you for these posts from this beautiful arboretum – it looks to be an amazing place . I love the way it’s ‘zoned’, although I’d imagine the borders between them have become a bit blurred by now as it’s grown and aged. A great place for a spot of Shinrin yoku (forest bathing)!

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