Got a spare couple of hours and fancy some fresh air? Then why not get to Vossem for this 9k country walk?
Vossem is a small village in Flemish Brabant nestling in the shadow of its big sister Tervuren. But it actually punches way above its weight. It hosts not just one but two international schools; remarkably, within a stone’s throw of each other. Perhaps such close competition has driven down school fees? A visit to their websites negates that idea. They both seem to have agreed on exactly the same school fees of 16k to 27k EUR per pupil per year. Quite a contrast with our children’s standard – and excellent – Flemish education at EUR 0 per pupil per year, although of course we pay our taxes for our education.
The village also boasts a fine wind band, the Vossem’s Voerezonen. I know it’s a fine band because Liz plays in it and I’ve attended a few of their concerts. This Sunday marked the return of their normal Sunday morning rehearsals after all the COVID restrictions. They are entering their 150th birthday year, so are preparing for a series of concerts. More of those later, in another post. But if you play an instrument and are looking for an outlet, you might like to consider the Voerezonen. I can introduce you to the leader of the band if you’re interested. Just drop me a line.
As I left Liz to join her fellow musicians in the new cultural centre, I set off on my Vossem walk. Below is the map of the route I took. You can download it as a PDF. And you can get the GPX track from my RouteYou page. But you could also just follow the numbered junctions 413-416-500-58-59-506-505-502-503-504-407-408-409-415-414.
If you are arriving by public transport, you can reach Vossem Pastorieplein by various De Lijn buses from Brussels or Leuven, such as no. 316. If you’re in the car, there’s plenty of parking on Dorpsstraat.
Facing the new cultural centre, follow the road to the right. The walk starts by going around the back of some houses and then follows a pleasant footpath along the tiny River Voer. Once you reach a dingly dell the path begins to climb, and soon you are on top of the farmland to the south of Vossem. Here you can enjoy some outstanding views.
You are now on the famous Brabants Leemplateau, the loam plateau. It’s a beautiful, gently sloping patchwork of fields, small forests, meadows and sunken roads. The plateau is a popular birdwatching spot in early spring and late autumn when all sorts of migrant birds passing overhead take some time out of their travels to touch down for some R&R.
The walk is easy, suitable for children, although not for buggies. At times it’s impossible to believe that you are only about 15 km away from the very centre of Brussels.
While you’re up there, does this question cross your mind? I wonder what those crops are? Yes, I often look at a field of … something … and wonder what it is. That’s why I made this post: How to identify farm crops on a country walk. It’s become my most popular post, so there’s obviously a demand for this kind of information. Check it out if you see a farm crop you can’t identify. Currently it gives photos of 17 farm crops, but I’m always adding to the list.
Returning to Vossem, if you are in need of sustenance you could make a detour to Vogelaers the baker’s in Smisstraat, or perhaps to the café In Den Congo at Dorpsplein 11. It’s right behind the Sint-Paulus church.
If you still have some energy and time left, you could always walk around nearby Tervuren Park or visit the Africa Museum. I hope you enjoy this Vossem walk. Let me know how you get on in the comments below or drop me a line. And if you are not yet subscribed to Discovering Belgium, now’s your chance:
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