The Promenade Verte is a route of 63 km that allows walkers and cyclists to circle Brussels while discovering its history and nature. Here are some tips on how to walk or cycle the Promenade Verte.
Did you know that there is another Ring in Brussels, other than the one that is repeatedly on the traffic news for being blocked? This other ring takes you through the city’s outermost districts at a leisurely pace, on foot or by bike. It offers an alternative to traffic queues and junction altercations. Its route makes the most of green spaces sandwiched between urbanized and industrialized areas. And you will discover hidden forests, parks, allotments and orchards that you might otherwise never have known existed.
The Ring is called the Promenade Verte. It’s a well-signposted 63 km loop around Brussels, which takes in parts of the Sonian Forest, the Woluwe valley, the Pajottenland, and various forests, lakes and parks on the way.
You can choose to go clockwise or anti-clockwise. You can get on and off it as you please. In some places there are separate routes for pedestrians and cyclists. The signposting not only helps you to follow the route, but also gives you information about the parts of the city that have been crossed.
The Promenade Verte is divided into seven sections, each highlighting different facets of the landscape of the Brussels-Capital Region. If you are planning to walk the Promenade Verte, you could choose the section nearest to you first and then move onto the other sections. If you are on your bike, it’s possible to complete the route in a single day.
1. HEYZEL PLATEAU AND ROYAL PARKS
- Start: Place Saint-Lambert, 1020 Brussels
- End: Parc du Doolegt (rue de la Marne)
- Distance: 6.6 km
- Discover: the royal domains of Laeken, the Chinese Pavilion, the Japanese Tower, Les Jardins du Floriste (the Gardens of the Florist), an outstanding panorama of the city, the impressive Schaerbeek Station.
2. BETWEEN SENNE AND WOLUWE
- Start: Parc du Doolegt (rue de la Marne), 1140 Evere
- End: Hof ter Musschen (boulevard de la Woluwe)
- Distance: 7.1 km
- Discover: a more urbanized part of the Promenade Verte of interest to amateur historians. Check out the Brussels Cemetery where famous local politicians like Jules Anspach and Charles de Brouckère lie buried, as well as the banished French painter Jacques-Louis David.
3. WOLUWE VALLEY
- Start: Hof ter Musschen (boulevard de la Woluwe), 1200 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre
- End: Parc Tournay-Solvay (chemin des Silex)
- Distance: 9.8 km
- Discover: the landscaped parks and valleys of Woluwe, the Tournay-Solvay Park with its classic rose garden and well-maintained hedges, the Mellaert Ponds with their rowing boats and water birds, the picturesque Bezemhoek quarter.
4. FORET DE SOIGNES TO UCCLE
- Start: Parc Tournay-Solvay (chemin des Silex), 1170 Watermael-Boitsfort
- End: Nature reserve Kinsendael (chaussee de Saint-Job)
- Distance: 8 km
- Discover: that there is more green in Brussels than you probably thought. Explore the ancient cathedral of beeches that is the Sonian Forest, part of the huge woodland that used to stretch from here to the north of France. Ideal for your halfway picnic (if on your bike)!
5. VOGELZANGBEEK TO GELEYTSBEEK
- Start: Nature reserve Kinsendael (chaussee de Saint-Job), 1180 Uccle
- End: la route de Lennik/Lenniksebaan
- Distance: 11.2 km
- Discover: that even Anderlecht contains green, although this leg is mostly urban. Discover the Brussels Canal with industrialist factories, a rare glimpse of the Senne river, the Bemptpark with its model trains, and the green of the Vogelzanbeek nature reserve.
- Start: la route de Lennik/Lenniksebaan, 1070 Anderlecht
- End: rue Kasterlinden
- Distance: 7.2 km
- Discover the landscapes of the Pede Valley painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, the quiet lanes and numerous farmsteads and the Pajottenland, and the tranquility of the Scheutbos where you might catch a glimpse of grazing Scottish Galloway cows.
7. MOLENBEEK VALLEY
- Start: Rue Kasterlinden, 1080 Brussels
- End: Place Saint-Lambert
- Distance: 9.5 km
- Discover the King Boudewijn Park, with its waterfowl and animal farm, the forests of Laarbeekbos and Dielegembos, before ending up right back where you started.
The Promenade Verte is an excellent opportunity for walkers and cyclists to discover some hidden treasures of BrusselsTweet
MORE INFO ON THE PROMENADE VERTE
- From the Brussels Environment Agency you can find details in French and Dutch, including a 71-page (yes, 71 pages!) brochure with mini-maps of the route.
- Easier might be to download the gpx file from RouteYou or follow it on the RouteYou app.
- To rent a bike for the day in Brussels, there are many possibilities such as Cyclo and ProVelo.
- Any questions on how to walk or cycle the Promenade Verte, just drop me a line.
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I keep this blog free from intrusive advertising, in order to ensure a smooth and easy reading experience. Unfortunately this means that I’m missing out on income from ads; and running a self-hosted blog costs money. If you find this blog useful and enjoy downloading and using the maps, would you consider buying me a cup of (virtual) coffee to support the blog? Many thanks. Denzil
Always full of great information, Denzil. Happy to see you being productive in these tricky times. 🙂 🙂
Thanks Jo. Just hoping and praying that the easing of lockdown restrictions here doesn’t provoke a rise in cases. Enjoy your weekend!
Yes, it’s the same everywhere, Denzil. People champing at the bit, but we need to go carefully. 🙂
what a wonderful walk, not sure I’d manage it in a day though!
Sure you could Becky! At least on your bike.
Great story and great route
The promenade looks very green indeed!
It would be nice to just do a part of this route on foot Denzil. The woods look so beautiful.
So lovely! All those tall trees, all the wide orchards.
Lots of ladies from The British and Commonwealth Women’s Club will be walking the Promenade Verte over the coming weeks to help raise money for two 2020 charities: Parkinson’s and Giraffe (supporting education for children in the Nairobi slums. We will be looking for sponsorship from family and friends! Yesterday, two of us walked the Woluwe Valley to Boitsfort, adding 4 km to the walk as we took a few wrong turns. A beautiful stretch of the PV, green and full of wildlife. Will be practising how to read a map before we start the real thing!
A super initiative Patricia and I wish you well. Send me the sponsorship link and I will be happy to promote it.
Hi Denzil, The BCWCB members and friends completed the 7 stretches of the lovely Promenade Verte circuit last Sunday 13 September. On some of the stretches, more than 20 people joined in, so we broke up into groups and, of course, wore our masks. We had great fun meeting new people and making friends, and would encourage anyone to walk or cycle around the 19 communes to see some of the hidden secrets of Brussels.
This event was chosen to help our 2 charities for 2020: Parkinsons and the Giraffe charity supporting children’s education in Nairobi. Everyone who can help our charities is invited to donate to our account up until the end of the year: BE04 2100 1552 7631. Check out our Facebook page and see how happy we look!
Hi Patricia, thanks for adding this comment, and congratulations on the BCWCB’s achievement and your support of these organizations. Next time you do it I would love to promote it on the Discovering Belgium FB page.
Dear Denzil, many thanks for your wonderful idea to discover Brussels from another perspective than just the normal touristic attractions!! Only a short thing that I miss (and which might others help as well): would it be possible to add the public transport stations underneath the kilometers? (Bus xx, Tram xx, Metro xxx)
Good suggestion Sonja, I’ll see what I can do. Glad you found it useful!