Hiking in Belgium

Where to walk in Belgium?

Wondering where to walk in Belgium? Here’s a map of walks I have done that might help you make a choice.

With the coronavirus lockdown restrictions easing, it is now allowed to take a short journey by car or public transport to walk in the countryside. Hopefully we will not be hit by a second wave of the virus. And if so, let’s hope it will be mild. So as we head towards the summer, there’s every chance that we will be allowed to take longer journeys. Or even weekend or week-long breaks in Belgium.

In the meantime of course, we have to respect the regulations which limit walks to local ones, and certainly not in groups. Social distancing is still vital!

With this in mind, it’s always good to have some ideas of where to walk in Belgium. Over the 30+ years that I have lived in Belgium I have explored many corners of the land by foot. Over 100 of these I have described on this blog. They are all visible on this map:

At first it might look overwhelmingly confusing. This is because the map incorporates everything described in Discovering Belgium, namely:

  • 116 country walks
  • 25 cycle rides
  • 26 towns and cities
  • 22 parks & gardens
  • 37 museums
  • 16 castles
  • 35 “others”

So when looking for a walk you first have to select “Country walks” from the menu on the left, and un-check all the other categories. This will show only the walks:

You can then zoom into an area of Belgium that you would like to walk in. For example, the area south-east of Brussels stretching into Wallon Brabant:

Once you have selected a place to visit, if you click on the name you will find a link to the specific post on Discovering Belgium where I describe that walk. It might differ depending on your browser, but it should look something like this:

If you click on the description link you will come to my blog post on that walk. Here you can find information on the length of the walk, the starting point, how to reach the start by car or public transport, and points of interest along the way. If you click on the direction arrow above it will take you to Google Maps where you just type in your current location to find out how to get to your chosen destination.

Of course, the question you probably have in your mind is this:

What if I want to walk somewhere that is not on Discovering Belgium?

There are many great walking websites and apps that help you find where to walk. Not only in Belgium but elsewhere. The one I have used for many years which I think provides some neat features is RouteYou. In my next post I will introduce RouteYou. I will describe a few particular aspects of it that will help you find great walks in Belgium. I will show you how to get it to automatically plan a route of the distance you choose and in a specific direction. And I will show you how to select routes that have already been made by other people.

Is 2020 the year of the “staycation”?

If the lockdown restrictions ease further, it’s likely that “staycations” are the way ahead for the rest of 2020 and even well beyond. In other words, rather than fly to exotic locations with all the environmental impacts and potential risks of virus transmission, a wiser, healthier and greener approach might be to take your holiday within your own country.

For those of us living here in Belgium, we are spoilt for choice. What’s your preference? The gorgeous Belgian cities or the wilds of the Ardennes? The huge variety of outstanding museums or the excellent network of walking and cycling routes? The vast number of castles or a variety of parks & gardens? And why make the choice anyway? Why not mix & match? What about combining a walk with a tour of a museum, or a visit to a castle?

Perhaps Discovering Belgium can help you make that choice too? So it’s back to the map again!

Choose your category

You simply choose what kind of activity or place you would like to visit by checking and un-checking the filters on the left-hand side as appropriate. So for example you could choose a couple of categories of interest, such as “parks & gardens” and “museums”:

Or maybe your interest lies in combining “cities, towns, history” with “castles”:

Again, clicking on a specific location will lead you to more details of that place.

Combine a walk and a category!

But staying within the theme of a “staycation”, what you could also do is combine a walk with a museum or castle (when they are open again of course). Again, my little map might give you some guidance. For example, if you checked the categories “Country walks”, “Museums” and “Castles” you could find suggestions of a morning country walk followed by a visit to a museum or castle:

I hope this little map of mine helps you decide where to go in Belgium. Obviously there are many many more places to visit. These on the maps are limited to my own personal experiences and recommendations. If you have any questions about any of these places, you can drop me a line.

Try out this useful resource and discover a range of walks, cycle routes and places to visit in Belgium

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11 replies »

  1. You need to discover Grimbergen and the other 3 places (Humbeek, Beigem and Strombeek-Bever) that make up Groot-Grimbergen. 1 of the national walking routes comes through our commune.

    • Yes indeed. Everyone’s hoping the easing of restrictions goes smoothly. How are things for you in C. I see Peru is having an awful week.

  2. Yes, it will definitely be staycations for us for a while. International borders won’t be open for at least 12 months. Luckily there is plenty to do here. This post will be a useful resource for that time in the future when we visit Belgium again.

  3. Very useful. The Belgium tourist ministry (or whatever it is really called) is missing a good opportunity by not hiring you to market to the UK and the US.

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