With many people working from home, and leisure activities and socialising severely reduced, it is more important than ever to get outside, stretch your legs and breathe the fresh air. So here are some recommendations for some nice strolls, and longer walks, around Brussels.
1. Les étangs d’Ixelles
This route is not particularly long, at only 2.4km, however it is well surfaced so good for all weathers as well as abilities. The route is a loop that circles les étangs d’Ixelles, two large freshwater ponds in the Ixelles neighbourhood of Brussels. This is a nice route as the ponds provide lovely scenery, and there are a few interesting sights long the way. The Abbey of Ixelles is an ancient Abbey, still in use, which has a beautiful a church and wonderful gardens to enjoy, whilst Place Flagey, the most famous square in the neighbourhood, is often (in usual times) bustling with people and has a Saturday and Sunday morning market, where you can sample local food from the region. The ponds are also surrounded by beautiful art-nouveau which makes for lovely scenery to accompany your walk. For directions see here.
2. Forêt de Soignes (Bois de la Cambre)
If you’re looking to stretch your legs a bit more and cover more distance, try the Forêt de Soignes loop. At 14.6km, this route also passes a lake (Lac du Bois de la Cambre) but in addition will take you through the beautiful woodland of Bois de la Cambre for a good healthy dose of greenery. The route is mainly used for hiking, walking, running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. For directions see here.
3. Hoefijzervijver (Horseshoe Pond from Boondael)
If gorgeous forest is what you’re after then try this 10km loop walk from Boondael, which take you through some beautiful forest. Although this route is slightly more demanding, it has easily accessible paths and you can walk amongst the trees, a great way to get out of the city for some proper fresh air. You’ll also see the old Hippodrome de Boisfort on this route. For directions see here.
4. Parc Léopold to Jardin Botanique
For a more urban but decent length walk, try the 12km route from Parc Leopold to Jardin Botanique. This takes you through the city so is not quite so green, but the many parks along the way provide plenty of beautiful scenery to admire. The paths are easily accessible and can be used all year round, and if you get tired or feel like doing a shorter walk, you can stop before the Jardin Botanique, or even use public transport to skip a stretch, to make sure you see the best parts. For more directions see here.
5. Green Walk – Brussels-Capital region to Auderghem
If you’re looking for a challenge, and a walk that encompasses a little bit of everything, then try this one. The Green Walk stretches for 60km (so you may want to pick and choose your section) and covers the perimeter of Brussels. The route is almost completely flat, well marked and easy, and mostly follows a marked trail. It includes all sorts of scenery, from forest, to canal, to open countryside, and even a statue of Jean-Claude Van Damme and the Atomium. It also goes past a Neuhaus outlet where you can have unlimited free chocolate tasting. Whats not to love? For directions see here.