Travel: Brilliant Belgium; STEVE PURCELL IN A SECRET CORNER OF THE CONTINENT

The Mirror (London, England), October 23, 2004 | Go to article overview

Travel: Brilliant Belgium; STEVE PURCELL IN A SECRET CORNER OF THE CONTINENT


Byline: STEVE PURCELL

DON'T tell too many people but here's a little secret - you'll find the perfect long weekend in wonderful Wallonia.

Where? Exactly - that's why this unspoilt, uncrowded and very pretty part of Belgium remains a gem visited only by those in the know.

Just 170 miles of unhurried driving from Calais, Wallonia is a great place to unwind.

Most people think of Belgium as Brussels or Bruges. But in the rural south you'll find great river valleys, fortress towns such as Namur and fabulous natural features, including the Caves of Han. There are man-made attractions too, including the Six Flags theme park, with more than 50 fun rides.

Just two hours after crossing the Channel we checked in to the Jardin de la Molignee, a delightful hotel alongside the Molignee river at Anhee, between Namur and Dinant.

Families can stay together in the six-berth suites there and it has an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and great food.

Rested and restored, we took a short journey to the fascinating Caves of Han, one of the largest such sites in Europe. Visitors ride a small train to the entrance before descending along a walkway through a series of magnificent natural chambers.

You then board a flat-bottomed boat for a ride on the underground river which leads back out into the surrounding parkland.

The caves are surrounded by a 250-hectare wild animal reserve, featuring animals which used to be native to the region including wolves and bears. …

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Travel: Brilliant Belgium; STEVE PURCELL IN A SECRET CORNER OF THE CONTINENT
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