Donjon Ter Heyden - North West Walls - Damien Museum - Experience Centre ‘14-‘18, The Damien Centre

This day trip is destined to delight the nostalgic and history buffs alike. You’ll make the acquaintance of the ‘Greatest Belgian’, who altruistically made caring for lepers his life’s work in the 19th century. And don’t forget to turn back the clock for a glimpse of Flemish Brabant’s WWI past. This trip is perfect for getting a better feel for Belgium, especially since you’ll be trekking past one of our most famous festival grounds, and you get to stop in at a local brewery on the way!


If you’re taking public transport, start at Leuven Station (cycle node 11). Plan on driving? Just park at the Kessel-Lo Provincial Domain  car park at Eénmeilaan 215 (cycle node 4).

By bike (recommended!)

There are several options for getting your bike to your destination:

  1. Hire a bicycle at the Leuven bike rental point.
  2. Take your bike along on the train (this requires a small surcharge and an extra ticket) or with your car.
  3. Get a cheap Bluebike subscription and pick up your rental bike at the station for a day out.

Cycle nodes: 11 – 33 – 80 – 4 – 81 – 40 – 35 – 30 – 41 – 66 – 67 – 71 – 25 – 99 – 26 – 27 – 28 – 32 – 31 – 93 – 12 – 10 – 11
Distance: 42 km 
View your route

By public transport and on foot

Take bus 333 from Leuven Station to the Tremelo Gemeentehuis stop (30 min., every 2 hours). Walk 2.3 km to the Damien Museum. Here’s your route. After exploring the Damien Museum, follow the nodes below to the Experience Center ‘14-‘18. Pick up bus 284 at the Tildonk Sint-Angela stop and take it to Leuven Station (25 min., every hour and a half).

Walking nodes: TP – 500 – 59 – 633 – 634 – 635 – 636 – 523 – 522 – 524 – 525 – 526 – (towards 532)
Distance: 10 km 
View your route


STOP: Donjon Ter Heyden

Between cycle nodes 66 and 67 (next to the sports fields)


This imposing 30-metre-high tower, surrounded by water, is a donjon with an unusual floorplan, designed in the shape of a Greek cross. While the Ter Heyden Donjon may look like a defence tower or keep, it was, in all likelihood, built as a home or noble residence around 1350. Until 1939, the tower was flanked by a brewery, and the high chimney and cosy beer pub in its shadow are tell-tale signs of its frothy past.

Address: Torenhoflaan 67 bus B, 3110 Rotselaar
Opening hours: Beer pub: from April to September, on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tower: from April to September, on the 3rd Sunday of the month between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. (guided tours in June, July, and August).
Price: €3.50. Guided tour (1 hour) €6.
Find out more on the website (NL/FR). 

STOP: North West Walls

At 700 m from cycle node 71 and at walking node 633 


The North West Walls tower over the festival grounds of Rock Werchter: 20-metre-high art that infuses the festival with artistic schwung. An icon emblazoned on the Werchter landscape, the North West Walls can be admired long after the festival has closed shop for the year. They’re an unchanging masterpiece. Or are they? After all, they undergo a radical metamorphosis every year. If you’re a die-hard street art fan, better make that quick detour at node 71!

Address: Haachtsesteenweg 23, 3118 Werchter
Visit the website for more info.

STOP: The Damien Museum

Near cycle node 25 (500 m away from 58) and walking node START


The Damien Museum is a contemporary, hands-on experience centre where you can follow in Father Damien’s footsteps. Immerse yourself in the life and work of Saint Damien, starting with his birthplace, in Ninde, where his parents once ran a farm and traded grain. The ‘greatest Belgian’ took his first breath here as Jozef De Veuster in 1840.

Address: Pater Damiaanstraat 37, 3120 Tremelo
Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (6 p.m. during the summer)
Price: €7
Visit the website for more info.

STOP: Experience Center ‘14-‘18

Near cycle node 28 and walking node 526 (towards 532)


The anecdotes, photographs, and objects in this former Ursuline convent recant a haunting tale. Twelve flesh-and-blood folk guide you through it. At the same time, the heart-wrenching stories of refugees on the run today are also sure to leave a lasting impression. Expect to be caught up in a captivating and interactive experience of our province during the Great War.

Address: Kruineikestraat 5 A, 3150 Tildonk
Opening hours: From 10 a.m to 5 p.m., or 6 p.m. during the summer. Closed Mondays
Price: €3
Find out more on our website

STOP: The Damien Center

500 m from cycle node 10 (towards FKP 74)


You’re sure to have learnt about Jozef De Veuster, or Father Damien – later to become Saint Damien – during your visit to the Damien Museum. In 1860, St. Anthony’s Chapel in Leuven was purchased with one purpose – a shrine to Saint Damien of Molokai. Pilgrims continue to make their way to this site from all over the country, especially in March. Saint Damien was laid to rest in the crypt here in 1936.

Address: Pater Damiaanplein, 3000 Leuven
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visit the chapel website for more info. 


Café ’t Deurp & café Oud Werchter (two genuine village cafés) 

Just after cycle node 71
Address: Werchterplein 35 - 37 , 3118 Rotselaar
Opening hours: from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tip: prefer to indulge in ice cream? Just a hop, skip, and a jump away, at Sint Jansstraat 25, you can treat yourself to artisanal farmhouse ice cream at De Kreemdoos (Marc and Lili).

Hoevebrouwerij Hof ter Dormaal

Between cycle nodes 27 and 28 and between walking nodes 524 and 525
Address: Caubergstraat 2, 3150 Tildonk
Opening hours: the shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a summer bar on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Engelenburcht (at Experience Center ’14-’18, Tildonk)

Near cycle node 28 and between walking nodes 526 and 532
Address: Kruineikestraat 5, 3150 Haacht
Opening hours: from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Monday and Wednesday.



A Leuven city visit

Wind your way through the various shops, explore Museum M, or marvel at the explosion of vibrant street art decorating Leuven’s streets. With or without a guide, you’re always sure to discover something new!

Visit the website to find out more.

A bike trip to Tervuren with a stop at the AfricaMuseum

The Voer Valley Route takes you past two castles, the enchanting Tervuren Park and the AfricaMuseum. Combined with a museum visit, these 47 km pack a punch. Too much punch? Trim your trip by heading from node 57 to 8 and then node 9 to node 3, putting you back on the original route. (8 km shorter and two slopes less)

Discover the Voer Valley Route 
Visit the Africamuseum website for more info

A trip past Leuven’s four abbeys

(Re)discover Leuven’s medieval and monastic past through the abbeys in the vibrant city and its lush, green outskirts. Do you enjoy a cosy coffee break from time to time? If so, this trip was made with you in mind.

Visit the website to find out more.