Aarschot – Moedermeule – Wijngaardberg - The Hageland Wine Visitor Centre

Did you know that the Hageland was the very first Belgian region to gain recognition as wine-growing country? The rolling landscape and toasty brown ironstone create the perfect viticulture climate. Before diving into the oasis of green, though, take the time to survey the town of Aarschot. With old mills, a beguinage, and a magnificent church, there’s a rich past ripe for discovery.

ROUTE 

By foot

Start your journey at Aarschot Station. From there, you can briefly explore the town centre before heading towards Wezemaal at walking node 748 to take in the Orlean Tower, one of the few remnants of Aarschot’s ancient town walls (street: Orlean Tower). Your trip ends in Wezemaal, and you’ll find the station just a kilometre from the centre.

Walking nodes: 247 (station) – 748 (Aurelianustoren) – 708 -704 – 79 – 73 – 705 – 7 – 71 –74 – 64 – 61 – 605 – 6 – 604
Distance: 
11,5 km + stadswandeling Aarschot (+-2 km) + wandelen naar station Wezemaal (1 km)
View, print, or download the route here


By bike or on foot

Make a circuit that starts in Aarschot for this trip. After a brief look around the town centre, it’s time to dive into the green. In the middle, between nodes 63 and 62, you’ll hit walking node 74, which is the start of the Wijngaardberg Walk. And...you guessed it! You end up right back where you started, at Aarschot Station.

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

  1. Rent a bike at the Aarschot Station bike rental point.
  2. Take your bike along on the train (there’s a separate ticket and a small fee involved) or by car.
  3. Get a cheap Bluebike subscription and pick up your rental bike at the station for a day out.

Cycle nodes: 15 – 51 – 89 – 63 – Wandelpauze – 62 – 17 – 92 – 9 – 16 – 15
Distance: 18,4 km 
View, print, or download the route here

Walking nodes: 74 – 64 – 61 – 605 – 6 (bezoekerscentrum) - 604 - 62 – 63 – 65 – 74
Distance: 7,3 km 
Check out the Wijngaardberg Walk here


MUST-SEE SIGHTS

STOP: Aarschot

Station at walking node 247 and cycle nodes 15/16 

aarschot

Walk or cycle from the station towards walking node 749. Turn right at the water’s edge, and it won’t be long before you see ’s Hertogenmolens, three 16th-century watermills once used to grind grain, collect tolls, and defend the town. Be sure to take a look, but then step onto Kolkstraat to stroll past the lovely beguinage. Next up is the Church of Our Lady, which can already be seen looming over the picturesque houses of the beguinage. Aarschot is a comparatively small town, so the size of this Gothic church might surprise. What’s important to remember is that when it was built in the 14th century, Aarschot was a popular pilgrimage site. The surprises don’t stop there, though. While the outside of the church may be Gothic, the interior is done up in full Baroque fashion. Since 2018, the tower has housed an enormous peace carillon commemorating the end of the First World War (guided tours are available). Head out behind the church and into the municipal park. Follow the quaint little Zwanestraat to the Grote Markt, after which you’ll trace the Diestste and then the Tiensestraat to the Orlean Tower (walking node 748). From there, your trip winds its way towards the Wijngaardberg.
The Beguinage and Church of Our Lady are not on the node-to-node cycle route. Take a detour between nodes 15 and 51 to visit these locations.

Tourist info: Elisabethlaan 103, 3200 Aarschot, Tel. 016 56 97 05, toerisme@aarschot.be
Opening hours: Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed at noon), Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.


STOP: Moedermeule

At walking node 7 and between cycle nodes 62 and 63

moedermeule

Heart set on this trip by bike? Then you’ll hit the start of the Wijngaardberg Walk before you pass the Moedermeule.

The name of this grain mill that dates back to 1667 is actually a hat tip to the two smaller mills it was once flanked by (Moedermeule = Mother Mill). Even now, the mill can be seen turning every first and third Sunday of the month between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Since then, the mill house itself has been transformed into a cosy brasserie serving local craft beers, homemade ice cream, artisanal buckwheat pancakes, and other hearty meals.

Address: Waterloosstraat 1, 3200 Gelrode
Opening hours: Thursday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For more info or reservations: 016 56 49 83 of moedermeulechezvictor@gmail.com


STOP: Wijngaardberg

Between walking nodes 71 and 605, between cycle nodes 62 and 63 (start Wijngaardberg Walk at walking node 74)

wijngaardberg

The Wijngaardberg nature reserve is a vibrant palette of vineyards, orchards, woodlands, and heathland. There’s a bit of climbing involved, but the gorgeous view is more than worth it. Can you catch a glimpse of the 19th-century vineyard wall? The 1.7-metre-wide ironstone wall has been restored over the past five years by a direct descendent of the wall’s original builder. No one has ever entirely figured out what the wall was for, but there are plenty of reasonable assumptions. For one, it would protect the vineyards from inclement northern winds. It could also keep pesky forest critters out and boost the natural warmth that ironstone gives the soil.

Check the Wijngaardberg Walk fact sheet here


STOP: The Hageland Wine Visitor Centre

At walking node 6

bezoekerscentrum-hagelandse-wijn

Find out more about the origins of the hilly Hageland and uncover the region’s little-known history of viticulture. Planning a group trip? Why not schedule a tasting? After your Hageland wine excursion, be sure to take the time to walk by Wezemaal’s 17th-century Norbertine presbytery and Sint-Martinus Church; Wezemaal was also a place of pilgrimage during the late Medieval Period.

Address: Kerkstraat 16, 3111 Wezemaal (Rotselaar)
Opening hours: Easter Holiday through Autumn Break: Tue-Fri, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., winter: Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For more info: tel. +32 16 61 64 40, toerisme@rotselaar.be


GOOD EATS & THIRST QUENCHERS EN ROUTE

Harte Troef (Aarschot)

Address:Theo De Beckerstraat 33, 3200 Aarschot
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., closed Tuesdays.
Info and reservations: +32 016 41 89 98, info@hartetroef.be


Moedermeule

At walking node 7
Address: Waterloosstraat 1, 3200 Gelrode
Opening hours: Thursday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Info and reservationsmoedermeulechezvictor@gmail.com

Brasserie Boeres (Wezemaal)

Between walking nodes 6 and 604
Address: Kerkstraat 6, 3111 Wezemaal
Opening hours: From Wednesday to Friday at 11:30 a.m., Saturday at 5 p.m., Sunday at 10:30 a.m. (restaurant-only from 5:30 p.m.)
Info and reservations016/893819

 
 

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