Coloma Rose Garden – Gaasbeek Castle – Groenenberg Castle Estate – Halle

Halle is at the crossroads of the Zenne River Valley and the Pajottenland, an ideal base for this enchanted day out. Start your adventure by bike or on foot through the sonorous rolling hills of the countryside and stop at the internationally acclaimed Coloma Rose Garden.
Immerse yourself in the never-ending splendour of the rose in this petal-rich heaven; to enjoy the garden in its full glory, visit any time from June to September.
The next must-see is a mere 30-minute bike trip away – the 13th century-old fairy-tale Gaasbeek Castle.

ROUTE 

Start your day trip at Halle Station (cycle node 65).

By bike

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

  1. Hire a bicycle at the Halle Station 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.

Hop on your bike and follow the nodes below. Your first stop is the majestic Coloma Rose Garden, followed by the Gaasbeek and Groenenberg castles.
Conversely, you could also work your way back from the Groenenberg Castle Estate.

Nodes: 65 – 64 – 91 – 66 – 70 – 69 – 21 – 23 – 71 – 72 - 92 – 91 – 64 – 65
Distance: 21,1 km 
Print or download the route here


By public transport and on foot

Take Bus 170 to Sint-Pieters-Leeuw from Halle Station. You’ll get off at the Den Huysman stop (22 min.), where the Coloma Rose Garden awaits.
Next up, follow the walking nodes below to make your way to Gaasbeek and Groenenberg Castle.

Nodes: 701 – 700 – 711 – 736 – 735 – 733 – 732 – 70 -112 – 124 – 126 – 730 – 129 – 122 – 121 – 111 – 11
Distance: 10.7 km 

Take Bus 142 at the Gaasbeek Dorp stop to Leerbeek Stelplaats (14 min.), where you’ll catch the 153 to Halle Station (23 min.). If you take Bus 142 in the opposite direction, you’ll wind up at Bruxelles Midi./p>


MUST-SEE SIGHTS

STOP: Coloma Rose Garden

Cycle node 70 and close to walking node 701  

rozentuin-coloma-foto

The 15-hectare Coloma estate, resplendent with its park and castle, is in the heart of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, near Brussels. The estate is home to the unique and internationally acclaimed rose garden where you can unearth all the secrets of the rose. Of the 3,000 rose species present, you’ll find specimens from all over the world, from cultivated and wild to brand new to Medieval veterans. The other end of the park features an orchard with a collection of long-lived fruit tree varieties.

Address:J. Depauwstraat 25 - 1600 Sint-Pieters-Leeuw
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (5 p.m. during the winter), closed Mondays.
The best season to visit is June to September.
Check out the brochure for more details.


STOP: Gaasbeek Castle

Cycle node 23, between walking nodes 124 and 126

kasteel-van-gaasbeek-foto

Godfried I, the Duke of Lower Lorraine and Landgrave of Brabant commanded that a castle be built here in 1236 to defend Brabant from invasion. However, in the centuries that followed, the castle would be repeatedly laid waste and rebuilt. And that was how it evolved from a medieval fortress to a grand, romantic residence.
However, the castle’s interior is currently undergoing a thorough renovation. Fortunately, the grounds are still accessible for awe-inspiring views of its exterior. It’s the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous walk or a cosy picnic at one of the park’s picnic tables.
The 39-hectare expanse of the park contains a 17th-century pleasure pavilion, an old chapel, and a triumphal arch dedicated to Napoleon. That lush feeling of prosperity is amplified by the myriad indigenous fruit and vegetable species found in the lovely museum garden.

Address: Kasteelstraat 40, 1750 Gaasbeek. +32 (0)2 531 01 30
Opening hours: Museum garden – May to October: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5 p.m. in October), closed Mondays
Park – every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (5 p.m. during winter)
AdmissionMuseum garden – standard rate 5 euro
Park – free admission
For more info, visit the website

TIP: park your bike at cycle node 23 and stroll from castle to castle on this beautiful 5-km walk.
Walking nodes: 126 – 730 – 129 – 127 – 123 – 122 – 121- 111 – 124 – 126



STOP: Groenenberg Castle Estate

Cycle node 23, between walking nodes 730 and 122

kasteeldomein-groenenberg-foto

Cross the Kasteelstraat (castle street – because what else could it possibly be called?) to explore the impressive 45-ha lush estate with its very own castle. There’s no question as to its style; the plethora of sweet winding paths and beautiful, perfumed flowerbeds are English landscape gardening at its best.

Address: Konijnestraat 172, 1602 Vlezenbeek 
Opening hours: park - every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (5 p.m. during winter).
The castle itself is not open to the public.
For more info, visit the website



STOP: Halle

halle-foto

Halle is a cosy shopping town, vibrant and bursting with colour.
Your adventure begins in the heart of this historic town, the triangular Grote Markt with its Gothic St. Martin’s Basilica on one side and the beautiful town hall, a Renaissance building dating back to 1616, on the other; the tourist information office is also conveniently located here.
Have you spotted the two roguish statues at the town hall doors? The monkey and dog symbolise the authorities of bygone days, always coming round to badger the town folk for more taxes.
Will you arrive during the week or on a Saturday? Be sure to stop by the local produce centre to expand your horizons with a local delicacy or two.

Toerist info: Grote markt 1, 1500 Halle. toerisme@halle.be, tel. 02 365 98 50 of info@toerisme-pajottenland.be, for information about the Pajottenland-Zenne River Valley region.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (from April to September also open on weekends)
Regional Products Centre: Poststraat 3A, 1500 Halle, open Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. .
For more info, visit the website


GOOD EATS & THIRST QUENCHERS EN ROUTE

De Koetsier 

Near cycle node 70 and walking node 701
Address: Joseph depauwstraat 27, 1600 Sint-Pieters-Leeuw
Opening hours: Open from noon, closed on Monday (Mon-Wed, Friday from 4 p.m. during the winter)

Krijmerie van Gaasbeek (ijs en zoete snacks)

Cycle node 23 and walking node 126
Address: Kasteelstraat 37, 1750 Gaasbeek. +32 (0)2 532 41 08
Opening hours: Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (winter 6 p.m.), closed Mondays and Tuesdays
closed January-February
(vending machines with snacks always available)


 


OVERNIGHT IN HALLE AND COMBINE YOUR DAY TRIP WITH...

A walk in the Blue Forest

The Blue Forest is famous the world round for the abundance of bluebells that blanket its floor in April. The rest of the year, however, this remnant of the historic Silva Carbonaria (charcoal forest) remains a wonderful place for a hike.

Address: Vlasmarktdreef 4
Accessibility:
Bus 156 or 155, or 5 km by bike from Halle Station
For more info, visit the website


A fun-filled afternoon at Huizingen Provincial Domain

Stroll from the mini zoo to the castle pond and take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool at the provincial domain. The day is bound to be a treat for everyone involved with a forest to stroll in, rowing pond, playgrounds, a miniature golf course, arboretum, and a protected and recently renovated rock garden.

Address: Torleylaan 100, 1654 Huizingen (Beersel). +32 (0)2 383 00 20
Opening hours:open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (April to September open until 8 p.m.)
the outdoor pool opens from 1 May to 15 September.
Rates: From 1 April to 30 September: paid admission - basic rate 4 euro (admission to the swimming pool, miniature golf, etc. not included)
More information is available here


An introduction to Geuze beer

The region around Halle (Pajottenland & the Zenne River Valley) is famous for its Geuze beers. Geuzes, ranging from slightly sour to mouth-puckeringly tart are unique because of the spontaneous fermentation of wild and mixed yeasts in the valley’s air! If you consider yourself a beer connoisseur, this is the place to delve into the region’s heady mysteries.

  • 3 Fonteinen Brewery (lambik-O-droom)
    Address: Molenstraat 47, 1651 Lot (Beersel)
    Guided tours: Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (1.5 h), reservation required (15 euro)
    For more info, visit their page
  • Oud-Beersel Brewery
    Address: Laarheidestraat 230, 1650 Beersel
    Guided tours: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (NL) and from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (EN) (10 euro) For more info, visit their page.
    For more info, visit their page
 

A visit to Beersel Castle

Beersel Castle, flanked on all sides by a moat, is one of the few well-preserved examples of medieval military architecture in Belgium. Built around 1420, it served as a solitary stronghold in defence of Brussels. Several visual panels can be found in and around the castle with pictures and language-specific QR codes. Scan them to listen to stories that bring the castle’s rich history back to life.
 
Address: Lotsestraat z/n, 1650 Beersel
Opening hours: open from March to November on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
from April to October on Tuesday through Friday as well, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed in winter
Price: basic rate 4 euro
More info is available on the website.