Don’t you just love it when – after a week of cloud and rain – Saturday dawns dry, bright and sunny (if still rather cold!). So was the weather today, and so I headed for Holsbeek and the Hagelandse Valley. It’s an extensive area of woodland, meadows, streams and marshes, and is criss-crossed with plenty of well-signposted footpaths. At this time of the year you definitely need rubber boots, as some of the paths are very muddy. On my 8 km walk I didn’t see a single person, but I did spot a goshawk, some buzzards, a red squirrel, and the usual woodland birds such as woodpeckers, nuthatches, treecreepers etc. It’s definitely a place to return to in the spring, when the woodland flowers will be in full bloom. Here’s a map of the area: Map of Hagelandse Valley. You can park in Holsbeek at the back of the church, where there is also a map on a board. If you’re travelling by bus, De Lijn bus no. 310 goes through Holsbeek from Leuven station. Here are some photos of the area and its inhabitants.