Wespelaar Arboretum

Wespelaar Arboretum is a gem. It’s a private collection of over 2,000 trees and shrubs that only fairly recently opened its doors to the public. At this time of year it’s gorgeous, with many of its 192 species of Magnolia in full bloom. It also has a large collection of Acer (maples), Stewartia (camelias), and some lovely Rhododendrons of colours I never knew existed. The whole is beautifully laid out in spacious grounds. There are no footpaths; you just walk over the short grass. There are numerous benches in the shade or in the full sun, and a map is available from reception. It’s open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 17:00. Admission costs 5 EUR per adult, or you can take a family subscription for the whole year for 30 EUR. There adequate car and bike parking places, and the 284 bus (Leuven-Mechelen) stops directly outside. Altogether a lovely oasis of peace and beauty.

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