Guest blogger Helen Pritchard from NetCars gives her top three locations when driving through Belgium.
If you’re looking for the ultimate driving holiday, Belgium is an ideal destination. Being quite a small country and having pretty good road links, Belgium can be explored easily by car and offers a road trip with a difference. There is plenty of history and culture to keep you occupied, from the quaint medieval towns and villages to the historic First World War museums and preserved trenches at Sanctuary Wood and Flanders Fields.
Of course, no visit to the country would be complete without a stop off at Bruges. This gorgeous town is absolutely steeped in history and definitely deserves a day spent discovering everything it has to offer. Park on one of the out-of-town car parks (such as at the railway station) and head towards the two main squares, the Burg and the Markt. You can explore a variety of 13th century buildings and beautiful medieval streets before climbing the belfry at the Town Hall for great views over the town. There are also plenty of museums here to keep you busy, or if you prefer, you can sample some of the local delicacies in one of the cafés or restaurants.
If you like getting behind the wheel to see the sights, enjoy a leisurely drive along the coast to Knokke-Heist, otherwise known as the Belgian Riviera. As well as a great drive, the scenery here is fantastic as the coastal road runs along fifteen kilometers of wide sandy beach. The sand dunes are fun to explore on foot and can make a great base for a picnic.
From here, it’s easy to find our next treat, the delightful country roads that take you from the Knokke-Heist through the countryside to Ghent. These rural roads give you plenty of action behind the wheel as well as a chance to take in some stunning scenery. In a country that is usually quite densely populated, this country route shows you field upon field of local farming land with plenty of pretty towns and villages along the way. Once you reach Ghent you will find a picture perfect town centre with a selection of medieval byways, canals and old winding lanes.
As there is so much to do in Ghent, it’s a good idea to park up and take your time to see all the sights and really experience the town’s rich history. Here, the castle with its moat is absolutely breathtaking and can be a photographer’s dream. You should also take time out to visit the gothic St. Baaf’s Cathedral in St. Baafsplein (left). There are plenty of churches and historic buildings, each with its own story and place in history that are worth a visit. You can spend hours wandering round the many museums and art galleries here, including the Museum of Contemporary Art which was once an old casino, or simply head to the shopping area of Veldstraat for some retail therapy, Belgian style.