For a day out with a bit of variety, try a trip down to Modave in the Ardennes. You can park in the grounds of Modave Château, enjoy a refreshing 7 km country walk through the River Hoyoux valley and up through the woods, picnic alongside the river, and then return for a walk around the château itself. Or you could do it all in reverse order …
Modave Château is a nice-looking building. It dates from the 17th century, although it’s been restored a number of times since.
It’s actually built on a rock 60 meters above the valley of the Hoyoux river (if you’re like me and don’t like heights, don’t look down!).
It has a small but pleasant garden …
… and when I was there a collection of metal birds was on display.
There is a hotel-restaurant too, and it seems that it’s a great place to get married.
If you like a walk around a well maintained Belgian country mansion, you’ll enjoy an hour or so wandering around its 25 rooms. It’s renowned for its stucco ceilings, carved panels, tapestries, paintings and furniture. It also houses an early hydraulic wheel! An audio guide is available in eight languages.
After a week of rain, I didn’t fancy keeping indoors so didn’t do the tour of the château, but here is a nice video that will give you a hint of what to expect.
The Country Walk
From the château, the “Petit Modave” walk is signposted with red diamonds. The first part is along the walled garden.
But it soon opens out with a great view over the River Hoyoux valley.
The south-facing slopes are particularly attractive to all sorts of wild flowers and butterflies.
The river valley itself is a lovely place to walk through.
From the valley the path gently ascends through the forest.
There are some attractive Ardennes farmhouses and gardens to see.
At one point the walk seems to disappear into the river.
But thankfully a sturdy footbridge prevents you getting your feet wet.
On the walk you will come across this.
It marks the site of the crash of a Royal Air Force bomber in the Second World War.
The route is circular, but the last 2 kms are along quite a boring road, so I suggest when you come out of the woods and see this sign indicating right, you turn left instead.
It will take you back into the Hoyoux valley, which you walked through earlier, but you will be approaching it from the other direction. Believe me, it’s infinitely more attractive than following the waymarked path.
I also came across this little fella’.
And what about this place for a picnic spot? South-facing, plenty of sunshine.
You can sit with your back to the wall and enjoy the great view.
So there you are. Something for everyone, I hope.
As always, you can follow my route on RouteYou.