Fall is upon us and with Mother Nature showing off her most colourful outfits it is thé perfect time to plan a relaxing weekend trip. Our most recent escape to nature brought us to hamlet Celles, part of Houyet village in Wallonia Belgium.
Are you curious what the region has to offer? Then join me on this little Fall trip.
A little stroll through the village centre immediately displays its assets and charm: the traditional stone houses, romanesque collegiate church of Saint Hadelin and the higher positioned hermitage.
Our home for this trip was located at just a stone’s throw from centre. Le Clos Bel Air is a charming holiday home that has all amenities for a cosy getaway and ideal for couples.
Sunrise gives the village houses a lovely soft pastel-coloured glow whereas low hanging mist adds drama and mystery.
Day two and time for some exploring. Houyet has some excellent hiking trails. A detailed map can be obtained at local tourist office. We stretched our legs and breathed in fresh morning in the woods surrounding the Golf Club. Glorious start of the day!
Did you know Belgium is one of the countries with the highest density of castles per square km?!There are hundreds in Wallonia alone, so driving, hiking, biking, riding around you are bound to stumble upon one sooner or later. Staying in Celles we had Château de Vêves at less than 3 km distance so obviously that one couldn’t be missed.
Celles castle, known as Vêves castle, has been inhabited by same family since 13th century though its foundations go back to 7th century. The fairy-tale castle is ideally located on a hilltop overlooking the valley. Interiors can be visited and the guided tour is especially fun for children as they are dressed up as princess or knight.
Exploring makes hungry so for lunch we headed to nearby Dinant. We had visited the city before so climbing up the 408 stairs (!) to the Citadel was not on our list that day. If you haven’t visited yet, by all means, go for it!
We found a very appealing restaurant just outside city centre in Bouvigne-sur-Meuse, located on a medieval village square and in shadow of Crevecoeur castle ruins. I had oeuf en meurette as starter, hubby had a grilled goat cheese salad. We then both had rabbit with gratin potatoes and veggies followed by chocolate (moeulleux au chocolat style) cake. Utterly delicious and recommendable, in addition cosy interior, friendly service and very affordable so when visiting the region do consider Les Mougneûs d’As as culinary stop.
Okay, though we had visited Dinant before, a quick stop at the Charles de Gaulle bridge and the colourful saxophones honouring their inventor Adolphe Sax felt obligatory.
Following the Meuse river, in Yvoir, we stumbled upon a vineyard in perfect colour harmony with Fall foliage of surrounding forests.
And that was it for day two, feet up by the fireplace. Some wine, ham and cheese and a glass of whisky to end the day.
Day three (and already final day) started with pastels skies again and sound of leaves crackling under our feet. I’m a morning person and by time husband awakes I usually already had a short morning walk and photo tour. Quick breakfast, another hike, this time together, and time to leave the rental home.
Before heading home we decided to stop at the Annevoie Gardens which lay more or less on our route anyway.
For 250 years already this garden features unique water installations, all without help of machinery. In addition, since 2015 they work naturally and biologically without any pesticides. Different garden architectural styles are joined (French, Italian en English style) and some animals can be spotted: swans, herons, soay sheep…Open to public year-round so choose your favourite season to visit.
Hope you enjoyed tagging along on this little Fall getaway of ours exploring part of Belgium’s Namur province.
Join me next time for some seasonal trips closer to home and some favourite shots of our trip to Lenk Switzerland coming up too.