(TMU) — Every year around April to May and depending on the Spring temperatures, bluebells come into bloom in ancient forests, forming a magical carpet of purple beneath the trees.
Hallerbos is open to visitors year-round, but if you want to experience the bluebells you will need to plan your visit according to Mother Nature’s clock. Although the bluebells always bloom in Spring, usually around mid-April at Hellerbos, the timing depends on how cold or warm it is at the end of Winter and the start of Spring.
It is best to check the Hallerbos website for updates on the status of the bluebell bloom to avoid being disappointed as the flowers will be sparse if you get there too early and once the beech trees are covered in leaves and blocking the light to the forest floor, they’ll be fading fast.
Hallerbos is large, covering 2.25 square miles (5.82 square km). The bluebells in spring are just a fraction of the forest’s magic to discover through each season’s beautiful offerings.
Over and above the Bluebell Walk, there are three other marked walking trails.
The Achtdreven Walk is the shortest at 1.12 miles (1,8km) and is suitable for visitors with limited mobility and wheelchairs and has benches and picnic tables at regular intervals along the walk. The Sequoia Walk 2.48 miles (4km) through the giant Sequoia trees. And the Roebuck Walk, the most adventurous of the three, will take you along three of Hallerbos’ four valleys for a 4.35 mile (7km) long adventure.
The soil and vegetation at Hellerbos are fragile and sensitive to tramping, and visitors must stay on the paths provided. Permission is required for commercial or professional photo shoots and film recordings and must be requested via the box office. Drones are not allowed.
There are also special events and activities for children during the week, a forest museum, and guided walks available. Check the website for details and bookings.
Belgium borders France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany. To get to the Hallerbos you can travel by car or to the town of Halle by train, if you travel by train, you can rent a bike at the station and cycle to the forest.
A train journey from Brussels takes about 10 minutes to the Halle station and by car, 35 minutes from Brussels, 55 minutes from Antwerp or Ghent, and about 2.5 hours from Amsterdam. There are no shops at the forest itself so be sure to go prepared with food and drink because you will surely want to linger and without doubt will find an ideal spot to enjoy your meal.
The good news is that bluebells are found not only Hallerbos but across Western Europe and in the UK, where about half of the world’s population of bluebells thrive. You’ll find them in the north, southwest, southeast, east, the Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland, and in Scotland.