Sports & Outdoors

Visiting Belgium's Hallerbos Bluebell Forest

A blanket of lilac-blue flowers surrounded by towering green trees, the Hallerbos bluebell forest in Belgium is an enchanting sight like no other.

Located in Halle, in Belgium's Flemish Brabant, is Hallerbos, a forest that's blessed with a beautiful carpet of bluebells that flower during the spring. It’s another wonderful option if you’re travelling to Belgium to avoid the crowds.

What to see in Hallerbos Forest

The forest is a veritable treasure trove for nature lovers or indeed anyone looking to get some peace and quiet on holiday. Be sure to take in all the forest’s sights and sounds on your visit.

The Bluebells

Many visit to see the opulent display of blue that explodes across the forest in spring. It’s a great time to take pictures and enjoy the strong sweet smell of the bluebell flowers. There’s an unmarked walking route called The Bluebell Walk, which takes you through the heart of the bluebells during the spring. You can find the map for this on the Hallerbos website.

The Wildlife

Like most forests in Belgium, Hallerbos is alive with captivating wildlife that you and your family can have fun spotting. The local community and government are heavily involved with protecting the wild species that inhabit the forest and its surroundings, so a lot has been developed and built to support natural habitats.

A bridge just outside the forest was transformed into a 'wildlife tunnel', so animals can move safely over grassy marshland, instead of the road. There's also a 'wildlife fence', built to protect animals from the large highway that passes through the forest. It allows deer, badgers, and other animals to migrate from one part of Hallerbos to the next, without risk.

sunrise shining through trees in a forest with a blanket of bluebells covering the ground around them.

When is the best time to visit the bluebell forest?

Although it's tricky to pinpoint the exact time the flowers will bloom due to the ever-changing weather, the best time to visit the forest is usually during the latter half of April, when the bluebells flower, and a sapphire glow envelops the forest.

Things to do in Hallerbos

While you visit Hallerbos, be sure to try these activities and visit the points of interest.

Take Photos

Even if you aren’t an avid photographer, we imagine it will be a challenge not to snap a few pictures of the forest, especially if you are visiting to see the bluebells. Lighting is particularly beautiful as it’s filtered through the various flora and fauna around you. Create some memories to take home with you.

Walking Trails

The best way to explore Hallerbos is by following the four hiking trails that guide you through the woods. Three of the trails are marked with different coloured poles, with each covering different routes and distances for varying abilities.

The Achtdreven Walk is just 1.8-kilometres and can be followed via the white and black painted poles. It’s designed for visitors with limited mobility, and provides plenty of picnic benches throughout the course, so families can enjoy lunch with a view.

The two other routes are the Sequoia Walk, which is 4-kilometres long, and the Roebuck Walk, at 7-kilometres long. For Sequoia, follow the blue poles, which take you past conifers and giant Sequoia trees. The Roebuck Walk is marked with yellow posts, which guide you through three of the four valleys in Hallerbos, where you can stop to take in the picturesque views or wait patiently for wildlife to pass.

Forest Museum

On top of the magnificent nature, there's also the Forest Museum, where a variety of natural exhibitions are displayed throughout the year. During spring, the museum hosts an exhibition on spring flowers, which explores all the beautiful and unusual flowers of the forest that you'll get to spot during your visit. However, be mindful that the museum is only open on specific days of the year, so call up beforehand to double check opening times.

City landscape surrounding a park with carefully manicured trees and shrubs at sunset

Outside of Hallerbos

Halle

Only a 16-minute drive from Hallerbos is Halle, a city full of charm and picturesque sights. After a day spent admiring the spectacular bluebells, Halle is a great place to go for something to do, or a bite to eat.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to recharge in after a long hike through the woods, but a good choice is Boelekewis. Sip on great local wines and beers, and dine on quality cuts of meat, fresh salads, and mouth-watering desserts. During the warmer months you can dine out on the outdoor terrace.

If you have time, visit the city's Boon Brewery. Running since 1975, the brewery specialises in soft and fine Gueuze Lambic, and produces a range of deliciously refreshing beers, from red beers with hints of cherry to raspberry flavoured Lambic.

Brussels

Just a short 30-minute drive from Hallerbos is Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. A hub of culture, great chocolate, and brilliant sights, Brussels is a world away from the peacefulness of Hallerbos, but still a delightful place to spend a day or two after a journey through the forest. As with any big city, there's a lot to see and do, from the weird and wonderful architecture, such as Manneken Pis, to exploring the fascinating museums.

For a taste of the city's architecture, head over to the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. The interiors of the cathedral are just as opulent as the exterior, and feature an incredible Baroque pulpit, which depicts the story of Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden, as well as the serpent being destroyed by the Virgin and Child.

black and white cocker spaniel dog leaning on log in forest filled with blue flowers

Are there rules to visiting Hallerbos Bluebell Forest?

The forest has an official website where you can find out lots of important information, including some rules to help you stay safe and to protect the natural environment. For example, cyclists must stick to particular trails, bridle paths must remain pedestrian free, and you must stick to the walking routes and not venture into the woodland. This keeps natural habitats for wildlife protected.

Can I bring my dog to the Hallerbos Bluebell Forest?

Dogs are welcome in the woods but must be kept on a lead in every part of the forest. Keep in mind you won’t be able to let your dog roam free, but they can certainly walk the trails on lead with you and you can take some beautiful pictures of your furry friends with the backdrop of bluebells come springtime.

people walking through a forest on a path lined with trees and green foliage

How to get to Hallerbos Bluebell Forest

It only takes a little over two hours to drive from Calais to Hallerbos, and with the journey from the UK to France only taking 35-minutes with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle you can be there and back in a day.

The main route from Calais follows the A25 and E429, so you can plan stops in places like Lille or Tournai.

If you decide to venture north after your foray into the forest, Antwerp is around an hour’s drive away with plenty to see and do.

Open a My Eurotunnel account to stay up to date with travel information, holiday inspiration and special offers.

Travel to Hallerbos Bluebell Forest with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

In this article

More summer holiday ideas in Belgium

Explore our tickets

Driving time

hr

Distance

miles

Loading...