Hallerbos Woods: My (Failed) Adventure

Hallerbos Woods: the “Blue Forest” of Belgium!

Hallerbos Woods in Halle, Belgium, is one of those places that make you realise just how incredible nature can be.

Every year without fail, an incredible carpet of bright blue flowers burst into life to ignite all your senses. Whilst your eyes see an ocean of flowers covering the forest floor with a beautiful blue-purple haze, your nose is hit with a subtle, floral fragrance that will convince you that this must be what heaven smells like.

[aesop_image img=”http://cosmictravellerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/hallerbos-woods.jpg” panorama=”off” credit=”Jean-François Schmitz” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

 

[aesop_image img=”http://cosmictravellerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/belgium.jpg” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”I’m almost convinced that these photos are super-edited because I just can’t believe the forest could look like this… it just looks too perfect 😂” captionposition=”center” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

 

ONE IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW:

 

[aesop_content color=”#ffffff” background=”#ad80d0″ columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]The bluebells in Hallerbos Woods only bloom for one single month of the year and then they’re gone forever… or until the next year comes around 😉

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Getting the timing right is extremely difficult. As you’ll see from my photos below, the timing wasn’t right in my case and the experience was not how I wanted it to be!

The website for the woods (click here to see it) actually publishes updates on the blooming season so if you want to know which week is best to go you kind of have to keep checking back in with them.

Over the years the blooming season was always early-May (the first May weekend was always the best time to visit) but with weather changes it now seems to be getting earlier and earlier, with the latest years being early-April.

With the beech trees being at full-leaf now around the beginning of May, the sunlight can no longer reach the bluebells and they start to wither and die. The forest gets darker, and the flowers change from bright purple-blue, to grey-blue. It was at this time that I visited.

HOW TO GET THERE

 

[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ad80d0″ columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]Arrive in Brussels (Gare du Nord or Gare-Midi). From either of these major stations you can get a TER train to Halle. It costs about 5€. After that, get off at Halle, exit the station. Turn left and walk to the bus bay! You want bus 114. Ask for a return to HALLE-VLASMARKT. This is the bus stop just outside the entrance to the woods. It takes approx 10 mins.

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Also keep in mind that the bus from Halle to Vlasmarkt is every hour.

Below is the bus timetable…. Try to time it so you arrive without having to arrive and wait a long time for the next one!

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There are also Blue Bikes available at the station if you’re a member (you can’t use them unless you’re a member).

DAMN, I LEFT TOO LATE

Unfortunately, I left it too late. I tried to organise with a few different people to go but the plans didn’t work out and eventually I got impatient and just went alone. I’m kind of annoyed with myself for this because I really had been dying to go and it could’ve been far more impressive when I went to see it.

With that in mind, the woods is still a beautiful place to visit and I’m glad I went (I’m also surprised it was so easy to get to because Google Maps and other websites said it would be a long, difficult journey to get there).

I went alone and it wasn’t too difficult to find at all… and it was a nice, sunny day which made the journey even better 🙂 And even though it wasn’t what I wanted or expected it’s ok because it was still beautiful even with just a few remaining bluebells.

[aesop_image img=”http://cosmictravellerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/IMG_2685-1.jpg” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”If you see this sign on the side of the road when you get off the bus, you’re in the right place!” captionposition=”center” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

[aesop_image img=”http://cosmictravellerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/IMG_2680.jpg” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”When you turn onto the entrance to the woods you’ll see Vlasmarkt!” captionposition=”center” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

 

[aesop_image img=”http://cosmictravellerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/IMG_2517.jpg” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”The forest staff put these markers in place to stop people treading on the bluebells. Once you tread on them they don’t grow back the next year so this is kind of important!” captionposition=”center” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

 

[aesop_image img=”http://cosmictravellerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/IMG_2560.jpg” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”They’re dying :(” captionposition=”center” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

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[aesop_image img=”http://cosmictravellerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/IMG_2528.jpg” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Deep into the forest” captionposition=”center” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

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OTHER LINKS

Hallerbos Woods website

114 bus timetable online


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