Our first visit was to the Halve Maan brewery museum – Maes beer – in Brugge (Bruges). The homebrewery “De Halve Maan” is the only family brewery in the centre of Bruges that is still active. After a climb to the top of the brewery we were rewarded by a panoramic view of the city. A sample of the brew was therefore an essential culmination of this visit.

Then a picturesque walk to the coach park

Next we headed for the Gardens of Adegem – a romantic French garden, an English garden with ponds and waterfalls, a Japanese garden and an exotic garden.
Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take pictures due to the antisocial behaviour of some previous visitors.

Finally, we headed for Mechelen to our hotel and explored the nearby area for suitable restaurants (and another beer or two). Yum!


We went to Antwerp, visiting the Plantentuin (Plants garden) which was formerly the site of the hospital kitchen gardens.

Some people needed a rest already!

Then on to Rubens’ house and gardens

Some free time, lunch and a walk-about before getting back on the coach for our visit to the Arboretum Kalmhout (Calm Wood).
This is a 12 hectare site with over 7,000 varieties of plants from all over the world.

Our Guide, a sprightly 82, led the way.


In south Brussels we visited the Van Buuren garden which has elements of Art Deco style. It consists of a labyrinth, seven green rooms inspired by the Song of Solomon …

… , and the Garden of The Heart.

On the outskirts of Brussels was the Tournay-Solvay Park

where we had a special access to the old manor house for the group photo

and the surprise discovery of hatching dragon flies

Saturday meal

Well, they really did enjoy themselves ….? Or perhaps they were just worn out?

Thanks to our excellent tour guide, Johan.


The last day! :-((
We headed back to Brugge and to the Chocolate Museum, where the webmaster discovered some naked ladies,


His own brand of chocolate…

and a naughty boy from Brussels…

Oh, and a little garden.

The Organisers

Thanks to

Roy & Alma Mallett
Martyn & Jo Shaw
Driver Mark and Galloway Coaches
Novotel Mechelen
and last, but by no means least, Johan – preparing for next year with his new brolly and his wife Ria.

See you next year??


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