Once a year Hallerbos forest in Belgium colours purple attracting big crowds to admire this colourful nature spectacle.
‘The Blue Forest’ gets its’ name thanks to the beautiful purple carpet of bluebells, also called wild hyacinths, which bloom around mid-April – beginning of May.
Hallerbos is a public forest, so there is no entrance fee or opening times you have to take into account.
When is the best time to see bluebells in Hallerbos
The exact timing of flowering bluebells may be a bit different from year to year, but generally the second half of April is the best period to visit Hallerbos.
If you can, try to go there on a weekday. It will also be quieter early in the morning or towards the evening and there will definitely be less people on a rainy day.
We visited Hallerbos on a late Saturday afternoon on a rainy day and it was not as busy as we had expected, but parkings were so small that we had difficulties finding a spot for our car. We had lots of rain and just a beam of sun during our visit and I can definitely tell you that if you want better pictures you will want to go when it’s sunny…
How to get to Hallerbos
Hallerbos forest is located 20 km South of Brussels.
There are several options how you can reach Hallerbos. You can take a train to Halle from where there is a bus connection to the forest. Alternatively, you can rent a bike at the station (5 km or 3 miles ride to the forest). Or you can go there by car.
Keep in mind that most parkings are very small, the roads are extremely narrow, some streets leading to the forest are turned into one-way-streets during this period, and it can get very busy on sunny weekends at the end of April. If you decide to go there by car, make sure you have a good GPS with you. Address: Vlasmarktdreef, Halle.
What is the nicest part of Hallerbos forest
You can find bluebells in many different parts of the forest, but not all areas are just as impressive. We were told that the nicest parts are reached by following the yellow walking path – Reebokwandeling. The whole walk is a round trip of 7 km (4,4 miles). We visited the forest with kids and only did a small part of the walk and were absolutely impressed by the purple flower carpet all around us. You can find the map of the forest on the official Hallerbos website.
Hallerbos – a forest like no other
I created a short video of the forest, just to give you an idea of how immense the blue carpet really is. It’s my very first video ever, so try to look at the beautiful forest and not at the quality of the video.
What we wish we had known before going to Hallerbos with children
Our kids loved the Hallerbos, but there were a few things we didn’t consider.
- The forest can be very wet and some paths are extremely muddy after the rain. While some roads in the forest are tarmac, most paths leading to the nicest places in the forest are really muddy. You may want to wear walking shoes or even hiking boots. If I were to go there again, I’d definitely take rain boots, certainly for the children.
We didn’t get much rain the week before so we didn’t think that it could be so wet in the forest. Our kids were so dirty after the walk that you couldn’t see the colour of their shoes under the mud… But we are used to that – they look like this pretty much every day after playing outside…
- There are no toilets in the forest and only a few restaurants nearby. The restaurants may be far away from where you are, so if you plan to spend a couple of hours in the forest you may want to pack a picnic and take some water with you.
- You could probably visit the forest with a stroller, but you would need one with larger wheels. And be prepared to push it uphill once in a while.
Let me know if you have any questions. And – if you are in Belgium – don’t wait too long to visit – bluebells are blooming right now and it will all be gone in a week or ten days… Till next year.
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