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Explore the Ardennes on foot with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Walking in the Ardennes
6 Jun 2014
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
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Walking in the Ardennes

Belgium, Luxembourg and the Ardennes

by Jeff Williams
Book published by Cicerone Press

Walking in the Ardennes covers 32 day walks between 2 and 24km and one multi-stage route, the Sentier du Nord. The Ardennes region in southern Belgium overlaps into Luxembourg and France and features rolling hills, deep valleys, rivers and wide reaches of forest. Walks take in WW2 battlefields, medieval castles, towns and villages.

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Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
Weight: 250g

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Easily accessible from Calais, the Ardennes region of southeastern Belgium is a great destination for a family walking holiday. This beautiful area of beech and oak-forested hills also offers endless walking opportunities, suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities.

Walking in the Ardennes describes 32 day walks based in five centres in Belgium: Bouillon, Spa, Malmedy, Dinant and La Roche-en-Ardenne, and one 68km long-distance route, the Sentier du Nord, divided into six manageable stages that traverse northern Luxembourg from Weiswampach to Diekirch. With numerous outdoor activities, including kayaking and mountain biking as well as the outstanding walking available, the Ardennes is a great destination for a family holiday.

Located primarily in south-east Belgium but also stretching over the borders into northern Luxembourg and, to a lesser extent, north-east France, the Ardennes is a beautiful area of beech and oak forests, rolling green hills and deep, winding river valleys. It offers almost endless walking options and is packed with historic sites to visit including medieval castles and fortified farmhouses perched above attractive villages, as well as WWII museums and war relics situated alongside the routes. Military history enthusiasts will be especially enthralled.

The walks described in this guidebook differ in distance and ascent but there are no large height gains and so the walking is all essentially straightforward. There is no difficulty grading system, and no special equipment is required; recommended gear is the same as would be used for countryside walking in the UK. On-road sections have been kept to a minimum. As such, the walking is suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities, and is perfect for all the family.

  • 32 day walks and one 68km route in 6 stages
  • information about the medieval castles, fortified farmhouses and WW2 relics found along the routes
  • practical advice on accommodation, food and drink, when to go and much more

  • Activities
  • Seasons
    walks can be done at any time of year; June and September are best as accommodation is open, crowds are unlikely and there is a good chance of decent weather
  • Centres
    Belgium: Dinant, Spa, Bouillon, Malmedy and La Roche-en-Ardenne; Luxembourg: Clervaux
  • Difficulty
    walks have no technical difficulties but vary considerably in length and height gain; no specialist equipment is required
  • Must See
    the extraordinary and renowned habitat of the Hautes Fagnes; the cave systems at Han-sur-Lesse or Rochefort; Bouillon and its castle; the military museum at Diekirch in Luxembourg
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World War II and the Ardennes
Plants and wildlife
Food and drink
Early guides to the Ardennes
Scope of this guide
Getting there
When to visit
Health and safety
What to take
The RAVeL network
Using this guide
1 Bouillon and the River Semois
Walk 1 Bouillon to Sedan
Walk 2 Corbion, Crêtes de Frahan, Rochehaut and Corbion
Walk 3 Bouillon to Poupehan and back
Walk 4 Vresse and Membre
Walk 5 Bohan and the French frontier
Walk 6 Dohan and the Semois
Walk 7 L’Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval
Walk 8 Herbeumont: Viaduct and château
Walk 9 Herbeumont: Mortehan, viaduct and the château
Walk 10 La Ramonette
Walk 11 The Belvédère
Walk 12 Arboretum and patriots’ memorial
2 Spa
Walk 13 Solwaster and the Statte stream
Walk 14 Fagne de Malchamps
Walk 15 Château de Franchimont
Walk 16 L’Étang de Chawion and Lac de Warfaaz
3 Hautes Fagnes, Malmédy and Stavelot
Walk 17 An excursion in the Hautes Fagnes
Walk 18 Kaiser Karl’s Bettstatt
Walk 19 Cascade and canyon
Walk 20 Château de Reinhardstein
Walk 21 Stavelot, Coo and Trois Ponts triangle
4 Dinant, the Meuse and the Lesse
Walk 22 The Meuse and the Lesse
Walk 23 Gendron-Celles station to Houyet along the Lesse
Walk 24 Le Parc de Furfooz
Walk 25 Château de Walzin
Walk 26 Belvaux and the Bois de Niau
Walk 27 Han-sur-Lesse and Rochefort
Walk 28 Château de Montaigle
5 La Roche-en-Ardenne
Walk 29 Maboge, Borzée and the ridges above the Ourthe
Walk 30 The Celtic fort
Walk 31 Circuit of the Lac des Deux Ourthes
Walk 32 La Roche, Cielle and Le Grand Bois
6 Luxembourg
Walk 33 The Sentier du Nord
Stage 1 Weiswampach to Troisvierges
Stage 2 Troisvierges to Clervaux
Stage 3 Clervaux to Drauffelt
Stage 4 Drauffelt to Kautenbach
Stage 5 Kautenbach to Goebelsmühle
Stage 6 Goebelsmühle to Diekirch
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Useful websites
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