If you wish to escape the hubbub of the city without leaving the outskirts, the ‘Bois de la Cambre’ (French) or ‘Kamerbos’ (Dutch) is a perfect solution.
Located at the entrance to the Forêt de Soignes, this large park is part vast plains, part forest, and it is a favorite among Brussels denizens, as it caters to many needs.
Those seeking to escape the busy streets and looking for fresh air can use the large grounds as a place to relax or, alternatively, go for a run, bike ride or hike.
It is also the ideal location for dog owners to bring their animal company, whether on a leash or not. Happy dogs playing and running around freely are a common sight at the ‘Bois’.
In the sunny parts of summer, it is a choice destination for a picnic with family or friends. We are also planning an Easter Sunday brunch at the bois.
In the middle of the park is a small lake with an island, on which the very nice Chalet Robinson restaurant is located. This restaurant, which can be rented out for group activities as well, also offers the possibility for visitors to rent an outdoors lounging chair when the sun is out. As you can imagine, this option is extremely popular for sunbathing.
Finally, pleasure-seekers can also rent boats in the summer for a tour of the lake. New York connaisseurs may notice that the boats are identical to the famous boats of Central Park.
All in all, the Bois de la Cambre is a wonderful place to escape city life, even for a few hours. Perhaps a destination for you, the next time the sun shines on Brussels during the weekend?
If this is not your kind of activity, or if you feel lonely in Brussels, be sure to look at expat groups in Brussels such as the American Women’s club of Brussels (www.awcb.org) or Brussels Expats (www.internations.org), many of which organise activities in the Bois de la Cambre during sunny periods.