BRILLIANT BELGIUM - ANTWERP, GHENT & BRUGES 2 NIGHT TRIP
EXPLORE THREE STUNNING FLEMISH CITIES.
VISIT A BELGIAN BREWERY & CHOCOLATE MUSEUM.
STAY IN A 4 STAR HOTEL.
Friday 24th June - Sunday 26th June 2016
£199 per person in a shared twin or double room
(limited single supplements available for £36 extra per night)
*You must have a valid passport and be able to travel within the EU to join this trip*
Belgium is only a short hop away over the channel, and is a delight to explore. Its historic cities are full of character and charm, and are small enough to discover on foot. And if you need any more reasons to visit, both the beer and the chocolate are world-famous! On this 2-night trip, we will visit a brewery, a chocolate museum and three of Belgium’s most stunning cities – Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges.
Departing on Friday evening, we will travel by coach to Folkestone where we will take the Channel Tunnel over to Calais. From there we’ll travel on to our comfortable hotel – the chic 4 star Mercure Hotel in Roeselare.
Following breakfast (included in the cost of the trip) we will hop back in the coach and travel to the Brouwerij De Koninck, home to delicious De Koninck beer! We’ll visit the innovative and multi-sensory beer experience centre before having a taster of the end product. After our Brewery visit, we’ll be dropped in Antwerp’s stunning historic centre, where we are free to explore for the rest of the day!
Antwerp’s engaging city centre, with its mazy streets and cobbled lanes studded with fine old churches, mansions and museums, iis sure to steal your heart. Visit the ancient Grote Markt, centre of activities and flanked by the elegant Stadhuis. From here, it’s a short stroll to the magnificent Gothic Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal, home to a quartet of paintings by Rubens, with the intriguing old printing house of Christopher Plantin, now the Museum Plantin-Moretus, just beyond. North of the Grote Markt you’ll find the stunning medieval Vleeshuis, one-time headquarters of the guild of butchers, with Baroque St-Pauluskerk nearby. Slightly further afield, but still navigable on foot, you’ll find Rubenshuis, one-time home and studio of Rubens (pictured above), and nestled in the Diamond District, the wonderful art-deco Antwerp zoo.
Belgium has some delicious cuisine; steaming pots of fresh mussels served with frites are particularly popular in Antwerp. Your tour guide will recommend some places to dine. If you don’t want to eat in the city, our hotel has a restaurant on site.
On Sunday we’ll check out after breakfast and head to our first stop of the day. Ghent is a cool and quirky destination; its charming cityscape is very much lived in and has a vibrant atmosphere. We’ll be dropped off close to the medieval heart, Gothic buildings including St-Baafskathedraal, where Jan van Eyck’s remarkable Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, one of the world’s most important paintings, can be found. Nearby you’ll find the impressive arches and turrets of St-Niklaaskerk; the forbidding castle of the counts of Flanders, Het Gravensteen; and the Graslei – medieval guildhalls. Away from the centre are three excellent museums: S.M.A.K, a Museum of Contemporary Art; STAM, which explores the city’s history; and the fine art of the Museum voor Schone Kunsten.
The magical city of Bruges, our final stop on the wonderful weekend, looks like a fairytale come to life - full of pretty medieval buildings and serene canals, picturesque market squares and ancient churches. We will make our way to Choco Story – the Chocolate Museum – where we’ll discover the history and art of chocolate making. Then you have free time to explore the streets, check out some of those chocolate shops for yourself! Perhaps visit the beautiful Markt with its famous Belfry and the grand Burg nearby, or one of the many striking churches or galleries.
From Bruges, we’ll head back to Calais for the ferry crossing and back to London late evening, no doubt loaded down with chocolate and beer souvenirs!
Departure/Drop off point
Option 1) Tower Hill Coach Park
Look for the sign-posted pedestrian entrance on Petty Wales (painted yellow, underneath Wagamama) take the steps on the right and wait in front of the coach bays.
Option 2) Hall Place Car Park, Hall Place, Bourne Rd, Bexley DA5 1PQ
Wait by the coach bays at the far side of the car park.
Departure time (Friday 24th June)
Tower Hill: 5.15pm
Hall Place: 6.00pm
Return time* (Sun 26th June)
Hall Place: 9.30pm
Tower Hill: 10.15pm
Schedule* (In local times - Belgium is 1 hour ahead of GMT)
Fri 24th June:
17.15 - Depart Tower Hill Coach Park
18.00 – Depart Hall Place
19.15 – Arrive Channel Tunnel Terminal for 19.50 crossing
23.00 – Arrive Mercure Hotel, Roeselaire, Belgium
Sat 25th June:
9.30 – Depart Hotel
10.35 – Arrive Brouwerij De Koninck, depart 12.15
12.30 – Arrive Antwerp centre (10 mins walk from coach park)
20.00 – Depart Antwerp
21.30 – Arrive Hotel
Sun 26th June:
9.00 – Check out & depart hotel
10.00 – Arrive Ghent. Depart at 13.30
14.30 – Arrive Bruges. Walk to Choco Story. Depart Bruges 17.45
19.15 – Arrive Calais for P&O Ferry sailing at 20.15
21.30 – Arrive Hall Place
22.15 – Arrive Tower Hill
Return coach travel from London including Channel Tunnel, transfers & P&O ferry crossing, 2 nights bed & breakfast buffet in the Mercure Hotel Roeselaire, the services of a tour guide
Tickets to attractions including the De Koninck Brewery & Choco Story (although a group discount will be arranged - 20 euro pp in total for both attractions), other food & drink, gratuities
*Timings are approximate and the schedule is subject to change when required. Your tour guide will confirm times to be back at the coach at each stop, the schedule above is a guideline only. See here for full terms & conditions.
© Abbey Tours UK Ltd. 2016