The Green West

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Let's go

This time, verdant oases are on the menu in the west of Brussels. We start at Brussels-West station in Molenbeek, dive into the natural world along the Scheutbos in Anderlecht, pass a handful of parks in Jette and then pay a visit to the Koekelberg Basilica before making the climb back up to Brussels-West station.

Route 3 Anderlecht Berchem Jette Koekelberg Molenbeek 3

Practical

📏 18km / ⏰ 1h15min / 🗻 110m

RCRs used

Start at Brussels-West station by following the 10a orange up to the corner of the Rue Van Soust and the Avenue de la Poesie.
Then follow the Promenade Verte until you have passed the Parc de la Jeunesse.
Here, follow C orange to the Boulevard de Smet de Naeyer.
Next, just past the Basilica at the junction with the Avenue de la Liberté, opt for 11 blue.
Turn right at the Avenue Mahatma Gandhi and follow B orange.
Follow this to Parc Marie José where you turn right onto the 10b, which you follow to Brussels-West station where the route ends.

Sightseeing

Brussels-West station

Our expedition in Brussels’ wild west starts at Brussels-West station. These days, the former goods station is only used for passenger trains. To the right of the station is Molenwest, a sports and games initiative for local residents.


Pocket park

Heading further west, we pass a so-called pocket park, where a few small trees, benches and concrete blocks create a resting place in this densely-populated quarter.


Promenade Verte

From here on, it’s nature all the way: we’re now following the Promenade Verte, which stretches through the entire region for some 60km.


Scheutbos

We end up in the Scheutbos with its meandering paths, plethora of ponds and meadowland grazed by long-haired Galloway cattle. From the Scheutbos to Scotland, and all without leaving Brussels!


Allotments

We cycle on towards Berchem-Sainte-Agathe and see how the green-fingered residents of Brussels industriously harvest the fruits of their allotments.


Les Lilas

We leave the home-grown tomatoes and pumpkins behind us and cycle past the colourful Les Lilas municipal school, which closely resembles a paint colour chart.


Sheep beside a shopping centre

Enough crazy colours! We go back to green with a strip of grey, as we cycle past the Basilix shopping centre beside the E40. On the other side of the motorway, you’ll see sheep grazing. Fortunately, the natural world has still not disappeared completely here!


Beside the tracks

From here, we follow the train tracks towards Ganshoren. And our route keeps tracing the rails after that too, as we chuff along beside Jette’s parks.


Tongeluk

Crossing our tracks now is Tongeluk, Ganshoren’s youth centre. We try to make it through the new bike tunnel without incident before cycling past Houblon de Bruxelles, an artisanal hop grower with some 350 plants!


Bois du Laerbeek

Take a minute to observe the boundless joy of children when you come upon one of the region’s most beautiful playgrounds in the middle of the forest. We stop off for a drink at the Chalet du Laerbeek at the top of the hill.


Marais de Jette

Re-energised, we speed through the Marais de Jette, alongside the Molenbeek.


Parc Roi Baudouin

As we cycle into the Parc Roi Baudouin, we slow down to enjoy the ponds, the playground and, above all, the summer bar Guinguette Fabiola.


Parc de la Jeunesse

In the Parc de la Jeunesse (where adults are allowed despite the place’s name!), the Jam’in Jette is organised every year in May. During the rest of the year, it’s simply a great place to hang out!


Koekelberg Basilica

We leave the green fields and forests firmly behind us and start on a stiff climb towards the bombastic Koekelberg Basilica.


Karreveld

With the basilica behind us, we speed past the Karreveld. An attractively upgraded farm where clay was extracted for bricks in the past. These days, there’s a more stylish atmosphere, with activities such as Christmas markets and theatre festivals.


Sippelberg

Before we get to the final stage, we cycle up the Sippelberg past a stretch of green – albeit in the form of sports fields. Not the most exciting spot if you’re not into sports, perhaps.


Cité Machtens

Our final stop is the monument in Cité Machtens for Loubna Lafquiri, a victim of the 22 March attacks. A grey group of residential towers surrounds the monument, which is forced to compete with the looming concrete.

We leave the grey towers behind us and pedal on to the Brussels-West station, where our route comes to an end. It’s been another wild ride here in the west, but fortunately one with plenty of nature in which to find some peace!

Next week: Anderlecht and Neerpede!

  • Pocketpark

    Pocket Park

  • Scheutbospark

    Scheutbos

  • Volkstuintjes

    Allotments

  • Schapen

    Sheep beside a shopping centre

  • Langs de sporen

    Along the tracks

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    Bois du Laerbeek

  • Moeras van Jette

    Marais de Jette

  • Jeugdpark

    Parc de la Jeunesse

  • Basiliek van Koekelberg

    Koekelberg Basilica

  • Cité Machtens

    Cité Machtens

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