If in Brugge for more than a couple of hours, escape the crowds and add three castles to your list while walking through beautiful domains connected into a marked walking route, the Drie Kastelenroute.
A short walk after the starting point you will see the Tillegem castle (Kasteel van Tillegem). A lovely surprise this little castle set in a forest (Tillegembos) and surrounded by water. It dates back from the 13th century and during the next centuries it was owned by rich families from Bruges. The last owner Baron Eugène Charles de Penerada, had it restored in the Gothic Revival style and in 1980 sold it to the Province of West Flanders which currently uses it for offices. The castle is closed to visitors but the surroundings can be visited free of charge.
We continue our walk through the forest, patches of high grass, then a small neighbourhood of houses and even some farms. The next point of interest is Tudor castle and its domain. As the name suggests it, it was built in the English Tudor-style around 1904. In front of the castle there is an ornamental garden with flowerbeds and pathways.
We check one last time the castle which is now used as a restaurant/venue for parties, breath in deeply once again the sweetest fragrance coming from a gigantic linden tree and continue our walk through a forest of conifers, then into the beech-woods of Beisbroek domain. The castle is more an estate which houses a planetarium and a public observatory. If too tired, you can stop for a tea and a waffle/pancake at the Tea House right next to the castle.
From this castle the walk goes through Chartreuzinnenbos (wood of the Carthusian nuns) which links the Biesbroek and Tudor domains. Then a few more minutes and the walking route will bring you back into the parking, where we started.
Starting point: Parking Domein Tillegem, Wittemolenstraat 128, 8200 Sint-Michiels.
Distance: 12 km.
Difficulty: low, you don’t need any special equipment, just some comfortable walking shoes.
Duration: allow at least 3 hours.
How to get there: by car or by bike/bus/taxi from Bruges.