Browsing Tag:

Orchard Escapes

Orchard Escapes | An Autumn Break in Bruges

Posted in Explore by
Bruges in the Autumn

A couple of years ago we headed took a mini break to one of the loveliest northern European cities, Bruges. Located in Flanders in western Belgium, Bruges is a charming medieval city that has been attracting visitors for generations. We visited in October and were blessed with some glorious autumnal weather and relatively light crowds.   We think Autumn is one of the best times of year to visit.

Bruges in the Autumn

A bit of history

Bruges’s golden age was in the medieval period and was one of the most important trading cities in the world at the time. The city was home to the first stock exchange in the world, and goods from all over Europe and beyond were traded. The city boomed and in in the 15th century, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, set up court in Bruges adding to the cities prestige.

From the 15th century onwards Bruges started losing trade to the nearby city of Antwerp and went into decline. The population fell and by the 1800s the city went from being the most prosperous in Belgium to the poorest. By the turn of the 19th century, the city started to attract the attention of wealthy English and french tourists, attracted by the preserved medieval architecture. The city capitalised on this new attention and now attracts more than two million tourists annually.  The city is now protected as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Bruges in the Autumn

What to do

The charm of Bruges is to wander around the picturesque streets aimlessly soaking up the architecture and the atmosphere.  The city is not a big place, the centre is charming and where all the main sites are located. To help get your bearings consider climbing the 13th century Belfort.  The 83m climb might prove a bit of a challenge but stunning views make it worth it.   If you’d rather stay closer to ground level a canal boat tour is a great way to see another side of the city, allowing you to admire the canal-side houses.

Everywhere you look you will see stunning buildings, but make sure you check out the gothic excess of the 1420 Stadhuis.  Bruges has museums dedicated to chips, chocolate, diamonds, and beer. Our favourite was obviously the Bruges Beer Museum! If you are after something higher brow head to Groeningemuseum, the city’s most celebrated art gallery.

To experience to best of the city it is best to stay overnight in one of the many gorgeous hotels. You can experience the city after the day trippers have gone home, and enjoy a beer in one of the atmospheric bars, and a meal in one of the many excellent restaurants. We got up early and headed for an early morning walk to experience the city as it wakes up. We were blessed with a crisp sunny weather. The peacefulness of the city in the early morning really took our breath away.

Bruges in the Autumn

Find out more

We think Bruges is a stunning city and a perfect mini break destination.  It is easily accessible from the UK by sea, train or driving.  The city is easy to wander around and has enough attractions to keep you occupied for a day or two. The crowds can get a bit hectic so going off season is a good idea, as is spending at least a night in the city.  For more information check out Visit Bruges. If you have any recommendations let us know in the comments

Bruges in the Autumn Bruges in the AutumnBruges in the Autumn Bruges in the Autumn

Bruges in the Autumn
7th October 2016

Planning our trip to Copenhagen

Posted in Explore by
Copenhagen Planning

We are very excited, we have just booked for a long weekend in Copenhagen for the beginning of December.  This will be Calum’s second visit to the city, and Rich’s third. We pondered heading to another European city but after going through all the pros and cons of elsewhere we kept on coming back to Copenhagen. We loved it last time we went together and are looking forward to getting to know the city even better.

What to do?

We are visiting on the first weekend of December and are planning on doing our Christmas shopping in the City. Aside from that we have come up with some suggestions on what to do:

  • Wander around Tivoli Gardens to see the Christmas lights
  • Climb Rundetaarn for views of the city
  • Visit Amalienborg to learn about the Royal Family
  • Cross the Øresund Bridge to visit Malmö

Suggestions welcome!

What else do you think we should we do? Do you know of any great bars, pubs or restaurants that we should visit? And what should we eat and drink? Are there any must-see museums or attractions? We’d love to hear your suggestions, so let us know in the comments or drop us a message on any of our social media channels.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Copenhagen Planning

21st September 2016