Peerdsbos, in the Brasschaat municipality north of Antwerp, is a popular day trip for nature lovers. The forest is known for its beautiful nature walks, running and cycling trails, as well as a great restaurant where visitors can sit down and sip a Belgian beer in the middle of the forest.
Peerdsbos as a Day Trip from Antwerp
Peerdsbos is Antwerp’s oldest forest, a 149 hectare green space which is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy the outdoors outside of the city. Between the tall trees of the forest, walking tracks make it an easy nature walk, including for wheelchairs and prams.
The forest is a deciduous forest of oak and beech, with some Scots pine. The main walk begins and ends at the Brassiere de Melkerij, and makes up just part of the 15km of walking tracks available for visitors.
There are many animals to be spotted along the way, with foxes and roe deer being the most elusive. Others include woodmice, weasels and native birdlife. Also to be found in the forest is a statue by Jan Fabre, an artist and director from Antwerp. The four metre statue, titled ‘The Man Who Measures the Clouds’, depicts a man on a ladder holding a ruler against the sky.
Brasserie de Melkerij
The restaurant located in Peerdsbos, the Brasserie de Melkerij, is a historical building with a very long history. It started off as a farm which ran for 500 years from 1420 to 1920. The current building was built in 1630, after the original burned down. It was predominantly a dairy farm (hence the name, Melkerij). The farm sold milk, lemonade, beer and bread to visitors to the forest.
Today, it is the perfect place in the summer to enjoy a cold beer in the sunny patio area, or for a nice warm brasserie meal and a cozy fireplace to keep warm in the winter. Outside, there is mini golf and large playground to keep the kids entertained.
For those looking for a quiet, relaxing day trip away from Antwerp, Peerdsbos is the perfect forest to explore. And don’t forget to sit down for a delicious Belgian beer after a days walking – Brasserie de Melkerij is a lovely restaurant with a beautiful forest setting.