At the end of avenue Louise lies the Bois de la Cambre. It’s a landscaped, English-style park which feels much like a wood and owes its name to the nearby La Cambre Abbey. This unique piece of Brussels heritage is more than a match for New York’s iconic Central Park.
Brussels residents come here all year round to walk, jog, cycle and roller skate. At weekends, a number of its roads are closed to cars and are taken over by ‘soft mobility’ road users.
It’s a great place to relax with friends and family. Especially in summer months, when it’s the ideal place to escape the heat and hustle and bustle of the city. It’s then that you see its vast lawns being taken over by families enjoying a picnic, friends sunbathing, and couples dreamily enjoying the idyllic setting.
The Bois de la Cambre is actually an offshoot of the Sonian Forest and covers an area of 123 hectares. In 2004, the forest was declared a special Natura 2000 protection area and more than 80 of its trees are included in the Brussels-Capital Region’s inventory of exceptional trees. In addition, the Bois de la Cambre is home to 16 different species of bats and roe deer from the Sonian Forest are occasionally seen to wander there.
Hotspots in and around the Bois de la Cambre:
- Close to the Bois de la Cambre is Villa Empain. This Art Deco gem from the 1930s is a hit with both domestic and foreign visitors. You can visit some awesome exhibitions there.
- DROH!ME Melting Park: the Boitsfort Hippodrome was once King Leopold II’s megalomaniac passion project, but has now been fully converted into a vibrant recreational park. Golf lovers can indulge themselves at the Brussels Drohme Golf Club.
- Are you a romantic soul looking for that little bit more? Good news. In the Bois de la Cambre you can take a ferry to Le Chalet Robinson and spoil your taste buds.
- After an invigorating walk in the Bois de la Cambre, the Woodpecker kiosk awaits you and (perhaps) your four-legged friend for a tasty bite.
- Le Flore is a chic and trendy after-work bar where you can eat local and organic food.
- The Bois de la Cambre also has a nightlife. Since 1988, it has been home to one of Brussels' leading nightclubs: Les Jeux d'Hiver.