This vast suburban forest about a 40-minute drive from Brussels is a botanical cathedral of glorious towering beech trees. Many were planted by proto-Belgium’s 18th-century Austrian rulers, with oaks added by the French to provide timber for future naval ships. By the time those trees had matured, however, shipbuilders preferred metal, so the trees went uncut. Today the result is a delightful regional park with hundreds of kilometres of cycling, horse-riding and walking paths.
Tucked into the forest fringes are arboreta at Tervuren and Groenendaal.