May is a month filled with holiday weekends. It’s the perfect time to plan a little get-away or two. You can take 3 or 4 days and head out into the countryside, or take a short flight to a nearby city – my suggestion is to pick somewhere you haven’t been yet and do a little exploring. It’s amazing how refreshing it can be both mentally and physically to get out and do something you don’t usually do.
Where to go
If you’re starting your journey from London, you can set your sights on Bruges in Belgium. Bruges, an ancient canal city.
Bruges is an interesting place. It is located in the north west of Belgium just south of the Dutch/Belgian border. The old city is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so as you can imagine, it is pretty spectacular. The city is criss-crossed by canals and many people consider Bruges to be the Venice of the North. The history of the city stretches back many centuries, and at one point it was even considered to be the “chief commercial city” of the world. That is quite an impressive legacy, and it shows everywhere you look.
Most of the medieval architecture of the city is still present, and in excellent condition. One of the most impressive is the Church of Our Lady. It is one of the tallest brick-built buildings in the world, and you can see it towering over the city from most anywhere. The most famous attraction here though is the 13th century belfry. The 48 bells are used to play beautiful music on a regular basis. This alone is worth the trip to Bruges.
Finding a good hotel is often a gamble, and recommendations are often a good way to go. If you want a place right in the centre of the city, then you should check out De Tuilerieen. It’s not a budget hotel, but you certainly do get what you pay for here. The hotel has a swimming pool, a sauna, steam room, and each room in uniquely decorated by the well known interior designer Pieter Porters. This all adds up to a very pleasant and welcoming place to stay. It’s definitely on my list if and when I visit Bruges again.