No indoor sports, seeing friends in coronaproof circumstances. There aren’t that many options. So on Christmas Day 2020 Dennis and I went for a walk in Brasschaat, where he grew up.
Brasschaat is a municipality in the north of the Province of Antwerp. There are some 38,000 inhabitants and the commune has the reputation of being rich and having wealthy citizens living in large villas. That’s a stereotype but not untrue.
Brasschaat is known as a park town. This includes various woods and former shooting ranges. One of the best-known nature preservations around Brasschaat is De Inslag, which includes 149 hectares of woods and pastures as well as an antitank ditch mentioned above.
The De Mik Castle, complete with drawbridge, is surrounded by English gardens and an arboretum. The Brasschaat area also houses a petting farm and an artillery museum. Brasschaat is also known for the Peerdsbos. This is a nature and recreation area.
Park van Brasschaat
We started our walk Park van Brasschaat or Gemeentepark Brasschaat (Municipal Park Brasschaat). It is home of Kasteel van Brasschaat, Brasschaat Castle, which is famous for wedding banquets and parties.
Park Brasschaat originated as a pleasure garden in the 18th century, but was mostly developed in the 19th and early 20th century. The park is very ‘civilized’ with paths and open vistas. There are many sports facilities as well.
De Mik is an English-style park with arboretum around Kasteel De Mik (1785). In 1830 a ‘folly’ caste gate was built. De Mik has a bigger forrest feel than the Municipal Park.
There are many birds including ducks, geese, swans and riders. There is also the Kinderboerderij or Petting Zoo.
De Inslag is a park around the Antitank Ditch. Inslag is impact in modern Dutch, but its etymology is different. Inslach meant exploitation or culture of a land. It is very walk-friendly.
Are you familiar with these parks? What did we miss? Apparently we should have explored more. That’s the result of not preparing an excursion.