Words by Hannah Reynolds on Twitter and Instagram
Belgium attracts dedicated cycling fans and aspiring racers in their droves but it is unlike any other cycling mecca or cycling holiday destination.
Here you will not find majestic mountains, warm weather or pristine tarmac. Riders are not here to sharpen up their tan lines. If anything, what draws riders to Belgium is a kind of perversity; they come for the rough cobbles, the dire weather and a tradition of cycling that puts suffering, grit and determination on a pedestal. You come here to put your wheels in the gutter and hang onto the bitter end. If Belgium is the spiritual home of cycling it follows a more puritanical version of the faith than France or any other cycling country.
Come here to ride the most famous cobbled climbs, visit cycling museums dedicated to the history of the Classics and of course enjoy a Belgian beer or three.
How to get there
Less than an hour from London there are frequent daily flights from EasyJet, BA and Lufthansa.
For a slower, although arguably more relaxing journey, arrive by Eurostar. You can book a ticket to ‘any Belgian station’ from London which will include onward travel in Belgium as part of your journey price. A hire car makes sense to explore this region if you are only here for a few days and want to visit all the most famous landmarks.