Halle Forest (also known as Hallerbos) is a small forest outside of Halle, Belgium which for a few weeks every year is one of the most magnificent natural sites in Central Europe. Home to a variety of hardwoods, Halle Forest blooms every year with millions of bluebell flowers which cover the forest floor like a carpet. During these periods, the forest swarms with visitors.
The woodlands here were once part of a much larger forest that connected the Hallerbos to other woodlands. Over the course of millenia, the forest has steadily shrunk, becoming permanently separate from the main regional forest in the late 18th century. Halle Forest was almost completely destroyed during World War I, but has been restored to a little over a thousand acres since the mid-20th century.
Halle Forest is a faerieland of hardwood trees, including oaks and beeches. There is relatively little undergrowth but a thick canopy, and it is this combination which is perfect for the bluebells every spring.
Halle Forest is not the only bluebell woodland in Europe, but it is arguably the best. They emerge every spring, spreading out for up to six weeks or more depending on weather conditions. When this happens, visitors from nearby Brussels and all over Belgium make the pilgrimage to Halle to enjoy the rare annual spectacle. Web: www.hallerbos.be (official website).
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