Hire a bike from Bruges station for the day (you'll need a passport as ID) and head for the village of Damme.
Cycle along quiet tree-lined canals and stop in Damme for a coffee or lunch. Then continue along more traffic-free tree-lined canals, popping into the odd village along the way.
Bike hire is very reasonable at about 15 euros for the day.
After our 180 mph train ride we slowed down to two-wheel speed on a guided cycle tour. Bruges is such a bike-friendly place but if you lack confidence like us, the Quasimundo cycle tour is a perfect introduction.
We had a such a laugh, meeting fellow ‘bike virgins’ and cycling the wrong way up one-way streets (it’s legal here!). They even provided a tag-along for our seven year-old, who kept hopping off to take photos.
The 2½ hour tours operate daily and we recommend it’s the first thing you do when you arrive.
You cannot go to Bruges without trying out a few of the best Belgium beers at 't Brugs Beertje (Little Bear) bar - there are hundreds to choose from and they go very well with their "nibbling plate" of cheese, salami and pickles.
The bar staff can help you pick a suitable brew and they have fruit beers to try too. The morning after could include the hiring of a bike and a brisk cycle to Damme a few miles distant along the river, where a decent coffee or hot chocolate boosts you for the home leg.
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