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Medieval Bruges - Chocolate & Lace

Medieval Bruges - Chocolate & Lace

A short break to the enchanting city of Brugge


A short break to the enchanting city of Brugge


Once a medieval trading centre, Ypres is a city with a long and rich history. During the First World War, Ypres was largely reduced to rubble as the intense fighting formed a curve around the city - no less than five of the wars' bloodiest battles were fought in the Ypres Salient. Though Ypres' history will forever be marked by these events, the city was rebuilt with a respect for the past. This can be experienced in many of the local museums and historic sights such as the In Flanders Fields Museum which is located in the reconstructed Cloth Hall and tells the story of the First World War. Another essential sight to visit is the moving Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing. For an emotive experience head here at 8pm, when buglers sound the Last Post under the Menin Gate, a tradition they have done every evening since 1928. 

As well as boasting one of the most picturesque market squares in Belgium, a beautiful view of the Ypres can be found by walking along the historic city ramparts, which are free to explore.

During WW1 British 'Tommies' nicknamed the town Wipers.



Bruges, the capital of West Flanders in northwest Belgium, is distinguished by its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. Its port, Zeebrugge, is an important center for fishing and European trade. In the city center’s Burg square, the 14th-century Stadhuis (City Hall) has an ornate carved ceiling. Nearby, Markt Square features a 13th-century belfry with a 47-bell carillon and 83m tower with panoramic views. The historic city centre is a prominent UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, it is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North.

Bruges is also a chocoholic's Mecca, there are more than 2000 chocolatiers in the country and there is a Museum of Chocolate located just around the corner of the Grote Markt. In the Grand Place and surrounding streets you will find many small artisan chocolate shops selling delicious delights from truffles, a soft, crumbly chocolate shell filled with buttercream to pralines, made of a hard chocolate shell with a wide range of fillings.

Bruges has a rich lace tradition too, originating in the 16th century. At one time, a quarter of all the women in Bruges were lacemakers. Even nowadays, it is still possible to see traditional Bruges lacemakers at work in some of the lace shops of which there are many, though not as many as there are Chocolate shops!



After years of lying in the shadow of Antwerp and Bruges, Ghent, with its quaint cobbled streets and winding canals, is finally starting to get the recognition that it deserves. Its 900-plus listed buildings are testament to the fact that not only did it survive the World Wars pretty much intact, but also that it was a very wealthy city in medieval times, having been Europe's largest cloth producer and the Continent's largest city outside Paris. Enjoy the city's fabulous canal-side architecture, abundance of quirky bars and good-value restaurants, and some of Belgium’s best museums.

Thursday 5th March

We depart Penrith and travel to the spa town of Harrogate where we have time for lunch before continuing on to Hull to join the P&O North Sea Ferries overnight crossing to Zeebrugge. 2 berth inside cabin included, enjoy the excellent entertainment on board during the evening.

Friday 6th March

Morning visit to the historic town of Ypres, once one of the most powerful Flemish towns due to the cloth trade. In the 1st World War the town was reduced to ruins and rebuilding took over 40 years. Well worth a visit is the In Flanders Museum and the Menin Gate, the famous war memorial. Ample time for lunch and sightseeing before we travel to Bruges arriving at the Acadmie Hotel late afternoon. Evening free.

Saturday 7th March

Free day to explore the beautiful city of Bruges. Why not take a horse drawn carriage through the picturesque cobbled streets or a boat ride along the canals to discover the ‘Venice of the North’, but don’t forget the chocolate shops and lace emporiums.


Sunday 8th March

Enjoying a relaxing breakfast we have the option of a day at leisure in Bruges or visiting Ghent, time to explore this charming medieval city with its Castle and over 900 listed buildings or take a boat trip along the canals for a contrasting view of the city. Overnight sailing to Hull with P&O from Zeebrugge. Enjoy the excellent facilities available on board.


Monday 9th March

Hull to Cumbria, arriving home early afternoon.

B=Breakfast Included


The Academie hotel is located in a in a charming cobblestone street in a peaceful & scenic area of Bruges. The hotel has a stylish lounge with tourist information, a relaxing bar, a luxuriant winter garden and a sunny garden terrace.  After a good night's sleep enjoy a hearty breakfast in a rustic charm of the breakfast room. You can make your choice from a wide selection of freshly baked rolls and other breakfast delicacies. Eggs can be prepared to suit your own individual preference and there is an extensive buffet with cereals, musueli, yoghurt and cottage cheese. 

Air conditioning, heating, a TV and refrigerator are provided as standard in the rooms at Academie. Each room also has a private bathroom with shower, bath & hairdryer, tea & coffee making facilites, safety box and direct dial telephone.

The hotel is situated in the famous "golden triangle" of Bruges, less than 50 metres from such well-known tourist landmarks as the Lake of Love and the Convent and a 10 minute walk from the Grote Markt. Many other sites of interest are within easy walking distance. Fine restaurants and shops can also be found within a stone's throw of the hotel.





Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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