Cycling, art, mines and vineyards in Belgium’s Limburg province

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This area of Flanders has long been a paradise for cycling enthusiasts, but now it offers cutting-edge art and great culinary experiences too

It feels strange to be cycling along a sunken path, my head at the same level as the ducks and swans swimming on the still waters of the pond beyond the walls. But Cycling Through Water, part of a biking trail in the Bokrijk forest, is another surprise on a trip to Belgium’s Limburg province.

Close to the border with the Netherlands, this unspoilt area is less than two hours’ drive from Brussels. Soon after picking up a car at Brussels Midi, I’m driving through luxuriant countryside passing dense woodland, cornfields and shaded lakes. With about 1,250 miles (2,000km) of paved, mostly car-free trails, Limburg is a paradise for bike enthusiasts – and easily navigable thanks to a clearly numbered junction system on its innovative cycle network. Difficult even for amateurs like me to get lost.

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