An's Tips & Trips
- Until the end of 2017, the local Ten Duinen Abbey Museum has a special exhibit on the many grounds and farms scattered throughout the area that formed part of its medieval domain. Worth a visit. As a qualified guide for the Abbey Museum, An can give you some inside tips and help you plan a bike ride to go and see some of the surviving farms.
- In 2013 Unesco added shrimp fishing on horseback in Oostduinkerke to the UNESCO list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. During the summer, specialist fishermen take their horses to the water and cook their catch on the beach for you to taste. Find the timetable on http://visitkoksijde.be/en/shrimpfishermen-horseback
- 2017 is the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, an opportunity for an extensive programme of remembrance activities. To find out more go to http://peacevillage.be/en/news/1917-2017-commemorations. All sites are easily accessible by car from Annaweg6
For a full calendar of local activities, visit the Koksijde website http://visitkoksijde.be/en
Did you know that?
- the tram around the corner from Annaweg 6 covers the longest distance of any tram in the world? Its total length of 67 kilometers , or 42miles, links Knokke, close to the Netherlands, with De Panne, next to the French border.
- Chelsea and Koksijde have something in common. No, it is not a top spot in the Premier League. It is all in the name…. Both Chelsea and Koksijde refer to a ‘safe haven for ships’… In Chelsea’s case on chalky ground (Chelchith), in Koksijde’s (Coxyde) case probably a wharf owned by someone called ‘Cox’ or riddled with cockles. Who knows? Both names are based on the root ‘Hyd’, surviving most visibly in the name of Hythe in Kent, but also in old street names like Queenhithe, at the Millennium Bridge in London, so called when Queen Matilda was granted duties on goods landed at that particular dock in the 12th century.
- Richard Lionheart on his return from the crusades in the late 12th century granted grounds in England to Koksijde’s Abbey Ten Duinen. Local lore has it that the abbot helped negotiate the ransom for Richard’s release, when he was captured by one of his old allies, the Duke of Austria. The land was sold long ago by the Abbey to pay for repairs in the early 1300’s, so no Brexit worries there!
Things to do
- Walking : explore the area on foot, following a sign-posted trail such as the artist’s walk or de Doornpanne walk. Alternatively, make your way through the winding paths of the dune reserves and villa streets, or stroll across the beach to the neighbouring resorts and make your way back by foot or tram.
- Cycling : the Veurne-Ambacht cycling route passes close to Annaweg 6 and takes you through the fields to the surrounding towns and villages offering interesting visits (e.g. The Brewery museum in Alveringem, the war graveyard in Oeren) as well as tasty rest stops along the way. Bring your own bikes, or An can help you rent them locally.
- Watersports: : the beach is monitored during the summer months so swimmers can be safe. With its three water sport clubs, Koksijde is one of the most active surfing beaches. Surfing; kitesurfing , windsurfing, stand-up paddling are all local pastimes. Contact An for information or consult the club websites http://www.surfclub-windekind.be; http://www.sycod.be; http://www.kyc.be
- Art & Culture: Koksijde is blessed with museums. An’s top three are the Ten Duinen Abbey Museum, the Delvaux Museum and NAVIGO. They each highlight a unique aspect of this area: its medieval history, the inspiration it provides to artists and the wealth and risks of fishing grounds. The tourist office organises regular guided tours as well as nature and heritage walks featuring the early tourist developments and many artworks in the area. Do not miss the listed 50’s church, a gem of 20th century architecture.
Eat and drink
Where An eats and drinks: An’s local, suitable for all occasions: Siska Cocktails : Sofie’s Living Rooms For a nice affordable meal close by
- La Piazetta (also home delivery!)
- L’atelier de Mathilde
- Bistro de la Mer
- Ten Bogaerde
- Het Dorstig Hart (Wulpen)
- Lowie (Veurne)
- De Pastorant (Booitshoeke)
- Aux Coquillages (Braydunes)
Belgium’s best butcher lives locally! Try Van Dierendonck’s beef. Belgians love steak tartare. His is the best! And you can’t visit the seaside without tasting fish. Try a handful of the brown shrimps with a beer or a glass of wine. Mare Nostrum and Nautilus offer an array of delicacies in St Idesbald. Or take home some vacuum packed home smoked fish from C-Fish. Koksijde is spoilt for bakers. It is so hard to choose that An just goes round all of them sampling different breads and cakes as the weeks and months unfold. A few miles inland, there are gorgeous farm shops that make cheeses, yoghourts, icecreams. You may sample some at breakfast. Or take your bike to ‘De Beauvoordse Walhoeve’ and ‘De Moerenaar’. Both the landscape and the produce will surprise you.
A sample long weekend
And if you aren’t sure how you can fit everything in, here is just a sample long week-end programme Friday Welcome Late afternoon coffee/tea at Annaweg 6 Exploratory walk rewarded by a drink , e.g. at Siska or Sophie’s Living room Have dinner locally, e.g. at l’atelier de Mathilde or Rimini Good night! Saturday Enjoy a hearty breakfast in Annaweg 6. How about scrambled eggs and spicy fruit salad? Tram to Scheepsgatduinen for the Doornpannewandeling across the dunes and beaches of Oostduinkerke & Koksijde. Turn left on the beach instead of right, to make your way back to Annaweg 6. Bring snacks home to enjoy in the sitting room or on the terrace Walk to a local museum to enjoy the ruins and history of Flanders’ most influential Cistercian abbey, explore the paintings of Delvaux or find out about the local marine customs and history Quiet time, maybe a nap or bath to finish off the afternoon Going a little further afield for dinner e.g. Lowie in Veurne, or book one of our local top restaurants , Ten Bogaerde, Carcasse, Julia,…. Sunday Nothing like a Sunday breakfast with Belgian ‘pistolets’ and home made jams. Yummy! How about an excursion to Ypres (Ieper) , visit a war cemetery on the way to Flanders Fields museum. It is worth having early dinner in Ypres, taking in the Last Post at 8 pm & making your way back home after. Alternatively, you may come back earlier, go for a beach walk, find a place to have dinner or, if you prefer to eat in, pick up something at the local butchers /order your pizza delivery Psst…if Ypres isn’t your thing at all , take a long walk along the beach to Braydunes. It’s like stepping back in time, including great seafood at yesteryear’s prices Monday The last breakfast already! Some smoked salmon bake maybe… After packing your bags and checking out, why not go for a bike ride? You can explore 48 km worth of dunes and polders on the Veurne-Ambacht route, with plenty of stops for visits/coffee/lunch/ afternoon tea . If time or energy is limited, opt for a shorter circuit Time to enjoy a last waffle/ice cream/beer or coffee in St Idesbald. Safe travels and see you soon!.