Every year, for a month in spring, Groot Bijgaarden castle opens its gates (lifts its drawbridge?) to the public and shares 14 hectares of castle gardens, hand planted with over one million bulbs (including almost 400 varieties of tulips). I’ve never seen anything like it – a brightly coloured, sometimes backlit, vibrantly outlined floral display, catching the light like an elaborate stained glass, flickering gently under the trees.
Groot-Bijgaarden is a 12th Century castle that was restored in the early 1900s (which is when these magnificent gardens were designed, by Louis Fuchs). It’s just a few miles from Brussels, and it would be easy to spend the whole day there. Unfortunately they don’t allow picnics, but they do have a cafeteria in a greenhouse (and I had a packet of crisps).
I was a guest of, and travelled with, Visit Flanders. As always, my opinions are my own (and, if you wondered, my crisps were paprika flavoured).