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From Calais, take the A216, A16, E40,N466 and R40.
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An unassuming city filled with listed buildings, cultural markers, well priced restaurants and vibrant energy.
Ghent is Flanders’ hidden gem, sandwiched between Brussels and Bruges. This attractive medieval canal city has long been overlooked by visitors on the traditional art-town hop between Belgium’s big three. Its 900-plus listed buildings are testament to the fact that not only did the city survive the World Wars, but also that it was very wealthy in medieval times. During the fifteenth century, Ghent was Europe’s largest cloth producer importing wool from England, and was also the continent’s largest city outside Paris.
Province Of Oost-Vlaanderen
The city sits on the junction of the Leie and Scheldt Rivers and was the seat of the Counts of Flanders who built a fearsome castle that is still visible today. These days, Ghent is the capital of the province of Oost-Vlaanderen and has a large university population. This compact medieval city offers a range of stylish international hotels in addition to many trendy smaller boutique properties and a vast amount of restaurants to cater to your every desire. Not to be missed is the local speciality, Gentse Waterzooi, a creamy fish and vegetable stew which can also be made with chicken.
There are two sides to Ghent - the historic and the quirky, with the latter providing another level of cool.
Wander down Vlaanderenstraat and you will find all kinds of one-off boutiques in this up and coming part of town. Eva Bos is a good example, a vintage couture shop that sells everything that the eponymous owner likes, vintage, her own unique designs, plus the latest Paris collections. Essentially, it's an eclectic mix of everything that a girl needs to get ready for a party, sold from a shop with an original Art Deco frontage. Other funky shops to look out for include Queens, Vitrapoint, Oona and Barista Coffee & Cake.
Something Completely Different
For a quirky take on a museum, head to Patershol and visit the House of Alijn, otherwise known as the Museum of Things That Never Pass and you will be led through displays of curiosities from popular culture and everyday life. In the evening, Belga Queen, an imposing 13th century granary that accommodates a swish restaurant, a beer bar and a club is the place to be. Here, top quality products, usually locally sourced produce, are used in the preparation of the dishes and all of the wines on the list originate from Belgian winegrowers around the world. Or, for something completely different, go to Dulle Griet, where the MAX house beer is served in a large round-bottomed Kwak style glass, complete with wooden stand, so sought after that you have to hand over a shoe as collateral. It may seem strange to you and me, but it's just another night in Ghent!
"Ghent should rank as the most surprising city in Flanders, combining beauty and culture with creativity, cutting edge design and a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene." John Brunton, The Observer.
hull - zeebrugge long break
Travel from Hull to Zeebrugge and spend over 5 days on the Continent from only £119 each way (inclusive of web discount), with a car and 2 passengers, en-suite cabin and all taxes.
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