The River Bocq in the Ardennes has been supplying water to Brussels since 1896.
Some complex engineering work was required to move the water almost 100 km from the wooded river valley to the capital city. As a result, the tap water in Brussels (or some of it) comes from one of the purest sources in the Ardennes.
Yet the engineering works are almost invisible. The Bocq valley is still a peaceful spot with several hiking and biking trails that begin in villages such as Dorinne and Purnoode. There is also an ancient red train that runs through the valley in the summer, stopping at quiet villages along the way.
Don’t leave before you have tried a Blanche de Namur beer from the Brasserie du Bocq in Purnode. This family-owned village brewery has been drawing on the Bocq river’s pure water since 1858. The brasserie brews a range of acclaimed beers including La Gauloise, Tête de Mort and Blanche de Namur.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.