Near the village of Wéris in the Ardennes region, an easy walk for children is to be discovered: the megaliths walk. With a distance of 5km, it will entertain the children while providing their parents with some peace of mind. The younger ones will indeed discover dolmens, menhirs and long car-free paths while the adults will be able to let their offspring frolic around without worrying too much.
Pl. Arsène Soreil, Wéris
So on this March Monday morning, I am heading to Wéris in the Belgian Ardennes with my daughter, Martin Dellicour (professional nature photographer) and Magali, our trainee. After many months without sport, I must admit I fear the walk a little bit. Truth be told, my hyper sporty and young (!) colleague Flore telling me “you’ll see, it’s an easy walk!”, on the one hand, and my daughter who quickly gets tired and constantly asks to be stimulated, on the other hand, did not portend anything good… And yet!
I first go to the Maison des Mégalithes, buy the map of the area for € 1.50 (bonus: it contains 4 signposted walks of maximum 8 km) and the four of us finally set about walking. We enjoy the open air, the beauty of the village of Wéris and finally spot the signposting between two houses. The path is flat, tarred and green. After crossing a rather dangerous road (don’t panic, it is the only busy road we will have to cross), here we are on a path forbidden to motor vehicles. Lilou gets out of her pushchair and begins to frolic around. What a pleasure to be able to let her get a few meters ahead or behind (if you have a 22-month-old child, you know what I’m talking about!) without worrying about the danger the environment can represent!
Dolmens and menhirs
Here we are at the first point of interest of the walk, the northern dolmen of Wéris and its 3 menhirs. I must confess that Lilou does not care about the historical dimension of the place. She climbs, sneaks, hides… in short: she has fun! YES! As far as I am concerned, I take some time to discover that dolmens and menhirs do not date back from the Gallic period, as many a comic book seemed to suggest. All this actually date back to about 3000 BC and are ancient collective tombs and worshipping places. Maybe I’ll try my luck at Jeopardy next time! While Martin takes pictures, we talk together. As a fine connoisseur of the region of Durbuy, he tells me that beside being an easy walk, it may also serve as a great introduction for children to the joys of cycling or mountain biking. We are indeed going to take easy and not too muddy paths that are perfect to initiate the younger ones. OK, I’ll write it down for next time!
We continue our little journey. Lilou gets tired, I put her in the pushchair but the numerous stones on the way make the stroller shake quite badly. Note for next time: leave the child in the pushchair at the beginning and try to let her walk on the stony section.
After a few hundred meters, we arrive at the Oppagne southern dolmen. More hiding spots, places to sneak into and to climb up. And if it weren’t for the weather, I’d have had lunch right there. Some of those trees must provide some shade in the summer and the place is slightly remote from the walk path. What a great way to enjoy the view!
We hit the road again and my daughter gets a little bored. But what do I see on the ground? Hoof prints. We play riddles, we go through all the animal cries that we know of and she keeps walking without realizing it. These are good tricks to have children walk! The environment is nice with its several vegetal porticoes which must be magnificent when nature wakes up. We chat, observe other walkers in the distance with their dog and time passes quickly, very quickly. We almost reach the end of our walk in this pleasant region of Durbuy. We carefully cross the dangerous road again, and here we are again in the village of Wéris. We can see snowdrops, some dogs and beautiful local stone houses. I admire them and comment on the renovations with Magali while Lilou starts to get tired in her pushchair. We reach the end of the walk on a beautiful square where the various walks and bicycle routes available in the surroundings are displayed. A fountain is also to be found on the square. During the summer season, this spot must be perfect to cool off.
The walk is now over and in brief, I would say that it is a nice walk for a family getaway with a 22- month-old child. However, be aware that some sections will have your child badly shaken if he or she remains seated in the pushchair. For older children, I would advise you to choose the 8 km walk with blue signposting, also available on the € 1.50 map. Martin indeed tells me that the panoramas are more beautiful and more impressive and that the route goes through the forest, which is not the case for the present walk.
I will conclude by encouraging you to take many walks in the Ardennes. Have a look at the different walks, choose the ones matching your desires as well as your level and share your experience with us! We do want to know your good plans!
See you soon!
- many car-free paths
- menhirs and dolmens to be seen
- No section through the forest
- little variety of landscapes
GOOD TO KNOW
- Explanatory map for sale at the Maison des Mégalithes for € 1.50
- If you have a smartphone, here is a link to obtain all the information about the walk