Through the chunnel to Bruges

December 6, 2013

PODcast IMG_0748 editHaving discovered a great deal with Eurotunnel, last weekend saw POD enjoy her first train journey albeit among a sea of cars! We set off for Folkestone early in the morning, capturing an incredible sunrise in the process. POD said “look the sky is on fire” and it really did look like it was.

Our journey across the channel to Calais only took 25 minutes with the drive to Bruges an hour or so from there. It was a beautifully sunny day too so we got to admire the view whilst navigating the way to our Belgian hotel.

After a speedy check-in, we headed off with Ben Elfย on the hunt for food. POD took great delight in saying PODcast IMG_0781“Bonjour” to the people on the table next to us many times over. Thankfully they had a sense of humour and found it entertaining. It was all very exciting for POD although she wasn’t overly impressed with my moules!

Fed and watered we headed for the Market Square which is located in the heart of the city. It’s dominated by the towering Belfort which offers 360-degree views for those brave enough to climb the 366 steps to the top.

Bruges is a beautiful city full of medieval buildings and cobbled streets. Horse-drawn carriages and canal rides are on offer but we find the best way to explore is on foot.

PODcast IMG_0459With the festive period fast approaching, there was a Christmas Market in the square. Although not comparable to the infamous German markets, it offered everything from Christmas decorations to woollies, Bratwurst and of course Glรผhwein (mulled wine). The market snaked around an ice-rink which was being enjoyed by the masses. POD wanted to go skating but they didn’t cater for toddlers.

There are numerous chocolatiers in Bruges but Dumon is without doubt the best. Situated in a small medieval shop not far from the Market Square, it sells the most divine chocolate. Following a brief gorge on teddy lollies, we set off for a leisurely walk down cobbled alleyways to Rozenhoedkaai andย the canals.

PODcast IMG_0844After walking most of the day, we slumped in cafe for a well-deserved Irish coffee while POD had an orange.ย Although just in Bruges for 24 hours, we managed to catch the snow and ice sculpture festival – an exhibition based on the Disney film Frozen. You’ll find a sneak preview here and a post will follow.

We had time for a wander around the following morning before driving back to Calais. This included purchasing some delicious chocolate from Dumon and visiting a tea room that was closed the day before. It was beautiful inside, perhaps that’s why we were ushered to the back!

Patisseries were perfectly displayed as were all the gifts available – from tea and coffee to candles and Father Christmas. Even the toilet housed a Christmas tree laden with baubles and feathers! POD knew she was supposed to touch it so she enjoyed giving it a stroke! Our drinks arrived with a complimentary meringue and chocolate mousse. It was a wonderful end to a great short break.

We linking this post up with Magic Moments at The Oliver’s Madhouse and Country Kids at Coombe Mill.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  • Reply Mammasaurus December 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    How beautiful! Argh! I neeeed to get away soon!

    How lovely for POD too – such an adventure ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Charly Dove December 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    You must, you must! We’d not been away for ages and it was wonderful. Definitely have a look at Eurotunnel, some good deals to be had ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply WallyMummy December 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Looks amazing! What a fabulous trip ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

    • Reply Charly Dove December 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Thank you – was nice to escape albeit not for long ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Actually Mummy... December 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Oh I so wanted to visit the Bruges Christmas markets! Looks like a great day

    • Reply Charly Dove December 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Had a lovely time thank you. You should do the German markets – they’re awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Sara (@mumturnedmom) December 7, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Gorgeous! I do so love Bruges, been far too many years since I was there! Great experience for POD ๐Ÿ™‚ #CountryKids

    • Reply Charly Dove December 7, 2013 at 1:07 am

      It’s a wonderful place Sara, we’ve not been before. Really great we could take the car there too – we bought a little bench set for POD ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Sarah December 7, 2013 at 12:46 am

    Oh my, such beautiful, atmospheric, seasonal and very festive photographs. I would love a trip like this and great that the travel time wasn’t too extensive. You’ve captured the magic perfectly. Glad you had a wonderful time x

    • Reply Charly Dove December 7, 2013 at 1:10 am

      Thank you so much Sarah. It’s so nice going somewhere at this time of year – especially when it’s easy to get to. Hard to believe Folkestone to Calais is 25 minutes!

  • Reply Sarah MumofThree World December 7, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Such lovely photos. We went to Bruges back in 2000 and really enjoyed it. You’re lucky that you can get there so quickly – it makes such a short break worthwhile.

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:00 am

      Thank you Sarah – its really lovely isn’t it. We’d not been before so it was nice to escape for a little while!

  • Reply The Reading Residence December 7, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Looks such a lovely trip. I went to Bruges many years ago, and it is a lovely place, so picturesque, as your gorgeous photos have captured. Glad you all enjoyed it x

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:05 am

      Thank you Jocelyn – it really is beautiful. We’d not been before, was lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Kriss MacDonald December 7, 2013 at 7:53 am

    This has brought back childhood memories of visiting Bruges! And can I please please have some of that chocolate.

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:06 am

      How lovely Kriss! It’s a wonderful place, amazing chocolate! Ashamed to say it’s already been eaten ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply sarah December 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

    wow ! those images make me really nostalgic for some travelling! x

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:07 am

      It was a nice break Sarah – we had a drive to Folkestone but not bad and 25 minutes to Calais is amazing! Eurotunnel is definitely worth looking into, they’re doing day trips for ยฃ23 at the moment!

  • Reply Iona@redpeffer December 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Ooh lovely images and what a fantastic experience! I’ve been to Bruges a few times but not since having children. We often talk about going there with them-the boats and the chocolate should be plenty to entertain them. A beautiful place.

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:23 am

      Thank you Iona, that’s great you’ve been a few times before. We’d never been, was so nice although a fleeting visit! There’s lots to look at at this time of year too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Mary @over40andamumtoone December 7, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I love Bruges, but only ever been there when the canals were frozen, the wind was blowing a gale or the heaven opened all day. Would love to explore it without getting frostbite, pneumonia or worse! #CountryKids

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Gosh it sounds like it was seriously cold then! You must re-visit when its warmer. Was a great trip to do and Eurotunnel had such a great deal!

  • Reply Notmyyearoff December 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

    It looks really beautiful, I’ve been to Antwerpen and Brussels and would love to go to Brugges one day.

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:31 am

      It’s quite similar to Brussels I think but prettier – we went there a long time ago. You should definitely go one day, was a nice little break. Great chocolate!

  • Reply Coombe Mill - Fiona December 7, 2013 at 10:48 am

    What a picturesque place to visit any time of the year, but at Christmas time it’s truly magical. Your photos show just how beautiful it is and I love the idea of a carriage ride. It sounds like you all had a lovely short break, thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:33 am

      Thank you Fiona – it’s a great time of year to visit. A carriage ride is probably wonderful when you’re not laden with all the toddler paraphernalia! Thank you for hosting ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Dean December 7, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Would so love to visit Bruges tooโ€ฆ maybe next time! ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you guys had fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Ice sculpture festival sounds like fun!

    • Reply Charly Dove December 8, 2013 at 12:34 am

      It’s good fun Dean – really great deals with Eurotunnel too. Means you can drive further afield than Calais. The ice sculpture festival was great – very cold!

  • Reply Sara (@mumturnedmom) December 9, 2013 at 3:57 am

    Just popped back from #MagicMoments ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Reply AroZ Mummy December 9, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Oh that sounds like a great trip. Bruges is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit.

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      You really should – it was wonderful there especially at this time of the year ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Claire December 9, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Beautiful place to visit, wow I need to get away ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      You should Claire – it was really cheap on Eurotunnel as you take the car ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Afra December 9, 2013 at 6:50 am

    wow what a lovely trip oddly fancy chocolate nowโ€ฆ…

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      The chocolate there was amazing – wish we’d brought more back!

  • Reply Jaime Oliver December 9, 2013 at 8:18 am

    awwww Charly I am so so pleased you guys had such an amazing time, it looks like a stunning place to visit x

    • Reply Jaime Oliver December 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

      and thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments (pressed enter too soon!)

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Thank you Jaime – it was short but a beautiful place to visit ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Alexandra Mercer December 9, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Oh lovely, and patisseries too, what more do you need in life?!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      We managed to avoid the patisseries but only because we were given some gems with our coffee ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Time waits for no mum December 9, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Bruges is a gorgeous place isn’t it, and so many delicious things to eat! It sounds like a lovely trip, a great adventure for POD and no doubt the perfect thing to get into the festive spirit with the snow and ice sculpture festival! Just popping over from #magicmoments ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      It really was a fabulous place – we weren’t there long but it was lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Mummy of Two December 9, 2013 at 11:19 am

    What beautiful photos – I can imagine it was so magical and festive!

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you – was full of Christmas cheer there ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Jo Laybourn (Sit Still Monkeys) December 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    You have taken some fab photos there! I love Bruges too…..must go again one day. #MagicMoments

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you Jo – we’d not been before, it was great. You should definitely return ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply spicers1976 December 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    sounds lovely, would love to get away

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      You should look at Eurotunnel – the day trips are from only ยฃ23 at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Not a frumpy mum December 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Sounds like you’ve had a fantastic time, I’m not jealous at all ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      It was lovely – great place to visit ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply LauraCYMFT December 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    It sounds like a beautiful place. The way you describe it kind of reminds me of the town Belle from Beauty and the Beast lives in. Those pastries look amazing!

    • Reply Charly Dove December 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      It’s a fabulous place – wish we’d gone before ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply wendy December 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Lovely photos, it looks like such an amazing place xx

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  • Reply Sam @happyhomebird December 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    This is so magical, this might be the place for our first holiday outside of the UK. Gorgeous pictures.

    • Reply Charly Dove December 28, 2013 at 12:37 am

      Thank you Sam – it’s a great place to visit especially if you get a good deal on Eurotunnel ๐Ÿ™‚

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