This is the last where-to-run series for 2019, and what better way to end this than with a running guide to the cozy city of Bruges, Belgium. The guide will provide you with insights on where to find the best running routes in the city.
Bruges is the largest city and the capital of the province of West Flanders in Belgium. The city is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO and is often referred to as the Venice of the North, due to its many canals in the city centre. Lace up for a historic and beautiful run!
Bruges running guide
For this guide, we have teamed up with Wim Bracke, team member of 8000 Running. He will guide you through the city and will give you his best advice on the below:
- Best scenic/tourist run
- Best long run
- Best tempo run
- Best interval run
- Best park run
- Best soft surface run
- Best hill run
Read the full guide below the picture.
1) Best scenic/tourist run
Without a doubt a run around the “Brugse Vesten”. The course is almost 9km long and acts as a real green lung around the historic town center. You pass by some of the medieval city gates, wind mills and the super romantic “Minnewater” parc. On top of that, you can head straight towards the city center at any given point.
8000 Running does this run every Thursday, at a slow and sexy pace, starting at 20:00.
Starting point: BERGH - Gistelse Steenweg – Brugge
2) Best long run
Every Sunday is long run Sunday for us. One of our favorite routes runs along the old railroad, through the woods of Steenbrugge, Ryckevelde and Assebroek. You can go for miles on the soft underground and single tracks.
Another option is the famous Flemish Polders: in Damme, Uitkerke, Dudzele… unlike the first option you will be running on small Asphalt roads. But no worries, besides a lot of birds you will only come across a lot cyclists and the occasional farmer on his tractor.
Starting point: Café Pistolet - Oude Kortrijkstraat – Brugge
3) Best tempo run
Most of the time we will be running our tempo runs along a canal, either the Canal to Damme or the one to Oostende. Here, you run on an enclosed (no cars) path, alongside the water, staring dead ahead, strict focus on breathing and always straight (often with strong head winds, until you get to turn back) and with a bit of luck one of the many cyclists will want to pace you.
On warm summer nights these canals are perfect for a Cannonball run contest, occasionally ending the night in one of Bruges’ summerbars.
Starting point: Damse Vaart
4) Best interval run
Every Tuesday night we go around and around at our local track, Julien Saelens. To be honest, the track could sure use a fresh new top coat, but we manage. Bringing our boombox and 8000 Running vibes we try to lighten the heavy work.
If you don’t like the track you can also do the intervals along the many canals mentioned before.
Julien Saelens Track - Nijverheidsstraat - Assebroek – Brugge
5) Best park run
We love to run the "3 Kastelen-route". Along walking paths and castle lanes, we cruise through long stretches of woods, meadows, marshes and orchards. As the name suggests, you will also pass by a few castles, complete with moats and the planetarium. Perfect for extra shade on hot summer days.
Starting Point: Parking Domein Tillegem - St-Michiels – Brugge
6) Best soft surface run
When visiting Bruges, you must pay a visit to the “Zwin”. A tidal area at the Belgian Coast, with a unique ecosystem just North of Bruges and on the Belgian-Dutch border. In this nature reserve you run through marshes, polders, sea shell paths, dunes and much more. Ideal for a scenic long run.
Starting point: Zwin Natuur Park - Graaf Lippensdreef – Knokke
7) Best hill run
You would think this is a tricky one, with Bruges being as flat as a pancake. But for our hill runs we rely on our Belgian coast once again. The coast closest to Bruges (Bredene-De Haan-Blankenberge) has some of the nicest dunes around. Nothing beats a good resistance run up and down the soft sand. In the autumn and spring often accompanied by a strong, head on sea breeze and the dune grasses poking through your tights… this will even manage to silence the chattiest runners.
Starting Point: Parking Zwarte Kiezel - De Haan
We hope that this guide has provided you with enough insights to running routes and places in Bruges. Even enough so, so you will pack a suitcase already, and head to Belgium!