NOTE: This is part 5 of 7 in our series about the Promenade Verte, the “Green Path” around Brussels. You can find general information and links to all other parts on this page.
Start: Engeland, Uccle (buses 43, 60, tram 51)
Finish: Erasme, Anderlecht (Metro 5)
Should I walk all of it? No, please don’t!
This part of the Promenade Verte starts off with a surprise; a huge surprise: Taking a right after the viaduct, you will see a giant traffic cone, designed by world-famous artist Jeff Koons. Why does it stand here, on a little frequented corner in Uccle? I have no idea.
After a couple of minutes, the path reaches the Keyenbempt, a quiet, very green area; when we walked through there were only a couple of joggers and some elderly ladies with their dogs there. This is by far the nicest stretch of Part 5 – in fact, I would recommend walking only this first bit and then calling it a day as soon as you get to Stalle, where you will find not only a friterie, but also trams (32, 82) that will take you back into the city.
Because after the Parc du Bempt, which is home to a mini-train, it gets grey. Very gray, in fact.
The “Green Path” around Brussels continues through a dodgy industrial area around the Gare de Forest-Midi – including a subway underneath the train tracks that didn’t seem very safe even in bright daylight.
It gets worse, still.
For what seems like forever, the Promenade leads through even more industrial terrain – and then some more. Office buildings, factory buildings, storage buildings, trucks, road – a sheer endless parade of grey, grey and more grey. Why anyone would make this a part of the “Green Path” is beyond me – it would have been better, in my opinion, to just leave the circle around the city unfinished.
Even more so as the next stretch, along the Canal Bruxelles-Charleroi, is just another deserted piece of road/walkway. We saw the odd couple walking or sitting near the water; but we saw a lot more people who seemed lost and/or not up to any good, including groups of teenagers “hanging out” on the side of the road with a few cans of beer.
Think it must get better after this? Think again.
Away from the Canal, the Promenade now leads you behind the IKEA right into the middle of a huge building site. Again, one can only wonder what made the people planning the Promenade Verte include this stretch.
When you finally leave the building/dump site at the backside of the IKEA behind you, there is a short, but very muddy piece of green that will lead you to the Vogelzang, which is nice and green but by far cannot make up for the awful bits of grey that preceeded it.
After following the walls of Anderlecht cemetery for a bit, the route ends at the metro Erasme – but not before it leads you all the way around the pretty big Erasme hospital.
This part of the Promenade Verte was a huge disappointment for us, as it was mostly a walk through profoundly ugly industrial areas and deserted grey wasteland.
Unless you absolutely want to go every last step of the whole Promenade, we recommend you only do the first bit of this part, have a cone of fries in Stalle and then re-start the Green Path in Erasme on another day.