Herbeumont (Between the Ardennes and Gaume )
Nestling in the vast forest of the Semois, the fortress of Herbeumont, as hard as rock, stands out in sharp contrast to the river that flows below, more beautiful than ever.
A - Canoeing & kayaking: practical information
Landing and boarding:
- Area called « Champ le Monde » (upstream from the viaduct, right bank)
- Area called « Moulin Willaime » (right bank)
Swimming area :
Plage des Nawets
This beach is located upstream from the dam that allows to keep the water at a level of 1 to 1,20 meters deep at the deepest point. The beach, lined with a rocky hill and lawns, has changing rooms and benches. Schist walls channel the river.
B - The ruins of Herbeumont castel Voir sur la carte
The quiet village of Herbeumont lies in the shadow cast by the ruins of a once powerful fortress: the imprint of its tumultuous past can still be felt. This superb region will prompt you to look out your thick boots!
Did you know?
In the 16th century, fortified castles had to be completely redesigned due to the advent of artillery. The fortress of Herbeumont was no exception. The ramparts were adapted to hold cannons and new towers were erected, but they proved no more than paper tigers. The artillery sent by Louis XIV soon got the better of the walls, no matter how powerful they were. The destiny of Herbeumont, like that of many other fortified castles, was sealed before its time. This period also witnessed the end of the feudal system. Henceforth, the towns took over. The law of the middle classes and the traders now held sway. Humanity was entering a new age…
C - Walking Voir sur la carte
The vast surrounding forest is home to natural treasures: superb beech trees and a fairy-tale stream, the Antrogne.
Distance: 9 km
Waymarking: blue triangle
Time: 3 hr
Start: from the square in the centre of the village, follow the main road.
A lovely picnic area awaits you at the Antrogne stream.
D - Meet and savour Voir sur la carte
It’s wonderful to warm up after an autumn walk by the wood fire in the local bistro, ‘Au Randonneur’! Brigitte and Georges serve regional produce. Some evenings, the bistro hosts private concerts or poetry readings for its guests. Because… you have to earn the Bistrot de Terroir! To obtain this label, the establishment has to fulfil a number of criteria, ranging from the welcome it offers to the tourist information provided and, of course, the quality of the local produce served. So after an exhilarating walk, ‘Au Randonneur’ is just the place to spend time in a wonderfully friendly atmosphere, savouring the specialities of the region. Don’t hesitate to question your hosts. True ambassadors of the region, they will be delighted to tell you about the local produce!
E - Walking Voir sur la carte
The Knight’s Tomb
One day, Herbeumont is bathed in the lovely light of a summer evening. Capering about among the broad-leaved trees, the route suddenly reveals the panoramic view over Libaipire. In the distance, the Knight’s Tomb emerges, a headland encircled by the tight meanders of the Semois. A land of lords, watched over by the silhouette of the fortress of Herbeumont, blending into the landscape.
Distance: 8 km
Waymarking: red triangle
Time: 3 hrs
Start: just after the Priory of Conques, follow the N 684 for 250 metres towards Sainte-Cécile. The path starts on the left.
Did you know?
Just this once, the hike begins by following the old railway line. A line built at a time when engineers where not scared off by difficulties due to the terrain. As can be seen by the impressive crossing over the viaduct whose seven arches span the Semois, 38 metres below.
F - The Priory of Conques Voir sur la carte
Standing alone in the midst of the forests of Herbeumont and Sainte-Cécile, the prior nestles in an old arm of the Semois: an idyllic spot chosen by the Cistercian monks of Orval to build a monastery. In the Middle Ages, the rugged terrain made it impossible to grow crops there. So the monks made use of the surrounding forest. The community lived in peace until 1795. Fleeing the revolutionaries, the monks owed their lives to the Semois which they forded to escape into the forest. After standing abandoned for over half a century, the priory is now a luxurious hostelry.
Walking Voir sur la carte
The ‘Vanne aux Moines’
The ‘Vanne aux Moines’ is one of those secret places that only hikers on foot are likely to discover…This dam was built by the Cistercian monks at the Priory of Conques, enabling them to make the most of the river teeming with fish.
Tip and access Voir sur la carte
At the end of the day, the sun lights up this corner. The shades of the river vary from blue to phosphorescent green. It’s like standing in front of an impressionist painting. From the crossroads with the route de Sainte-Cécile, follow the path down towards the Semois. You may well come across the local master, the wild boar…
Distance: 7 km
Waymarking: green rectangle
Time: 3 hrs
Start: from the old railway station, go straight ahead. Cross the viaduct on foot and follow the waymarking signs in the car park on the right, as you leave the viaduct.
G - Air-Beumont Voir sur la carte
This European private pilot will take you to explore the region from above, starting from the aerodrome in Douzy (Sedan) or in Herbeumont and flying over the southern part of the province, the Semois valley, Gaume, etc. Come and discover the splendours of the Ardennes a different way...
24 rue Champs simon
Tel : 0032(0) 47 82 29 066
Web : www.air-beumont.be
H - Reception and tourist information site
Royal Syndicat d'initiative
avenue des Combattants, 7 - 6887 Herbeumont
Open each weekend and during school holidays and public holidays from 9.30am to midday and from 1.30pm to 5pm. Closed on Monday