While keen golfers want to spend as much of their holiday time as possible on the course, their enthusiasm is not always shared by their partners. On a week’s holiday or a weekend getaway in Wallonia, the solution is to ensure there are alternative activities for ‘other halves’. Happily, Wallonia’s largest city (Liège) and capital (Namur) are overflowing with pleasurable distractions.
Liège has the largest pedestrian shopping zone in Europe. The exclusive square Le Carré is the place to go for luxury brands and fine foods, but venture a short distance from the main drag and you’ll find unique and/or bizarre boutiques where Belgium’s young creatives show off their wares. On Sunday mornings, the extraordinary La Batte street market stretches for over a mile, and it’s impossible to walk that mile without finding something you’ve always wanted.
Golfers are spoilt for choice around Liège. There are ten courses within easy reach of the city. Liège province boasts Belgium’s finest course, the Royal Golf Club des Fagnes, another ‘royal’ course at Sart-Tilman and the scenic International Gomzé Golf Club near the village of Andoumont.
Overlooked by fortifications that have been around for more than 1,000 years, Namur is a mixture of mediaeval and chic, with its most tempting boutiques, cafes and restaurants squeezed into a clutch of charming squares and side-streets. Namur’s two main shopping streets – rue de Fer and rue de l’Ange – have the big-name brands, to complete a tempting package for the shopper.
So what about the golf? There are six courses within easy reach of Namur, including one of the ‘royal’ classics at Royal d’Ardenne in Houyet, and the Five Nations Golf Club at Méan, an up-and-down challenge in the foothills of the Ardennes, so called because there are five nations within 50 miles of the clubhouse.