- Walking or hiking
The walk from Maissin to the famous village of Redu with its numerous second-hand shops allies natural, varied countryside with bookish culture. Count 5-6 hours to complete the loop.
In 1984, two local journalists turned this village, once threatened by the rural exodus, into a huge book market. Following the example of Hay-on-Wye, which has become since 1961 a unique antiquarian centre, Redu now has some 20 bookshops in its old stables and farms. You’ll also find some rare comic strips. Naturally, gastronomy is also a feature of Redu.
Start: Church of Maissin
Distance: 15 km
Route/Points of Interest
- In front of the church (S), the red diamond symbol can be seen on the table of walks. This trail takes you on to the ‘Rue de Châtelain’. Keep to the right and follow the ‘Rue des Chevaliers/Rue de Brest’.
- After several hundred metres, the ‘Rue de Brest’ makes a fork. Keep left (red diamond). The farm track ‘Chemin du Sarté’ takes you out of the visit across a meadow towards the edge of the forest.
- After about 2km, the track divides again into the wood. Keep right and continue to follow the signs.
- Keep on the main track as far as the next big Y-junction and take a left on to a small forest path. This well-marked path runs towards a small stream just before the tiny village of Lesse.
- The stream flows down to the right towards the village centre. Just before the bridge, the trail turns away to the right (red diamond).
PLEASE NOTE! If you want to cut the walk to 10km, take this route:
- The way to Redu passes in front of a bench, over a bridge (1) and turns left. There you can follow the red rectangle signs, pass through the village of Lesse and then turn left at a junction at the exit of the village.
- At the entrance to a wood, keep right and continue climbing an asphalt farm track which turns sharply right and continues to a clearing in the trees. Here it’s possible to make a 15-minute detour to the left towards the ‘Roche aux Chevaux’, which includes a fine view over the Lesse Valley (2km).
- At the following junction in the open air you must leave the red rectangle signage and keep to the right (2). You also get a good view of the European Space Agency installation, with its numerous telescopes and satellite dishes. The asphalt farm track goes straight ahead to Redu (3).
- The trail crosses the village to the church, where you’ll find most of the bookshops and cafés.
On the way back, begin by following the red rectangle symbols.
- Level with a wooden cross, the route goes off to the right and leads you first to a wood and finally to the Lesse. At this point, briefly ignore the signs, cross the bridge (4) and follow a small path on the other bank.
- On the left, you will pick up the red diamond signs again. Now follow the main track in the direction of the N899.
- Just before you get to the road, the track becomes a path which approaches the river and crosses a stream.
- Keep left on the N899, pass over the Lesse and take the first road on the right in the direction of Villance/Transinne.
- After about 300 metres, a very broad forest track forks to the right over the Marie-Thérèse bridge (5) to return to the N899 and cross it.
- The ‘Route Marie-Thérèse’ leads to the other side of the motorway on the ‘Rue de Brest’, which heads straight to the departure point at Maissin.
Prepare your walk
Make sure you wear good hiking boots and comfortable walking shoes.
Always take some snacks and water with you.
Allow enough time to browse the bookshops and antique shops of Redu. For a gastronomic meal, the restaurant ‘Le Fournil’ or one of Redu’s numerous other bistrots.
In the downloadable brochure below, we have selected one of the best walks per province: natural gems, family friendly paths, memorable views along the way, trails sprinkled with history… One even will introduce you to the iconic abbey beers.
A walker's guide to Wallonia