The Lys: a bridge between industrial heritage and modern art of living

The Leiestreek, a region that lives off of yesterday and tomorrow, flourishes thanks to the industrial and artistic activity in the lap of the “golden river”. Old and new architectural marvels to catch your eyes and lead you along fascinating trails to the waterfront.

© David Samyn, Westtoer

Beauty is embodied in the craftsmanship, art and design. The Lys creates a unique bridge between industrial heritage and modern art.

Along the Leie river, you can dozens of museums to visit. That of Sint-Martens-Latem, Deurle-belgium and Deinze have unique collections of the most famous Lys-painters, world-renowned artists such as Claus, Minne, Servaes, Permeke, De Saedeleer, Ensor, rik Wouters. Roger Raveel has his own museum in Machelen. In the Broelmuseum in Kortrijk, belgium about the Guldensporenslag, but also to painting.

Mainly between Deinze and Ghent shows the Leie river and all its natural splendor. That is good not only for painters, but also for recreationists. There are more than thirty excellent bicycle – and another thirty walking routes for the Leie region, the area around the river Lys and the canal Roeselare-Leie.


A nice route is, for example, the forty-kilometer-long Vlastocht that takes you along the numerous remains of the vlasnijverheid. That resulted from the nineteenth century to an unprecedented economic growth in the region around Kortrijk. The flax gave the River each year into a Golden River that prosperity and jobs brought into the area.

The mechanical progress made not only for vlasschuren, warmwaterroterijen and weaving, but also for a lot of houses and beautiful facades, making the building industry flourished.

© David Samyn, Westtoer

The ride takes you, of course, also along the National national linen museum in Kortrijk. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored nineteenth-century vlasserhoeve with a typical binnenerf, an orchard and meadows. Neerhofdieren provide the atmosphere of a real farmyard. The museum shows in thirty realistic scenes of the various stages in the vlasteelt and the evolution of the vlasbewerking and processing.

You will discover prefer to walk to the vlasnijverheid? Then you can buy the 11.5 kilometers long Vlasroterswandelroute. The walk starts in Wontergem and passes through two villages – Grammene and Gottem – where the flax has played a major role.


All of this time is the five-kilometer-long Selfiewandeling from Zwevegem. En route you’ll pass all sorts of spots where you fun or funny selfies. Try to get as much ‘likes’ on Facebook to gather your photos and you might win you cool prizes.

Fun for families with children is the Wandelzoektocht Detective Fox. During this five-kilometre trek at the Canal Bossuit-Kortrijk, the children, the detective, Fox, to help. There live almost no fish, salamanders and frogs, and in the channel, and Detective Fox could use a little help in the search for the perpetrator. The through play, children learn a lot about the lives of the animals in this nature reserve and arrive there at the end of the walk behind who the culprit is.

A nice walk in the autumn and the winter finally, the nearly 11-kilometer-long Old Leiewandelroute. At the rechttrekking of the Leie between Waregem and Kortrijk were a few turns to close. This old Leiearmen were ideal for the vlasteelt, but when that cultivation disappeared was the nature free game. Also, the route along interesting historical heritage: the castle of Ooigem, restaurant “The Dice Rose” in Bavikhove (was already a tavern in 1734), the drietrapssluis of Ooigem, the historic homestead Munkenhof and old vlasschuren. The hiking route is decorated with weidedoorsteken, knuppelpaden and bermtrapjes.

Also boating on the river Lys, preferably on a sunny summer day, is an absolute must. There are boat trips to measure, and possibilities for canoeing. A special formula are the late night, boat tours at sunset, with a tasty snack.

More information: Toerisme Leiestreek

Enjoy the Lys

  • The Lys: a bridge between industrial heritage and modern art of living
  • Excellent culinary addresses in Roeselare, Kortrijk and Gent
  • Hiking, biking, boating and art taste in the Leie region
  • Walking in the Lys
  • So beautiful is the Lys
  • Read all articles about Enjoying the Lys

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular