Treinstapper from Grote Routepaden: from Ronse to Oudenaarde

Ronse railway station
Deurnis Maarkedal

The Treinstapper Ronse - Oudenaarde guides you along the breathtaking ridges of the Flemish Ardennes in East Flanders (close to the Flemish art city of Ghent). Wander from Ronse over to Maarkedal via the fairytale Muziekbos (Music Forest) and rolling landscapes to the historic heart of Oudenaarde. The reception and experience centre de Hoge Mote in Ronse, the bronze statue ‘Boonen Beenen’ in Maarkedal and the beguinage in Oudenaarde also add a touch of history to this beautiful walk.  

Read more about some of the highlights during this Grote Routepaden walk from Ronse to Oudenaarde below. This is one of the Treinstappers that we have selected from a larger selection. 

Walk from Ronse station to Oudenaarde station via Grote Routepaden (GR)



Ronse railway station
Station Ronse

Ronse railway station

Welcome to Ronse! This is where your walk starts at the railway station, the oldest station building in continental Europe. This building originally stood in Bruges, but was moved at the end of the 19th century and rebuilt brick by brick in Ronse. On the track side, you can still see the original façade.  

Practical information: Winston Churchillplein, 9600 Ronse  

Obelisk Grote Markt

The obelisk

The obelisk you see in the market square is 11 metres high and was Ronse’s first public fountain. Originally, the letter ‘W’ of ‘William I’, King of the Netherlands, appeared at the top of a crown on the orb of the obelisk. After Belgium’s independence in 1830, it was removed and replaced by the Habsburg eagle, the city’s coat of arms. By the way, did you know that the crown is kept in the Spaniards’ Castle, but the letter ‘W’ has mysteriously disappeared...?

Practical information: Grote Markt, 9600 Ronse

Ronse © Piet De Kersgieter

St Hermes Basilica and Crypt

Stop for a moment and breathe in the history of St Hermes Basilica and Crypt. Admire the elegant choir stalls and the equestrian statue of St Hermes (patron of the mentally ill), or listen to the Carillon with its 49 bells. Together, they weigh more than 12 tonnes! This ‘Basilica Minor’ or ‘smaller basilica,’ a title it acquired in 2019, is open every day from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. You can climb the tower by appointment only. It is well worth braving the 208 steps because, at the top, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the city and its hilly surroundings.  

Practical information: More info via Tourism Ronse  

Hoge Mote

Reception and experience centre the Hoge Mote

It is great to enjoy a nice picnic outdoors when the weather is fine. In Ronse, there are numerous picnic provisions out in the green spaces. This time, we choose a spot in the centre, in the courtyard of reception and experience centre the Hoge Mote. Feel free to drop in at this modern centre and find out about the gems that the municipality of Ronse and by extension the Flemish Ardennes region has on offer.  

Practical information: De Biesestraat 2, 9600 Ronse 



We continue our walk. A little further on, we enter Bruulpark, an amazing green oasis right in the centre of Ronse. Enjoy the coolness in the shade of the centuries-old chestnut trees and the 200-year-old red beech tree. Did you know: a ‘bruul’ is a piece of land that cannot be cultivated because it is too boggy or wet.  

Practical information: Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat, near St Hermes basilica 



Overlooking the Flemish Ardennes on witness hill, which is a million years old, the Muziekbos is highly recommended for nature lovers. Although the melody of rustling leaves is a joy in itself, the forest actually has nothing to do with music. It gets its name from the Celtic translation of ‘morass’: ‘Muz’. Top tip: in the spring (April/May), enjoy a carpet of flowering bluebells. In the muziekbos, you walk along the indicated paths, while the kids can have a great time in the two play areas.

Practical information: Muziekbos, 9600 Ronse 



While the kids are having fun in the play areas of the Muziekbos, you can take a break on one of the wooden rest benches we call ‘Sinnenbanken’. Whether you want to open your picnic basket, relax for a while or just enjoy a beautiful view over the Flemish Ardennes region, these artistic benches not only look good, they are also very comfortable!

Practical information: Muziekbos, 9600 Ronse 



Photo tip! On your walk to the neighbouring municipality of Maarkedal, you come across the ‘Deurnis’. A cheerful and functional art work by Jan Detavernier. This ‘portal to nature’ offers an amazingly beautiful view of the meadows from the bench.

Practical information: Boskantdreef, 9680 Maarkedal 

Boonen Beenen

Boonen Beenen

Every ‘Flandrien’ has heard of the Taaienberg and former cyclist Tom Boonen. During his professional career, he succeeded in conquering this ‘calf muscle killer’ on many occasions. The ‘Boonenberg’ was also his favourite climb. And that deserved a tribute. At the top of the Taaienberg, there is a seating platform with a cast of Tom Boonen’s legs on it. Maarkedal artist Thomas Huyghe designed this bronze sculpture. Tom Boonen himself posed as the model; the tattoos and scars on the bronze legs attest to this.

Practical information: Top of the Taaienberg, 9680 Maarkedal 


Street poetry

On the Hollebeek path, a quiet and safe cycling and walking trail, you pass many sheltered spots where you can stop for a while. Be sure to do so, because one is a spot where you can read a poem written by Jeroen Theunissen. He was winner of the Herman De Coninck Audience Prize in 2016. The Hollebeek path... a beautiful mix of nature, art and poetry!

Practical information: Hollebeekpad, 9680 Maarkedal 

t hof vanys

‘t Hof VANYS

Time for some artisanal ice cream from the Flemish Ardennes! ’t Hof VANYS is the ideal spot for that. Ice cream lovers, get ready to start salivating. Because here you can choose from more than 25 sorts of homemade ice cream and sorbet. On less sunny and somewhat colder days, you can also enjoy a delicious Belgian waffle inside!

Practical information: Nederholbeekstraat 53, 9680 Maarkedal 



Oudenaarde, pearl of the Flemish Ardennes. Home of the Koppenberg and the Tour of Flanders Centre. But did you know that Oudenaarde also has a beguinage? Stroll through the stately gate, flanked by St Roch, patron saint of plague victims, and discover the white-painted 17th-century houses. Enjoy the atmospheric courtyard gardens full of plants and flowers in this oasis of calm. During the day, you can visit the beguinage free of charge.  

Practical information: Achterburg, 9700 Oudenaarde 

Oudenaarde railway station


More Treinstappers

Have you been bitten by the walking bug? Discover new places, beautiful landscapes and hidden gems (including many green ones) in Flanders thanks to the series of Treinstappers from Grote Routepaden. Besides Ronse - Oudenaarde, we highlight three more from a larger selection.

More information about these highlights

Continue your adventure along GR 122 which runs for a large part through the Flemish Ardennes (from Ronse to Zottegem) or across Belgium along GR 129. Have fun walking!