4 artistic walks in the Pays des Collines
The Pays des Collines is a hilly and mysterious region where fantastic creatures and mischievous witches hold sway. These unspoilt bucolic landscapes are dotted with pollard willows and groves and are crossed by unusual walking paths that help lend the natural park its supernatural aura. It must be said that traditions and folklore are still very prevalent here; they are perpetuated by artists and locals who lovingly preserve ancient traditions. For a glimpse of the local know-how and customs, family get-togethers are held on the Ellezelles, Flobecq, Anvaing and Frasnes artistic trails.
Fantastic encounters on the strange trail (Ellezelles / 6 km)
Scattered with the works of artist Jacques Vandewattyne, alias Watkyne father of folk art, the strange trail will introduce you to the historical and folklore sights of Ellezelles village. We leave from the Pays des Collines information centre where you’ll meet Quintine, the famous witch of Ellezelles whom you’ll have to caress before setting off. You’ll also meet Eul'Pichour, a thoroughly wicked witch who shamelessly relieves herself in public...
Then, the walk takes you to the heart of the hills, to meet the devil with the violin, the green goat, and many other creatures... Fourquepire farm and Brasserie des Légendes brewery welcome you on the way so you can taste Quintine beer!
Medicinal plants circuit and simplicis medicinae cultivation (Flobecq / 4 km)
It comes as no surprise that the medicinal plants route crosses Flobecq. This city has indeed been the cradle of simplicis medicinae since the sixteenth century. Many herbalists and healers used the power of nature until 1950 when medicinal plants were still very popular. In Flobecq and the surrounding area alone, 150 hectares are occupied by these crops.
This 4-km walk recalls this tradition through 10 sculptures made by Jean-François Massart, an artist-sculptor who works the black stone of Soignies and the stone of Tournai to bring purified and symbolic works to life. Patrick Jouret, also a sculptor, is still adding two of his creations to the thematic route. Departure from the medicinal plants house.
Sentier de l’Amour trail (love trail) (Anvaing / 5.5km)
Nestled at the foot of the Collines, this circuit radiates love and calm. It symbolises love and, through it, pleasure, the happiness of coupleship and respect. It takes you into a vast green and tranquil setting, in the heart of the Pays des Collines natural park. Original works created around the theme of love enrich the walk and create as many possible connections as there are works.
Marker points to follow: Departure from Place d’Anvaing: – 66 – 85 – 84 – 83 – 4 – 87 – 86 – 66
In Wonderland on the enchanted trail (Frasnes-Lez-Anvaing / 7 km)
The enchanted trail pays tribute to the oral heritage still present in the Pays des Collines. Here, the imagination takes hold again. Goblins, fairies, flying carpets and precious plunder populate the woods and lurk round its meandering paths, dead leaves and hollow trunks. Open your eyes and be careful where you put your feet, as the inhabitants of this remote spot are everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
The batty artist to have scattered these places with fantastic works is none other than Patrick Jouret, regional agri-sculptor and worthy representative of contemporary Recycl'Art. For the enchanted trail, he has ingeniously assembled lost objects and items from industry and old faming agriculture to breathe life into characters and create a wonderful world that brings life into the woods today...
Marker points to follow: Departure from Chemin d’Ellignies - 26 – 34 – 33 – 2 – 40 – 29 – 2 – 33 – 34 – 37 – 27 - 26