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P&O Ferries: Guide to exploring Dinant, Namur, Walloon, Belgium

By What's On reporter

Just a three-hour drive from Calais is the beautiful Belgian town of Dinant, one of northern Europe's best-kept secrets.

On the banks of the winding River Meuse, the charming town is the ideal destination for Brits on a long weekend.

Dinant certainly has a colourful past. Over the years it's been fought over by the Romans, Franks, French, Dutch and Germans and the town was even briefly captured by the Austrians at the end of the 18th century.

However, it's the picturesque setting and laid back feel that draws today's more well behaved visitors - plus there's plenty to see and do

A bird's eye view of Dinant and the Pont Charles de Gaulle

A bird's eye view of Dinant and the Pont Charles de Gaulle

Perched on an outcrop above the town is the centuries-old fortified citadel. It's now a museum with sweeping views, although you do have to climb the 420 steps carved in the rock to reach it.

If that sounds a bit too much, follow the lead of the locals and use the cable car instead.  It costs around 11 euros and offers some breath-taking scenery on the way up.

Nearby is another tourist draw, the family home of saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax. Now the Maison de Monsieur Sax, the museum is packed with interactive exhibits on the instrument’s development.

The River Meuse is the lifeblood of the town

The River Meuse is the lifeblood of the town

The citadel overlooks the delightful town

The citadel overlooks the delightful town

Beer lovers know Dinant as the home to one of Belgium's most famous beers, Leffe. The elegant, smooth, blonde beer was first brewed by monks in the town back in 1240, although now of course it's produced industrially to meet international demand.

The abbey of Leffe was founded in 1152 but is now a museum that tracing the history of the monks - and the beer. It can be visited on Tuesdays through to Sundays until the end of September.

Leffe, a brewing tradition in the town since 1240

Leffe, a brewing tradition in the town since 1240

Over the winter period, it's open just on Saturdays and Sundays. Tours cost 7 euros and include beer tasting and a gift.

Much of the pleasure of exploring Dinant comes from simply wandering on foot, and most visitors will be drawn to the riverbank.

Cruise boats and kayaks provide plenty of watery fun and games, or alternately find a watering hole of you own, pull up a seat and watch the world go by.

Take a stroll - or even a cycle ride - alongside the river

Take a stroll - or even a cycle ride - alongside the river

The citadel is open to the public - and well worth the 400 plus steps it takes to reach it

The citadel is open to the public - and well worth the 400 plus steps it takes to reach it

MORE ON P&O FERRIES

France is just 90 minutes away with P&O Ferries. Travelling with your car unlocks the freedom to explore France and Belgium at your leisure, and the ferries can accommodate just about any vehicle – from caravans and cars to motorhomes and motorbikes. 

Travelling by Bike? That’s fine too! P&O's cycle racks are quick to access and easy to use, so you can get your European adventure off to a great start and step onboard sooner.

Booking a ferry in advance couldn't be simpler, guarantees you pay the best price and offers a multitude of ticket types. With up to 46 sailings a day from Dover to Calais, there are plenty of crossings to choose from.

More details at P&O

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