So, what about the golf courses? There is plenty of choice starting with the 6,215-metre, par-72 Golf de Hulencourt, built on a historic 17th Century estate.
The Le Vallon course is an original design by the French architect J M Rossi and while it is obviously an inland course, it does have the feel of links with punishing rough, tough bunkers – there are 82 of them – and plenty of water.
Just about every hole is a dogleg and pick of the holes would be the par-4 12th which has a stone bridge not unlike the Swilcan Bridge at St Andrews, but the 7th and 13th are memorable. There is also a nine-hole short course and the clubhouse has a British style atmosphere, but with a gastronomic menu in the finest French and Belgium tradition.
To the south near a small town called Wavre, there’s the Chateau de la Bawette with an international standard course on a 250-acre estate with a castle.
Le Parch is an 18-hole par-72 course of 6,076 metres through trees, lakes and streams with quite a few challenging par 4s, especially the 9th and 15th. There’s also a good finish with the long par-3 17th and the 18th is testing par 4.
There’s also Le Champs, a nine-hole par 33 flat course and the imposing modern clubhouse has splendid views of the course.
Golf Chateau de la Tournette is situated between Ittre and Nivelles and there are two courses, the 6,024-metre English course, the creation of Peter Alliss and Martin Hawtree in 1997, laid out on a plateau resembles an inland links.
With wide fairways, separated by mounding, and with elevated tees and 100 bunkers and six water features, it’s a good test and the big elevated greens have significant slopes. The 5th and 9th will catch the eye and 16, 17 and 18 provide a good finish while the long, undulating 6,028-metre American course begins in a wooded area and includes a tricky passage between the 4th and 5th holes, linked by a water hazard.
The home nine is undulating terrain and has another good finish with water hazards and the 15th, 16th and 17th holes, before the climb back up to the 18th.
The clubhouse is located in an old castle farm, but is much more than a farmhouse, trust me! Set in beautiful countryside, Royal Waterloo boasts two testing par-72 courses and a terrific nine-hole layout.
La Marache, has a more testing back nine with a pretty tough finish – the three closing holes are par 5s -but the par 3s are stunning and the par-4 6th and 9th are crackers and there is a great run of holes from the 11th to the 15th.
The course has hosted several international tournaments, including the Belgian Open. With well-bunkered greens Le Lion is similar in length to La Marache at 6,215 yards but with more use of water it is a different challenge.
Other courses in the Martin’s Golf Pass stable include Golf Du Bercuit, Golf la Bruyere, Golf de L’Empereur, Golf de Rigenee, Golf Club de Louvain-la-Neuve, Golf Club de Pierpont and Golf Club de Sept Fontaines
Brabant Wallon is also known for its gastronomy, its local products, the youngest university town in Europe, a Cistercian abbey, a cathedral, castles, gardens, an amusement park, museums and much more.