Route 4 - Middelkerke, coasting along with Jommeke, Lambik and the ‘Rode Ridder’ (Red Knight) (30,4 km)
A medley of comic strip figures and walls, a fair dose of nostalgia, a good bit of open-air modern art, a touch of music and some gripping history of World War I. Surely the ingredients of a varied bike ride.
- Start: at intersection 81
- Intersections: 81-60-80-52-77-75-16-17-84-19-2-12-61-73-81
Not to be missed!
Beaufort 2018 Artworks
- At intersection 81 (Beach area on the Kwinte - Koning Ridderdijk 100), an artwork that is part of Beaufort 2018 awaits you, a creation of the Danish artist Simon Dybbroe Møller.
- Right after that, between intersections 81 and 60 (Westende - Zeedijk 300 beach sculpture park), you can discover yet another jewel in the crown of Beaufort 18, this one signed by the French-Algerian artist Kader Attia.
Still more to discover!
Comic strip wall Robbedoes and Kwabbernoot (intersection 81)
This is the very first comic strip wall in the collection you can visit in Middelkerke and Westende. The drawing of Robbedoes was custom-designed by the famous Dutch comic strip artist Hanco Kolk especially for the wall. Art Mural then drew the design on the façade by hand. Authentically hand-made, in other words.
Les Zéphyrs (between intersections 81 and 60, a slight detour from the route)
This listed villa, dating back to the interwar period, sweeps you along to another era. You can see with your own eyes how a prosperous bourgeois family around 1930 spent its summer holidays here. With enough domestic staff to truly be able to enjoy it.
Rotonde (between intersections 81 and 60)
This lovely Grand Hotel Belle Vue, dubbed the ‘Rotonde’ by the locals, is a listed monument immediately recognizable for its distinctive, round shape. The hotel opened its doors in June 1911, and in 1999 the building was restored. Who can cycle the fastest around the Rotonde?
Beaufort Sculpture Park (between intersections 81 and 60)
Westende can boast at least three top artworks from previous editions of Beaufort. The sculpture park is located near the Rotonde. Caterpillar #5bis stole the show during Beaufort01 and was subsequently moved to Ground Zero in New York. Now this homage to the builders of the sea wall is fortunately back home. Olnetop, the sculpture by Nick Ervinck made for Beaufort04, is 8 metres high and evokes splashing waves. And last but not least, I Can Hear It by Ivars Drulle, two immense horns that enable you to listen to the force of the sea so as to become fully one with it. A little break from the everyday world.
Comic strip figures on the sea front (between intersections 60 and 80)
Fans of comic strips will want to spend a bit of time here. On the sea front, you will meet no fewer than 17 comic strip statues, from Lambik through the Rode Ridder to Fanny & Co. (Kiekeboe). If you are up for more, then cycle on over to the comic strip walls and marvel at the adventures of Lucky Luke, and more. In Middelkerke you never have to grow up.
Costal histories (between intersections 60 and 80, a slight detour from the route)
This listed former post office now houses Kusthistories, an interactive museum about the history of tourism on the coast. Old postcards, posters and giant bathing suits will catapult you effortlessly back to those glorious early years.
A bit further on ... The Zwerver (past intersection 17)
De Zwerver music club is the home base of the Leffingeleuren festival, a café that breathes music. A spot by and for music lovers. Every weekend, you can stop in from 5 p.m. Saturdays and from 11 a.m. Sundays. Dance till you drop!
Westfront and King Albert I monument (intersection 61, a little way from the route)
The Westfront Visitors’ Centre tells you the fascinating history of the defensive flooding during World War I. You will be sure to get goosebumps from the digital ‘Panorama of the battle of the IJzer’ by Alfred Bastien and can also take in the permanent and temporary exhibitions.