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We are sailing...

Once upon a time, the Eau d'Heure Lakes in Wallonia's south-west region of Hainaut were man-made reservoirs, designed to control the level of the river Sambre and generate electricity in the process.

Today, they've been transformed into Belgium's largest inland sailing and watersports attraction, surrounded by extensive forest and meadowland that greatly enhance their appeal.

On the water every weekend, there are yachts, catamarans, windsurfers and kayaks, and in the unspoilt surrounding countryside you can hire mountain bikes and conventional bikes or go walking on the 350km of marked footpaths (which include ten circular and two GR trails) and two RAVeL tracks (see Outdoors section) for the use of all forms of non-motorised transport.

Detailed maps are available at the Visitor Centre, where bicycles of all shapes and sizes can be hired, and there are guided tours to the dam and the hydro-electric power station – just in case you run out of things to do.

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Belgian Tourist Office Wallonia 217 Marsh Wall London E14 9FJ Tel: 0207 531 0390 info@belgiumtheplaceto.be