5 secret travel tips from The White Queen series

Belgium has become a hot summer destination, since the BBC War of the Roses drama hit our screens. We catch up with the show’s producer for her top off-the-beaten-track discoveries from the area…

Set during the Wars of the Roses, BBC drama The White Queen (9pm, Sundays), starring Aneurin Barnard and Rebecca Ferguson, was filmed in historic Belgium and has created a surge in holiday bookings to the area. While there are plenty of big sites from the series to visit (see here for more info), there are also many lesser-known spots to see. We catch up with the show’s producer Gina Cronk for more of her expert tips on secret Flemish attractions…


1. Visit a WWI trench

Gina says: “Not very well sign posted, there’s a WW1 trench that was discovered during the building of an industrial estate on the outskirts of Ypres. Situated next to a waste recycling plant, it is only accessible by car but reveals the reality of conditions faced by World War I soldiers. Artefacts discovered in the trench are on display at the In Flanders Fields Museum in town.”

2. Pop into an English church

Gina says: “A short walk away from St Martin’s Cathedral, in Ypres, where we filmed The White Queen’s coronation, is the St Georges Memorial Church. It was built in memory of servicemen and women who lost their lives in Flanders.”

3. See an art exhibition in a vaulted basement

Gina says: “The village of Damme outside Bruges is worth a visit for the Stadhuis, but it is lesser-known that there are often art exhibitions or antique sales in the vaulted basement. There’s also a great local food market, held twice a week in the main square.”

Visit Bruges with Radio Times Travel, see here for more info

4. Listen to the Last Post at Menin Gate

Gina says: “The Menin Gate is carved with all the names of those lost from every country involved in the fighting but whose bodies were never found. It is a must visit site in Ypres. The Last Post is played every night, and it is still a very powerful experience. There is a park on the raised canal embankment next to the site. We filmed the banks of the Thames at the foot of the embankment wall and added a computer generated Tower of London on top.”

5. Go cycling

Gina says: “Cycling is very safe in Belgium, with cyclists having right of way at all times. Hiring a bike and getting out of Bruges along canal towpaths is a great way of seeing the countryside around Bruges.”


Visit Bruges with Radio Times Travel, see here for more info