A number of towns along the LF1 Route were fortified with high walls and thick towers, erected mostly in the 15th century to offer protection for the inhabitants.
These are among the best-preserved fortifications in Europe.
They are well worth a visit, particularly in the larger towns such as Bruges.
In the early 19th century a further phase of canal construction was begun by Napoleon which above all helped to stimulate the growth of the country’s economy.
Particularly impressive is the tree-lined road from Bruges to Damme, taking you past the unusual windmill built on the town wall.