Bruges to the Sound of Bells

Winter exposes Bruges in all its architectural splendour. With fewer tourists under one’s feet and nature taking a back seat, the city’s fine medieval brickwork can be properly admired, accompanied by the pealing of bells from the 13th century Belfort. Outside the quirky Scheldt Gothic Church of Our Lady, which looks like a building Van Gogh might have relished painting, stand these pleached limes. It will be a while yet before they emerge from their winter rest, but in the meantime we can admire their gnarled, fiercely maintained outlines.