The industrial and commercial border town of Menen, 10km/6miles southwest of Kortrijk, often changed hands between French and Dutch rulers and suffered many sieges. The town hall in the market was built in 1784 in Classical style; the adjacent octagonal belfry with a carillon of 47 bells is of 16th/17th C. origin.The belfry is a UNESCO site.
Here is the largest German World War 1 military cemetery, with 47,864 soldiers killed in action.
Wervik, 7km/4miles west of Menen, has a tobacco museum documenting the history of snuff, smoking and chewing tobacco.
In the French-speaking area directly on the border with France is the town of Mouscron, situated on a hill, 7km/4mi to the south of Wervik. It is dominated by the 13th C. castle of the Counts of Mouscron.
Some 25km/15miles north of Kortrijk is the small town of Tielt. The ruins of the cloth hall, the belfry and the town hall (stadhuis) together with the other buildings of the Grote Markt make a handsome scene.The belfry is a UNESCO site.
Breughel Festival, Wingene
This annual festival takes place on the second Sunday in September to celebrate life in Wingene. Local residents dress in 16th century costumes to recreate scenes depicted in Breughel paintings. His works of art are also displayed along with a parade, song, dancing and feasts held throughout the day.
There is a small museum in the town hall chronicling the everyday life of the countryside around Tielt, the Hageland.
Ingelmunster, 11km/7mi north of Kortrijk, once possessed a mighty fortress and was "the key to Flanders" of great strategic importance. The fortress was replaced in the 18th C. by a splendid château, but is not open to visitors.
Izegem is only 3km/2miles west of Ingelmunster. The National Shoe and Brush Museum in the stadhuis is worth a visit.
The Flemish poet Stijn Streuvels (1871-1969) was born in Ingooigem, 10km/6miles to the west. His birthplace, located on the street named after him, is now a museum.
Roeslare, 21km/13mi northwest of Kortrijk, is home of the poet Albrecht Rodenbach and the blind statesman Alexander Rodenbach. These and other sons of the town are commemorated in the arsenal building on Polenplein.
The Roeslare suburb of Rumbeke has a fine moated castle (16/18th C.) with seven octagonal towers. The Sint-Pieter-Paulskerk contains a Romanesque font of 1200.
Roeselare - National Cycle Museum
This museum charts the history of the bicycle from its origin in the workshops of Leonardo da Vinci to the present day.
At Westrozebeke, 8km/5miles west of Roeslare, the Flemish were heavily defeated in the battle of Rozebeke in 1382.