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Shoreham EGKA - Ostend EBOS weekend in Bruges - VFR

I’m a big fan of Le Touquet and Deauville for a quick lunch trip and a walk on the beach but surprised more pilots from the UK don’t add another 20 or so minutes to the flight time and try Ostend and onwards to Bruges.

Ostend has some major plus points…

Its open 24hrs and had customs and immigration from 0600 – 2400 (other times 2 hours notice required). You don’t need to PPR or give 2hrs notice like LeTouquet just turn up!

3200m runway with ILS at both ends. I’ve been a few times and always found ATC very helpful.

This weekend I landed at 12.00 local on Saturday and parked overnight, departing Sunday 1600ish the total charge was 48Euro. The airport provides basically free handling, meet and greet with the ‘follow me’ car quick bag search and metal detector at GA terminal (basically a small building by apron 3), then car to the main terminal for police immigration and customs if required. There is a small amount of waiting about for all of the security checks at arrival and departure as you would expect from a large airport the handling staff and resident police have always been very friendly, even recommending busses etc.

From just outside the terminal building you hop on the number 6 bus which terminates at Ostend Train Station about 20mins later its 3Euro each way. Runs about every 20mins even at weekends.

From Ostend the train to Bruges is another 20mins or so and trains seem to run 3/4 times an hour. The train is just 5euro return at weekends. Te train station at Bruges is a 10 – 15 min walk into the main square and before you know it you’ve eaten a box full of Belgium chocolate and are enjoying the almost constant bells of the clocks chiming!

If your In a rush Ostend is a nice town, it can’t compare to Bruges architecturally but had a busy high street with some independent shops and good restaurants.

Route wise I tend to plan DVR KONAN DCT at 4500 over the sea. Its London Info from Dover to the FIR Boundary and then usually a handover to Ostend Approach who clear you to enter the TMA and decent. Get the tower and ground frequencies ready they like to pass you through all of the frequencies! The airport seems very quiet with just a few fruit cargo flights and occasional Charter flights.

Does anyone else have any easy day trip recommendations?

Shoreham (EGKA) White Waltham (EGLM)

Fly a bit further and visit Kortrijk (EBKT). Very popular among people who have an interest in WW1 history.


Some impressions of Ostend and Bruges a little further down in this trip report.

For the rest, Belgium and the northerly bit of France is full of worthwhile places. Impossible to name them all. It’s just that only some of them are immigration points, which limits the number of places for you islanders (unless you accept an extra stop, which may not be feasible for a day-trip.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 20 Apr 21:15
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Does anyone else have any easy day trip recommendations?

Caen and Rouen are both worth a visit. I think Caen is something like 4 hours notice for customs, which you can do by email. Can’t remember the advance notice on Rouen, but it can also be done by email.

Antwerp also very easy. Maastricht pretty good too.

Oxford and Bidford

I can also recommend Maastricht EHBK. Beautiful city, plenty of good hotels, restaurants and bars.
The airport is convenient, fully IFR. Landing fees are reasonable (+/- 20€). There’s bus 59 which takes you in 20 minutes to the city centre.

Thank for he recommendations I will look into them Rouen is on the list!

Any more suggestions? Short 2/3 day trips or over night stops??

Shoreham (EGKA) White Waltham (EGLM)

FWIW I heard that the airport restaurant at Rouen just reopened and is worth a visit.

I personally love the city of Troyes. Customs with short PPR (1 hour IIRC). A hotel in the immediate vicinity of the airport with a wonderful restaurant. Do not remember the taxi fare to the city, but may be 30 €.

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