Dagger Bay – click any image for full size
Dagger Bay offers visitors a taste of Bruges and the Flemmish region of Belgium. A full region using the full 30K LI allowance, it has been designed as something of a team effort, led by region holder Jaysun Dagger, and it is a joy to visit and see.
We invite you to visit the beautiful Village of the Beguinage of Bruges and surrounding countryside. Please enjoy a walk on the forest path or relax in the coffee-house along the canal with a snack or something to drink.
– Dagger Bay About Land
A visit begins on the north side of the region, close to a bridge linking it with South Haven Bay, a Homestead region that appears to be an extension of Dagger Bay. As it also appears to be the location of private homes, exploring it should be taken with care to avoid trespass.
A second bridge spans one of the canals mentioned in the region’s About Land description, leading the way via grand gateway possibly once belonging to a manor house, to a gardened courtyard. What were once most likely outhouses lining two sides of the courtyard have been converted into places of business: a museum, a tea house, a studio, together with a cosy apartment, some of which have large modern windows cut into walls to offer views out over the water between the regions. Facing the gateway across the courtyard with its free-growing flowers and grasses, lies the manor house, now a residence on its own, but with the family chapel still adjoining it.
The grounds of this white-walled house and its outbuildings is neatly proscribed by more canals, along which stand the tall, high gabled town houses of the kind anyone who has visited Bruges will recognise. The grandest of these suggest they were once the homes of wealthy merchants who kept goods in the cellars under them, wooden doors just above the canal waters providing a means of them to be easily moved between storage and barge.
Beyond the town houses to the south, the land opens out. Broad waterways run through the middle of the region, the water breaking over weirs between low-lying islands. Wild looking, and rich in autumn’s colours at the time of our visit, these central islands can be reached via footbridge or a ford (do take note of the warning on the fallen sign alongside the ford!). Reaching these islands demand an exploration of the rest of the lands.
This can be down by heading east from the landing point, along the shoreline separating the two regions. A cobbled path leads the way around a rocky hill that itself offers a look-out point across the region. It converts to a gravel path running between tall trees to where another brick bridge that carries it over another water channel.
From here, explorers have a choice: continue to follow the path to the imposing house occupying the south-east corner of the region, or take a right turn where the wooden fence marking one side of the path end, and thus find the way through the middle of the region, hopping from island to island.
The big house doesn’t appear to be private property – there were no visible warnings as we approached it – but care should probably be taken in case it is. Certain its name – The Cloister – has a suggestion of quietness and privacy about it.
For those not wishing to risk trespassing, the path passes around the south side of the house, below the hight brick walls, to meet with a pair of bridges spanning the widest water channel cutting into the region. These lead the way to an imposing pavilion, screened by trees and with sheep and horses grazing peacefully around it. Furnished in an 18th century style, it has the feel of a refined summer-house offering a place to sit and appreciate the region, perhaps over a little tea.
Fabulously designed and laid-out, albeit it with a couple of rough edges that could be smoothed out, Dagger Island is a joy to visit; a marvellous palette of colour and design to explore, photograph and enjoy.