Belgium is divided into regions such as Flanders Lowlands, the Central Low Plateau, the Kempenland Plateau, Sambre-Meuse Valley, Ardennes and Belgium Lorraine.
Belgium has a reasonably gentle maritime climate due to prevailing winds from the west, which are warmed by the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Summers are comfortably warm without becoming overly hot. Winters are cold but not severe. Although the weather is usually mild, there are long periods of dull, gray days with abundant rain. Fog is common and rainfall is rarely very heavy but light rain can fall constantly for lengthy periods.
Flanders Lowlands and central low plateau
N the coast of Flanders is a narrow belt of lowlands, reaching from the borders of France to the Schelde River. The area has many fine sandy beaches and dunes. Inland, the plains of Flanders extend southwest and are crossed by the Leie, Schelde, and Dender rivers. The Central Low Plateau rises to a height of 700 feet in the south. It includes Belgium’s best farmland, the result of the region’s rich alluvial soils. The Senne, Demer and Dijle rivers cross the plateau toward the Rupel River.
The Kempenland Plateau and the Ardennes
In the north, by the Dutch border and between the Schelde and Meuse rivers, rich farmland gives way to a region of sand dunes, scrub moorland, and coniferous forest. The Kempenland is now a light-industrial district. The region also has an atomic research and nuclear power center. The Ardennes plateau lies east of the Sambre-Meuse Valley. It was once a large mountain range, but the mountaintops were long ago worn down by glaciers. Today the Ardennes region consists of sandstone ridges, limestone valleys, and woodland hills.
The Sambre-Meuse Valley
This narrow but well defined region is approximately 100 miles long, but it is only about 3 to 10 miles wide. It extends from the south to the north of Belgium along the Sambre and Meuse rivers. The valley connects the central low plateau to the higher plateau of the Ardennes region. Coal mining used to be the main industry here, and it had supported other heavy industries and thus became the most populated region in Belgium.