My sister and I arrived in Bruges from Paris via the Thalys/IC trains on the Tuesday afternoon. We stayed at a lovely Bed and Breakfast called the Den Witten Leeuw which is located near the Minnewater. This is a family run B&B and it is both charming and welcoming. The rooms are clean, bright and spacious and the breakfasts are very good. There is also a room for families and a pool in the backyard. We highly recommend this property and would return there in a heartbeat.
We spent the afternoon exploring Bruges on foot and taking a canal cruise. The next day we continued our exploration of the city and visited the many lace and chocolate boutiques as well as walked along the many canals and parks. We did not visit any museums as we had done a lot of this in Paris and would also be doing this in London. In the afternoon we took a 4 and a half hour bike trip to Damme with Quasimundo bike tours. Our guide, Jos, was excellent. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining and went out of his way to connect with everyone on the tour. We saw several windmills, rode along lovely tree-lined canals and got a real sense of this beautiful rural landscape. This was one of the highlights of our trip. We had made reservations for the evening at Brasserie Cambrinus and the food and beer did not disappoint. The next morning we hopped on the IC train to Brussels where we picked up the Eurostar to London.
Thank you to everyone here on Trip Advisor for your information and tips!