Ostend is situated on the North Sea coast, approximately midway along the 40-mile Belgian coastline stretching from De Panne via Nieuwpoort – Westende - Middelkerke - Oostende - Den Haan - Blankenberge to Knokke. Ostend was at one time the summer residence of the Belgian Royal Court and was therefore known as the “Queen of the Coastal Towns». The “Royal Villa» has been transformed in to an hotel-restaurant. Nowadays the Royal Court only visits Ostend on official occasions. Ostend is the only Belgian coastal resort that is as lively in the summer as in the winter. Culture, sport or gastronomy: in short, there’s a huge variety of things to choose from. In addition to the Kappellestraat, Adolf Buylstraat, Witte Nonnestraat (which are all traffic-free) there is the Alfons Pieterslaan and the Torhoutsesteenweg, where tourists can shop the whole year through. Ostend typically comes alive at night with its many bars, restaurants, etc. Visitors will find several English pubs with organ music and live performers. Thousands of English tourists enjoy themselves in these pubs. The English even call the city of Ostend “the most British town in Europe». Ostend is the carnival city par excellence of the Belgian coast. Each year carnival is celebrated around a different theme (China '95, Rio '96, Hawaii '97, Europe '98). Traditionally , the first weekend of March is carnival weekend in Ostend. It is possible to take a tour around the city in a specially built mini-train or by horse-drawn carriage. The coach-drivers are very helpful in explaining the places of interest and sights. During the summer there is the annual jazz pub-tour. All the pubs participating in the tour have live music (jazz, blues, pop, rock, etc.)transportation is available on foot or by special coaches, horse-drawn carriages and trains. The annual fun-fair (de Foore) exceeds all expectations. The fair-grounds in Ostend are occupied by the fair-booths before they take their winter break and during October it is possible to visit fairgrounds on three market-squares.