|Kaag en Braassem|
|Dutch Villages Route||55 km|
Cycling around Kaag en Braassem is a real voyage of discovery through an authentic Dutch polder landscape via characteristic Dutch villages. These polders and villages derive their contemporary economic and recreational identity from its rich history. The landscape and residential areas all have their own story which they want to share with their visitors.
Particularities along this cycle route:
The tulip on the water tower tells a powerful story of the ‘bukkers’, bulbsgrower and the ‘broeirers’, tulip growers. Life was tough for both professional groups, maybe that’s why the workers looked for oblivion in the pubs around the ‘Noordeinde’. Café Jan Punt, ’t Veen eten & drinken, Café de Pepersteeg and Café de Haven: four legendary establishments in ‘De Veen’, within walking distance from the church, like it supposed to be. When we cycle along the ‘Galgekade’ Quay of Gallows, the name recalls memories of sinister stories a long time ago. Luckily these thought are softened by the beautiful view over the ‘Braassemermeer’.
Ships moored at Oude Wetering to supply and final repare before crossing the ‘Haarlemmermeer’, also called the Water wolf. Before its drainage in 1852, the lake was a dangerous water wilderness. Nowadays one enjoys the magnificent view over the ‘Haarlemmermeerpolder’, standing on the ‘Huigsloterdijk’.
Both Vriezekoop and Bilderdam are loved places of residence for artists. Visit at Vriezekoop Noord 16 gallery The Power of Art and at Bilderdam 28 the gallery of Ada Gons Goosen. A lovely break during this voyage of discovery across these Dutch villages. Where the ‘Willem van der Veldenweg’, ‘Vriezenweg’ and ‘Herenweg’ meet, the Curch of ‘St. Jan de Doper’ is on your left-hand side. On the right you’ll see the silhouette of the Geestmolen. In the eighties, André van Duin, a famous Dutch comedian, lived in this mill.
In Rijnsaterwoude you’ll see the ‘Woudse Dom’, on the left side of the road, alongside is the statue for priest Hendrik. Thanks to this priest and project developer, the peat area transformed into fertile agricultural land 900 year ago. Opposite the ‘Woudse Dom’ you can find the tractor museum, which is worthwhile visiting when its open.
Via the ‘Woudsedijk-Zuid’ and the ‘Zwetweg’ we cycle through a primeval landscape. Beautiful panoramic views of the historical ‘Vierambachtspolder’ on one side, and an almost pristine water nature reserve on the other side. The agricultural dynamic on the polder side and the shipping activities alongside the ‘Wetering’. were determinative for the economy of Woubrugge through the ages. Cycling on the ‘Boddens Hosangweg’ we find ourselves in a unique spot in the Netherlands. In contrast to other ‘wetering’ villages in the Netherlands, Woubrugge was built on both east and west bank. We continue our journey on the west bank of the ‘wetering’ and pass Restaurant Disgenoten. Originally this restaurant was the ‘Reghthuys’ or courthouse of Woubrugge, The prison, which has been preserved, now serves as a wine cellar.
On our way to Hoogmade we once again traverse a special landscape. Here the flood defence has recently be strengthened by ‘Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland’, the district water board. Due to excellent cooperation with IVN, unique flora and founa were saved. A remarkable sight in the landscape of Hoogmade is the ‘Zaalkerk’, a protestant church on the ‘Visserweg’. Inside you’ll find a unique cabinet organ from the 19th century which still is being used.
Accross the ‘Paardebrug’, with next to it a statue of Tour de France winner Joop Zoetemelk, we cycle through Rijpwetering. Via this tranquil village with, for peat villages, its characteristic ribbon development, we reach the Vrouw Vennemolen. When the sails are sweeping, the miller is at home and you are welcome to visit the mill. Cycling on the ‘Boekhortsterweg’,is pure joy. You can enjoy the varied water landscape and looks like time has stood still here.
Via Kaageiland, with its many places of interest like the historical village church, the internationally famous shipyard Royal van Lent and reflection centre ‘Stal op de Kaag’ we cycle next to the Ringvaart to Nieuwe Wetering. Stuck between the A4, HSL train track and an 380KV powerline above ground, this rustic village unintentionally received the predicate ‘most tormented village of Kaag en Braassem’. On the Westeinde, where the new residential area ‘Braassemerland’ is being developed, we end our tour along the Dutch village of Kaag en Braassem where we started it.
This route is an initiative of Albert Strijk and Roelf Scholma
Please note: Before departure, please make sure that the cycle ferry between Oud Ade and Kaageiland sails. (See ferry times here). The ferry between Kaageiland and Buitenkaag sails whole year round.
Below you can download the route as a zip file, both KML and GPX are available. You can also find pictures of the marked points of this route in this file.Download