Dutch North Sea bike path

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
ratherbeintobago
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Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby ratherbeintobago » 28 Jan 2020, 2:29pm

Mate was talking about this yesterday. First glance suggests it’s a) 570km long, b) likely to be a tad blustery and c) the Afsluitdijk is closed to bikes for 18 months.

Anyone done, how do you get to and from each end from, say, Rotterdam?

hamster
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby hamster » 28 Jan 2020, 3:24pm

I've done Amsterdam to Groningen, very pleasant it was too! We landed at Schiphol, re-assembled our bikes in the airport, put the packaging in left luggage and rode out!
We returned to Amsterdam by train, you have to buy a bike ticket for a few €. It was simple and painless.

Nowadays there is the Eurostar, alternatively take the ferry.

Jdsk
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby Jdsk » 28 Jan 2020, 3:28pm

We've done Amsterdam to Den Helder with a day on Texel. Then down to Edam. Stayed in hotels booked one day ahead. Back to Amsterdam by train.
Mostly traffic free. Yes, you get steady winds.
We hired recumbent bikes and trikes from a great shop in Amsterdam. I can't think of a better opportunity to try them out.

ratherbeintobago wrote:... how do you get to and from each end from, say, Rotterdam?

From where? There's some recent discussion on options through Harwich: https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=134831

Jonathan
Last edited by Jdsk on 28 Jan 2020, 4:39pm, edited 1 time in total.

Will
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby Will » 28 Jan 2020, 3:44pm

I assume that you mean the Kustroute (since you mentioned 570km and the Afsluitdijk):

https://www.holland.com/be_nl/toerisme/ ... 570-km.htm

There is also a route called the Noordzeeroute (LF1) that runs from Boulogne in France to Den Helder and another route called the Waddenzee route from near Den Helder to Nieuweschans (on the German border). There is also a much longer Eurovelo route (EV12) that is also called The North Sea Cycle Route. The Kustroute follows the same route as LF1/LF10 and EV12 between Sluis and Nieuweschans.

I assume that as you mentioned Rotterdam, you intend to get the ferry to there from Hull . The other P&O service from Hull to Zeebrugge takes to pretty close to the start of the Kustroute at Sluis. At the end, you can easily get a train from Bad Nieuweschans to Groningen and from there to Rotterdam in about 3.5 hours.

There is a bus service for transporting you and your bike over the Afsluitdijk (https://deafsluitdijk.nl/fietsbus-dienstregeling/). I used it last year and it was fine.

Regards

Will

ratherbeintobago
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby ratherbeintobago » 28 Jan 2020, 3:48pm

While this is all very theoretical, I’d be planning Hull-Rotterdam, though Harwich is a possibility; does it go to Hoek van Holland or is that no more?

What’s the distance from Zeebrugge to the Dutch border, and does SNCB or equivalent do that?

Will
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby Will » 28 Jan 2020, 3:53pm

ratherbeintobago wrote:While this is all very theoretical, I’d be planning Hull-Rotterdam, though Harwich is a possibility; does it go to Hoek van Holland or is that no more?

What’s the distance from Zeebrugge to the Dutch border, and does SNCB or equivalent do that?


Once you get out of Zeebrugge, it is only a couple of hours riding along canals to Sluis.

Will

Jdsk
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby Jdsk » 28 Jan 2020, 3:54pm

ratherbeintobago wrote:... though Harwich is a possibility; does it go to Hoek van Holland...

Yes: https://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry-to-holland

Jonathan

willp01908
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby willp01908 » 28 Jan 2020, 3:56pm

Done it a couple of times and it`s a great trip. Fantastic beaches and plenty of places to camp en route.

Tbh the Afsluitdijk is a bit tedious - the history is interesting and it`s good to say you`ve done it maybe, but in essence, it`s a long, very straight cycle track. Get a good tailwind and it`s maybe the best average speed you`ll ever do on a loaded touring bike over 32k.

There`s a bike bus during the closure:

https://deafsluitdijk.nl/fietsbus-dienstregeling/

Tangled Metal
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Jan 2020, 4:33pm

There's also Newcastle to Ijmeuden. Then the lf1 route to den holder is nice. Not all exposed. There's a lot in trees or sheltered by dunes. If you go inland off the route it's more flat there's the town with the cheese market that's worth a detour and the highest dune in Holland is part way up up den holder but a little inland

We did it with our 4 year old doing up to 40 miles per day occasionally. Nice campsites in places. Further north people might not speak English but more likely to speak German were found. Popular German holiday area it seems.

iandriver
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby iandriver » 28 Jan 2020, 6:23pm

I seem to recall the section between The Hague and up to Amsterdam was mostly through a huge dunes national park. It did shelter you somewhat from the sea winds, but wasn't completely flat either
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

hamster
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby hamster » 28 Jan 2020, 7:28pm

willp01908 wrote:Tbh the Afsluitdijk is a bit tedious - the history is interesting and it`s good to say you`ve done it maybe, but in essence, it`s a long, very straight cycle track. Get a good tailwind and it`s maybe the best average speed you`ll ever do on a loaded touring bike over 32k.


I'd picked the route SW-NE to have the prevailing wind behind us. On the day it was 19 miles totally exposed with a stiff breeze firmly on the nose all the way, plus low sea fog which meant nothing to see! :roll:

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foxyrider
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby foxyrider » 28 Jan 2020, 10:46pm

For clarification, the Hull Rotterdam ferry actually docks at Europoort 20km from the city opposite Hoek van Holland - there's a water taxi crossing between the two so it makes little odds which you land at.

Personally i found the section between the Belgian border and the Rhine to be windier than further north. if you do get a stiff headwind you can always use the road network to 'tack' into the wind :lol:

I found that visiting a few of the Wadden islands gave a bit of variety rather than just slogging along behind the seas defences.
Convention? what's that then?
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Thehairs1970
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby Thehairs1970 » 29 Jan 2020, 7:21am

FWIW

Have cycled this route as far as Den Helder. It's lovely.

Re shelter from the wind. I would definitely do S to N. We had a ride back from Den Helder into a SW that had blown our tent apart the day before. There was no shelter from a massive dyke/dune thingy that must have been 40'.wind being what it is, it gets funnelled by structures like dunes.

Trains are very cheap for bikes so returning will not be an issue. Just remember that there may be time restrictions. You are also supposed to remove panniers when travelling and the trains are very efficient so you need to be quick at getting on otherwise your bike might go without you!

st599_uk
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby st599_uk » 30 Jan 2020, 10:08am

The route from Hoek Van Holland to IJmiuden was nice, no traffic, well paved but it wasn't flat and when it was windy on the second day, it was like being in a sand blaster.

The locals were really friendly, I found some great little cafes and restaurants.

Beware, the option on Stena line that includes train to Harwich and the crossing isn't valid for bikes. If you need to kill a few hours near Harwich, the place where Constable painted the HayWain is a nice ride.
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ratherbeintobago
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Re: Dutch North Sea bike path

Postby ratherbeintobago » 30 Jan 2020, 11:06am

I think if this ever happens, the likely plan would involve bikes on the car to the U.K. end of the ferry.

Is there any provision for bikes on the ferry?