Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Leeolive
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Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby Leeolive » 24 Mar 2010, 1:00pm

Hi

Has anyone cycled from Amsterdam to Bruges/Bruges to Amsterdam and do you have any advice on maps to buy/routes?
We'll be leaving from London. Does anyone have any suggestions on how best to get to and from London to either city? We're happy to catch a ferry/Eurostar.

Much appreciated.
Lee

frank
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby frank » 24 Mar 2010, 8:21pm

There is a cycle path called the lf1 it is part of the north sea route it runs just north of amsterdam and goes through bruges. It is signposted both ways and is quiet and mostly cycle paths.

InfiniteView
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby InfiniteView » 25 Mar 2010, 11:16pm

This site might be useful for a start:

http://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/fietsrouteplanner/

You click the start and end points of your trip, and then it gives you the numbers of the cycle paths to follow. The paths have signs with the numbers.
There's a similar site for Belgium. Let me know if you need that and I'll try to track it down.

I have the Delft cycle map - it's called "Fiets Knooppunten". Last year I took the ferry from Harwich to near Rotterdam, and then biked south along the North Sea Route. My advice would be to take reasonable cycle maps and a compass. The area around Delft/Rotterdam has great maps on sign boards, but the further south you go, the sparser the information becomes. Down towards Middelburg I got lost a few times, and because everything is flat and the country roads wind around, you can end up not knowing if you're facing north or south.

Most people speak English, and are willing to help with directions. Overall, it was the most fun I've ever had. I'm heading back next week to cycle in the other direction.

I did have a bad experience trying to bring my bike back on the Eurostar from Lille. This time I'm just going to use the ferries.

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Domestique
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby Domestique » 26 Mar 2010, 9:43pm

Have you considered riding from Dunkirk?

wallyone
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby wallyone » 26 Mar 2010, 9:59pm

Hi,
From Amsterdam you can take the LF2 Stedenroute that goes between Amsterdam and Brussels. You can pick it up at the Magere Brug and it follows the Amstel out of the city. It's easy to follow, though some of the signs are low and can be covered by undergrowth in summer. It passes through quiet countryside and cities like Gouda and Dordrecht , has a few ferry crossings and is flat. It also goes through the Kinderdijk windmills
Nearing the border you have a choice. At Bergen op Zoom you can cut across the Beverland/Walcheren "islands" to Goes and pick up the LF1 route in Middleburg across the Schelde then through Sluis to Bruges. You can also continue to Antwerp then head west through Zeeus Vlanderen to Bruges.
I've found a Michelin Regional No532 South Holland, scale 1cm to 2km to be good enough on the route as the LF routes are so well signposted I only need a map to give me a general feel of where I am.
Personally I prefer train to Harwich, ferry to the Hoek and then cycle to Amsterdam along LF1 to Noordwijk, cross the bulb fields to Aalsmeer then skirt around Schipol into Amsterdam from the south. But it's easy enough to take your bike on the Dutch trains, you need to buy a ticket, if you don't want to cycle. From Bruges you can return following the LF1 Northsea route through Belgium to the French border then return via Dunkirk or Calais.
Have fun.

Grumpyoldbiker
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby Grumpyoldbiker » 2 Apr 2010, 10:12am

Hi Lee

I did a similar trip last year. I would agree with the view that you can get away with a general map as the bike paths are so well marked. One thing to watch out for with route LF1 is the LF1a and other variations, these can add extra kilometres which caught us out one day when we were already doing a very long ride. I would recommend that you do take some kind of map, occasionally the bike route signs are missing or can be missed.

We looked at several ways of getting across and chose Eurostar to Brussels. The Eurostar ticket includes travel onwards to any Belgian station, so we took a train to Gent and cycled along the canal to Brugge. The Eurostar tickets are expensive compared with the ferry, especially the extra fee for taking a bike, but when we weighed up all the time, costs and hassle of getting to Dover etc, and the time saved, we decided to go for the Eurostar. You can avoid the fee for the bike on Eurostar if you put it in a bike bag. Starting early from London, we were cycling along the Gent to Brugge canal later that same afternoon. If you wanted to miss out the Gent to Brugge canal, you could stay on the train all the way to Brugge and start cycling from there. You have to pay a small fixed fee to take your bike on the local train.

If we could have got easy quick access to Dover we might have taken that route.

I bought the LF1 booklet from Stanfords, but i was a bit disappointed when I got it, as it was very old, but it was still useful. Might be worth confirming what edition they are sending you before buying.

We joined the organisation "Frienden Op de fiets" which is an organisation which produces a guide of cyclist friendly people who offer bed and breakfast to cyclists. It is fairly cheap to join, and the guide book has a useful set of maps in it (a bit small so you need good eyesight!) these show cycle paths. Geat way to meet the people and we only had good experiences, staying in a wide variety of houses/flats.

We took the route Gent-Brugge-Sluis-Breskens-(ferry)-Vlissingen-Middelburg-Brouwersdam-Maassluis-Delft. We then roamed around a bit visiting various places, reaching Haarlem eventually, then coming back down the coast. We didn't cycle into Amsterdam as we had both been before and wanted to explore other places.

I hope this helps

Peter

fietslogies
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby fietslogies » 22 Apr 2010, 10:01pm

Grumpyoldbiker wrote:We joined the organisation "Frienden Op de fiets" which is an organisation ...

For better results when Googling. "Vrienden op de Fiets" will bring you a bit further ... :wink:
http://www.bikely.com/listpaths/by/fietslogies = 60 cycle tracks along the towpaths of rivers and canals and old railway tracks in Belgium, and the border regions of France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg with Belgium.

Mark R
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby Mark R » 22 Apr 2010, 10:08pm

I did this trip 12 years ago, if you want to travel light and save money, you don't need a map. As soon as you cross into Holland you have your own inter-city cycle path network with your own signposts with destinations and distances (no need to ever ride on a road once in Holland). I would just rip a page out of a road atlas so you know you know where towns and cities are in relation to your route. Have fun!

fietslogies
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby fietslogies » 25 Apr 2010, 4:20pm

This is the Belgian site with 'knooppunten'. The site covers also the Dutch provinces of Zeeland, Zuid-Holland, Limburg and Noord-Brabant.
http://www.fietsnet.be/routeplanner/default.aspx
Last edited by fietslogies on 27 Jun 2011, 2:01pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.bikely.com/listpaths/by/fietslogies = 60 cycle tracks along the towpaths of rivers and canals and old railway tracks in Belgium, and the border regions of France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg with Belgium.

Ron
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby Ron » 25 Apr 2010, 5:57pm

Grumpyoldbiker wrote: One thing to watch out for with route LF1 is the LF1a and other variations, these can add extra kilometres which caught us out one day when we were already doing a very long ride.

If you are travelling from Sluis towards Den Helder then follow the signs for the LF1b, from Den Helder to Sluis follow the signs for LF1a. It is the same route, the a & b is used simply to differentiate between the two directions.
Unlike the crazy system in the UK, where you might see a sign for the NCN6, and not know if it is directing you to or from the place you wish to get to!

Grumpyoldbiker
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby Grumpyoldbiker » 27 Apr 2010, 6:46pm

Thanks for explaining this Ron - no wonder we added some extra miles!

This is another reason not to buy the old 1996 version of the Sustrans LF1 guide. I read it from cover to cover and nowhere does it explain the significance of the LF1a and the LF1b - pretty fundamental omission I would have thought!

After all the research I did before the trip I can't believe I missed this - DOH!

Regards Peter

Ron
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby Ron » 27 Apr 2010, 10:13pm

Grumpyoldbiker wrote:Thanks for explaining this Ron - no wonder we added some extra miles!

After all the research I did before the trip I can't believe I missed this - DOH!


I must confess I was pretty well through with my tour before I discovered the "secret code". :)

There is a picture of a paddestoel on page 6 of my book on which it is possible to deduce 1a is southwards and 1b northwards, but that only became clear afterwards. :D

rebeccabarreto
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby rebeccabarreto » 27 Jun 2011, 4:06am

HI there,

I read some posts of yours and maybe you could help me with some information.
is there any chance of some indication on a special designed tour self guided but with trip arrangements and luggage transfer to do a brussels(bruges or gent)-amterdam bike trip? Me and my husband are from brazil, and we are planning a bike tour around this area for our anniversary, but not so excited about the bike and barge options we have seen. We would like to sleep a few nights on city hotels, and maybe get a train (eurostar) or barge just in the longest itineraries. As we haven't biked in europe yet, I am not sure if there are good options specially designed for. Please let us know if any one can indicate something like this. We would love to go by ourselves but with some nice instructions, stay in hotels we could feel the city more, and structure on one piece luggagge transfer service as we might be in a longer journey after. I would love to stop in antwerp too. Regards
Rebecca

fietslogies
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby fietslogies » 27 Jun 2011, 1:56pm

Why not base yourself in e.g. Ghent and do some DIY cycle trips in the surroundings. Afterwards you can go by train to another city and repeat the same formula. Renting a bicycle in Ghent is easy. For one day it's 9 euro, but for a week you pay only 35 euro at MaxMobiel.
Some suggestions:

Castle Tour east of Ghent (48 km) with a visit to the Castle of Laarne.
http://in.evergem.be/file_uploads/7439.pdf?_vs=0_n%3Cbr%20/%3E
http://www.laarne.be/website/3545-www/version/default/part/AttachmentData/data/brochure-toerisme-laarne2011.pdf for some images.

Image

River Leie Tour southwest of Ghent (55 km, or 70 km if you include the scenic village of Machelen. Visit also the Castle of Ooidonk.
http://www.tov.be/uploadedfiles/_producten/routes/Leiestreek/fietsroutes/Leiestreekkaart-coverA4.pdf

Image

River Schelde Tour south of Ghent (30 + 32 km) towards Oudenaarde, also a beautiful and unknown historical gem. Take a minimum of luggage with you and spend there one night. The day after, you do the other half of the tour, back to Ghent.
http://www.tov.be/uploadedfiles/_producten/routes/Vlaamse_Ardennen/fietsroutes/Scheldeval1.pdf + http://users.telenet.be/roger.blomme1/FietsRoutes/Scheldevallei2_Web_OK.pdf + http://www.tov.be/uploadedfiles/_producten/routes/Vlaamse_Ardennen/fietsroutes/Scheldeval3.pdf

Image

Ghent-Bruges along the Canal with the same name (50 km one way). Take a minimum of luggage with you and spend one night in Bruges. The day after, cycle to Damme and along the Lievekanaal back to Ghent.
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=670865

That's already 6 days of cycling without worrying about luggage transfer, not? ;-)
http://www.bikely.com/listpaths/by/fietslogies = 60 cycle tracks along the towpaths of rivers and canals and old railway tracks in Belgium, and the border regions of France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg with Belgium.

Vorpal
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Re: Bruges to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Bruges

Postby Vorpal » 27 Jun 2011, 3:07pm

I think Bruges is worth more than one night. I might say spend 2 nights there and see the city. It's a bit touristic, but also picturesque.

Edited to add hotel information:

I've stayed in several hotels in Bruges while there for business. The best of those was de Castillion. I thought it was much better than comparably priced chain hotels.

When there on my own, I stayed at Bauhaus, which has both hostel style (dormitory) and budget hotel rooms. The rooms were small, but clean, and the staff were nice and went out their way to be helpful.

And if you can, when in Bruges, climb the belfry.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom