North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

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foxyrider
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North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby foxyrider » 11 Nov 2014, 12:39pm

I'm doing this next summer, probably late July/early August, got my maps and general route sorted. I want to visit some of the islands and i anticipate mostly camping over the two weeks.

Has anyone got any particular recomendations for stuff to see, particular campsites/accomodation to use / avoid or route advice - all welcomed.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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Peter Molog
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby Peter Molog » 11 Nov 2014, 3:55pm

foxyrider wrote: I want to visit some of the islands

Do you also mean Dutch islands? If that's the case I can give you some information. There are possibillities for island-hopping, but I'm not sure if this is available in English.
Peter

Please, excuse my English. I'm Dutch.

scoot
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby scoot » 11 Nov 2014, 4:20pm

Hi Peter,

Your footer says "Please excuse my English I'm Dutch"

In my experience Dutch people speak English better than some native Brits :lol:

No excusing required :D

Evidence of this is that I have just edited this 3 times for typos :lol:

BTW interested in this thread because I am 20 miles from the Harwich to Hoek ferry and often thought of a bit of cycling in Holland.

Paul
Two wheels good, 4 wheels bad

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TrevA
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby TrevA » 11 Nov 2014, 6:55pm

Worth getting Bernie Friend's book "Cycling back to Happiness". He did the NSCR all the way to Oslo including some of the Dutch Islands.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
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mrjemm
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby mrjemm » 11 Nov 2014, 9:04pm

Are the ferries to/from the endpoints running now/then? And do they take cycles without cars? Both have been subject to cancellation or plans of IIRC.

buryman
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby buryman » 11 Nov 2014, 9:32pm


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foxyrider
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby foxyrider » 12 Nov 2014, 9:08pm

Dutch, German and Danish islands Peter!

hopefully there will be a new service to Esbjerg starting next spring - word is out1
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

martin113
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby martin113 » 12 Nov 2014, 9:59pm

I did the North Sea route from Zeebrugge to Delftzil a month ago and could practically write a book about it so rather than launch in, if you want to give me some pointers to what you want to know I'll try and answer the questions.

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Peter Molog
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby Peter Molog » 13 Nov 2014, 4:45am

Hopping the Dutch Wadden Isles:

Den Helder (mainland) to Texel
- every 1/2 hour;

Texel - Vlieland
- crossing partly by boat, partly by truck.
In high season twice a day, reservation (mail or phone) with bike needed (7 days before), rather expensive (€ 27,- including bike (2014)), but adventurous. Website (only Dutch)

Here a site with a complete overview of al the crossings (just in Dutch)

From every island you can go back to the mainland.
Have fun.
Peter

Please, excuse my English. I'm Dutch.

4wils
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby 4wils » 13 Nov 2014, 8:18am

The website for the Texel-Vlieland crossing is in Dutch but I had a very helpful response in English when I emailed about using the crossing with recumbent trikes.
We decided that it was a no go on our trikes, very disappointing as I was looking forward to that crossing.
We cycled over the Afsluitdijk instead. A lovely sunny day with a tail wind - easy riding, but the biting insects were a pest!

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foxyrider
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby foxyrider » 14 Nov 2014, 2:28pm

martin113 wrote:I did the North Sea route from Zeebrugge to Delftzil a month ago and could practically write a book about it so rather than launch in, if you want to give me some pointers to what you want to know I'll try and answer the questions.


foxyrider wrote:Has anyone got any particular recomendations for stuff to see, particular campsites/accomodation to use / avoid or route advice - all welcomed.


Is there a campsite i should avoid, a museum i must visit, a route best avoided? At this stage in the planning i've broken it up into daily chunks but done nothing much more. Should i camp on the islands or just visit during the day? when is the best time visit?

I find it strange that the Dutch sites have no other languages, but perhaps i'm spoilt by Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark! i know i can use google translate but thats hardly infallible!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

martin113
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby martin113 » 14 Nov 2014, 6:16pm

First off I did Zeeebrugge to Hook of Holland in two days and I would say it was the best bit of the trip. Fantastic coastline, beautiful beaches, woods, cycling along the tops of the dunes, and the dikes between the islands. Any way you can change your plans to take in Zealand I would recommend it.
From H van H I took an inland route to Delft and spent a couple of hours looking around there and then cycled to the YH in Den Haag. Next morning I spent in the Mauritshuis. If you like old masters and Dutch painting this is an absolute must see. A small intimate gallery but everything in it really superb. I stored the bike and bags in the YH and started cycling about 4 and went up to a campsite on the coast near Katwijk. Next day north and into Haarlem, nice town indeed and worth the detour. Stayed in a campsite on the outskirts and next morning went to the Frans Hals museum. Again it depends on your taste but I thought it was fantastic.
Top tip: every Dutch city of any size I went to had a guarded bike park, either next to the station or the town hall. Cycle straight into the city, take the bike to the guarded bike park, go off sight seeing in perfect confidence that your bike is safe. Brilliant!
All the campsites up to Den Helder were not very nice Eurocamp places, lots of chalets and static caravans, but they just happened to be where I felt like stopping. As it was early October they were very quiet but I wouldn't like to be there in the summer. Always go for the "natural" campsites, if you can: http://www.natuurkampeerterreinen.nl/en ... te-finder/
Camping bei de Boer are also simpler and quieter than the Eurocamp sites, but not as nice as the natural campsites: http://www.kamperenbijdeboer.nl/

The cycling up to Den Helder is through the beautiful dunes and pine woods but you don't see the sea unless you take a detour to see it. Into Den Helder and straight on to the boat for Texel. Texel is beautiful but it is big so you don't feel you're on an island. Off the boat I headed for the SW shoreline up to Oudeschilde. Fantastic ride along the sea wall, feet from the waves, Oudeschilde a pretty harbour with a good bike shop which sells a cool jersey with Texel written on it. I camped in Oosterend at a nice natural campsite, very quiet surrounded by woods, basic facilities but good, including washing machine and dryer, coin operated but dead cheap http://www.grietjeshoeve.com/nl/prijzen.htm. Nearby town of Oosterend pretty with a good food shop. Rode over to the NW shore the next day where the beaches and the resorts are, looked as if it could be busy in the high season.

Back to Den Helder and then over the Afsluitsdike. The woman on the ferry said I should be able to cross the dike in 2 hours. It took one hour at average speed 19.5 with a howling SW wind behind. Great fun, like being on a fairground ride. But if the wind is in the NE my advice is go back to bed and leave it till tomorrow. If you island hop from Texel to Vlieland you will miss that and I'm glad I didn't, the dike is an amazing sight. I crossed to Vlieland from Harlingen. Lovely place, simple and quiet and the natural campsite is Lange Paal, Long Pole, great campsite surrounded by woods, nice and simple, really quiet. Only 3 of us there but I think it really fills up in the summer, I would book. Worth taking time to cycle round Vlieland, lovely dunes on the NW coast and marshes with bird hides on the SE, great pine woods in between, always windy.
About island hopping: you need to plan this carefully. Some of the "fast ferries" don't take bikes, some of the ferries between the islands only run on certain days. If you have to go back to the mainland and out to the next island it will take the best part of a day and a lot of dosh. Those ferries are not cheap. So I missed going to Terschelling, which I bitterly regret. I found the website impossible to decipher so decided to just leave it till I got there, which was a mistake. My advice is ring them nearer the time. If the person who answers the phone can't give you the info in perfect English there will be someone next to them who can.
I went down to Holwerd and out to Ameland. Mistake. Ameland I found horrible. Busy, noisy, crowded even in October, though it was half term, and holiday makers take their own cars there. I got back off as soon as I could. All the campsites were massive chalet and static caravan parks and the real camper, namely me, was put in the kid's playground. There was nowhere to stay on Schermonikoog because of the time of the year but it is a nature reserve and cars aren't allowed. so I would definitely have a look. By the way there is a little municipal campsite at Ternard on the mainland as you travel east, just beyond Holwerd, small and simple and dead cheap. http://beta.eurocampings.co.uk/netherla ... rd-119640/

The NSCR down to Lauwersoog it all nice riding. Tip: wherever you are, if the NSCR is signed beside the dike and you can't see the sea to your left, check out the top of the dike to see if there is a bike path up there and ride on the top of the dike with the sea on one side and the land on the other, unless of course there is a howling gale, which was quite often for me. After Lauwersoog there is some very nice riding through woods and heaths and a nice natural campsite at Wehe den Hoorn: Camping Wilgenheerd, Havenstraat 3 ,9964 AN Wehe-den Hoorn. There is also Spar nearby but I can't remember where but it is the only shop for miles around.

After that campsite to Delftzil the NSCR did a stupid route miles from the coast and winding around all over the place so I eventually gave up on it and rode straight to Delftzil.
That's it. I also went to Groningen, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, all brilliant places, then got caught in the hurricane and took a train back to Den Haag and had a second visit to the Mauritshuis, that's how much I rated it. Rode down the bit of the NSCR I missed first time, Den Haag to H van H. The NSCR through Scheveningen was a completely mad route and without a gps I would still be there trying to find my way out. My advice is pick up a main road and get straight through. Remember that nearly all main roads have separate cycle tracks anyway. And the coast from Scheveningen to H van H was not much to write home about so I think I was right to go up through Delft rather than follow the NSCR.
I loved cycling in the Netherlands. The landscape is not boring as lots of people try to tell us, I found it stunning, all that sky and clouds. The Dutch were great, always helpful and eager to chat. Just start talking in English to whoever is standing next to you, or even cycling next to you, which will be a lot of the time. The separate cycle tracks are a joy and the courtesy of motorists is just astonishing to a Brit. Have fun.

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foxyrider
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby foxyrider » 18 Nov 2014, 4:42pm

cheers for those insights - very useful :D
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

whizzzz
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Re: North Sea route - Rotterdam to Esbjerg

Postby whizzzz » 19 Nov 2014, 8:50am

Hi All, I am thinking about something similar next year as a first real trip, and am trying to work out how to join up the ferry trips from and to the UK, Being a novice I might end up doing more of a round trip back to the same port, but fancy doing something like Holland through to France ( using Harwich and Portsmouth or Dover and Portsmouth ).

But I do fancy taking in the islands rather a lot. The Riddle of the Sands ( but on a bike ).