Baarland, something of a secret Zuid-Beveland treasure, is a tidy village, tucked away between the verdant polders. Size doesn’t matter, not to the holiday makers who come here. The waterside location – the Westerschelde is just beyond the dike – draws many a camper to the big Scheldeoord Camping site.
The flowered dikes of Zuid-Beveland are everywhere around Baarland, which has a 14th century Dutch-Reformed (‘Nederlands-Hervormd’) church in its centre, with the typical ring-shaped layout of the village around it. There is an ancient cattle well, too, a so-called vaete.
Archaeology lovers, beware: there is an excavated and restored castle to be admired, the old Hellenburg castle, built circa 1300. It was ravaged by the huge springtide of 1477, though was clearly an imposing building once, with its stone keep and outer castle.
The small village train station, once part of the tramline between Goes and Hoedenskerke, now services the Goes-Borsele steam train. All aboard! Let’s have a steam-powered historical day out, from Goes to Baarland. There are other villages to enjoy on the way there.
Sandy shores can be found just outside the dike, where the Baarland beach is appealing to tourists and locals alike, come summer. Spread out your towel and let your eyes take in the never-ending wonder of the Westerschelde. The same view can be savoured, with luscious food on the side, at Brasserie De Landing.
A memorial for the Second World War stands proudly on the sea dike, for Baarland was the very spot where allied forces landed, when they liberated Zuid-Beveland.