Hoedekenskerke

The village we call ‘Oetjeskerreke’, next to the Westerschelde, has ensconced itself in the splendid greenery of the Zak van Zuid-Beveland.

This small farming community once had a ferry port serving Antwerp and Terneuzen. A second harbour handled (bulk) farm produce and inputs, but no longer. The ferry port is silting up slowly, used for small yachts and recreational fishing craft. The old ferry waiting room is now a listed building on the marina forecourt.

The Koutermolen wind mill was built in 1874 on a small mound on what became the Molenstraat. Very much a working corn mill still, you can buy its Koutermolen flour when you visit. It’s open every Saturday, and any weekday when it is up and running. 

Indulge in some sweet, free nostalgia in ‘t Wienkeltje van Wullumpje, the wee shop of a lad known as wee Willem (1900-1980). Born out of wedlock (very non-PC), he was raised by his gran (and aunty) in this shop, before he became the grocer himself. True story. It’s now a living museum, with authentic insights in their lives less than a century ago (very 1930s) – the washhouse, scullery and outside ‘netty’ (WC) show how fast time flies. Oh, those syrup bottles, and jars and jars of sweets … buy some bags to take home, if they’ll keep that long.

Down past Wullumpje’s place, at the end of Kerkstraat, the choir of a 15th century church is all that’s left – the tower and nave collapsed in 1782.

Another must-see is Station Hoedekenskerke. Built to serve the tram to Goes, it’s now a stop on the (steam) Stoomtrein from Goes to Borsele (which runs in the summer season). Nice wide platform, 20 m long, between two lines. The driver might give an extra blast on the whistle if you offer him a sweet. The marina’s next door, the Pluimweide park playgrounds too, and the kids will spot the model railway before you do.