On the banks of the Westerschelde in Zuid-Beveland lies the splendid village of Waarde, amid some country estates of note. Word has it that Waarde most likely grew up in the 13th century as a settlement close to the castle of the lordships of Waarde. The castle is no more, though a few remnants have been excavated. Agriculture and fruit cultivation have always been the main livelihood here, principally with apples and pears.
The village post-mill De Hoed has quite a story to tell, of a nomadic life before settling down here. It was first built in Gent around 1550. Then in 1858 it was re-built in Kruiningen. When the third-generation owner finally died, it lapsed into decline, in the 1950s. Decades later, in 1991, it arrived in Waarde. It still mills cereals and is run by volunteers. You can visit it on Saturdays, and otherwise by appointment.
The countryside is just metres away from the village, so it’s super for walks and bike rides. Why not get a route from the web shop, or put your own together, using the route hub system?
Standing on the estuary coast, twice a day, you’ll witness a silent (and chastening) re-enactment of the passage of time when the remains of the sunken village Valkenisse become visible. Until 1681, it had neighboured Waarde, but then it fell prey to a watery endgame. At ebb tide, you can see the remains of some dwellings, a refuge mound, a castle and the foundations of the once-proud church. In 2001, Valkenisse was declared a listed monument.