Network of footpaths 'Heart of Zeeland'
Zuid-Beveland walks, in the Heart of Zeeland
At he heart of Zeeland, on the cusp of land and sea, is the hub of walks around Goes and Kapelle. The waters of Oosterschelde and Westerschelde are ever nearby, with their stunning views. Behind the dikes: polders old and new, and the hale-and-hearty town of Goes, happily unfolding its streets as a welcoming carpet for you to explore on foot. Walking aficionados are spoilt for choice here – it’s all in the map of ‘Heart of Zeeland’ walks.
Trade treated Goes well and the town rapidly accumulated wealth and aplomb in equal measure. That history is still plentiful, in the stately buildings – monuments, on the Markt square – and quayside warehouses. Your town walk is sure to take in the very old town hall and the Great Mary or Magdalene Church. Chunks of the town ramparts are there for you to walk upon on – let’s go!
You can hardly see the orchards for all the trees around Kapelle. When in bloom, come May, they’re so, so worth a visit. Not for nothing is the town fondly called ‘the blossom of Zeeland’. The Fruit Route through Kapelle orchards is a must. The booklet hosts a harvest of info on fruit cultivation.
In Medieval times, castles and settlements – their ruins can still be viewed – surrounded the town. Suss ‘em all out in the ‘Castle Path’ booklet.
Near Kapelle, Hansweert and Wemeldinge, fierce battles were fought in the Second World War. The French fought hard, in vain hopes of liberating the Netherlands from the Germans’ grip. You can trace the path marched by the 271st Régiment d’Infanterie on 14th and 16th May 1940.
Schenge leftovers, plus panoramic polderamas
What is now land, in this province of land-by-the-sea, was often water, in old times. The former islands of Oud-Sabbinge and Wolphaartsdijk are prime examples of making land from the sea: surrounding areas were made into polders, like skirts dancing around the waists of the villages. Polders from that age are generally small, with dikes at snug intervals and loads of water around. Much of the water is left over from the Schenge inlet. About Wilhelminadorp parts, the polders are less mature, offering good long views and a more substantial size. You’ll find out more on the ‘Kiekendiekfpad’ map.
Oosterschelde National Park
This nature reserve is a veritable bounty of animal and plant life. Under water: Oosterschelde lobster, water anemones and sepias (aka cuttlefish), not to mention scores of migratory birds and water fowl loitering at the water’s edge. The latter two are, well, obviously, a snap to spot, for walkers and birdwatchers. Some are seasonal (overwintering), others permanent residents. Hey, and let’s not forget the seals and porpoises who often pop in to say hello around here.
Trade is the lifeblood of this watery artery. Vlissingen, Terneuzen and Antwerp harbours all depend on the Westerschelde. Zuid-Beveland-side, a smorgasbord of inlays, mudflats and the like, topped off with endless vistas of the stream of water, of ships, to and fro.
Curiously gorgeous old farms and homes make Kloetingen tick. Why not spoil your feet with a Kloetinge footpath? The Hohopad booklet describes all three.
Buy your map of walks online
There’s no need to brave the weather to get your map of walks: simply order the ‘Heart of Zeeland’ map in our web store. As the saying goes, let your fingers do the walking.
Access to private land
It is prohibited to access private land with dogs, horses, bicycles, scooters and motorbikes. Dogs might infect the livestock with disease, so some parts of the route are closed to dogs. The route map will clearly mark this – a red dot with an arrow – and will show the alternate path for you to take, over the regular road.
For your own personal safety, it is essential to keep a sensible distance from cattle. Do not feed them, ever. Horses in particular are bound to become very intimidating if you feed them. The footpath may be closed temporarily for maintenance or hunting. The land owner will have marked this on the route signposts, so that you can choose an alternative.
If we comply with these rules, we shall all be able keep using these private grounds in the future.