No detour in which you traverse so many phases in history as that of Sas van Gent. From the construction of the lock ("sas") and the digging of the Sassevaart (the predecessor of the current canal) in the sixteenth century and the development of the fortified town in the seventeenth century. Until the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century and the repurposing of industrial and ecclesiastical heritage now. Sas van Gent keeps up with the times.
The port of Philippine was very busy at the beginning of the twentieth century. Men, women and children were waiting for the crew who returned from the mussel catch. In 2020, the port has disappeared, but the Zeeland mussels remained.
A lot of animals around Zuiddorpe. The Rat, the Mouse, Sheep (dyke) and Bonte cow are just some of the animals you can encounter there. After the occupation by the Spanish, the inhabitants made short work of the Spanish (Catholic) names of streets and neighborhoods. Fort Sint-Jan became De Ratte and Fort Sint Marcus, de Muis.
In Terneuzen, the water is always close by. The discharge channel, the Otheense creek, the channels in the nature reserve Margarethapolder and the Westerschelde, you will all pass or cross it. The area fought against the water for centuries.
Hills in Zeelandic Flanders? Hell yes. The Molenberg is located in Biervliet. The height difference with the surrounding polders, excavated peat soils, is no less than six meters. Old maps show the Old City on an island.
Sluiskil is inextricably linked to activity. From the very beginning, with the construction of a lock (sluis) in 1648 in the kil (channel). The village owes its name and existence to it. Thanks to a port and ferry service, Sluiskil started to grow. But the activity did not only bring prosperity: part of Sluiskil had to disappear when the canal was widened and Sluiskil lost his heart. During the walk around Sluiskil peace and quiet predominates and activity is usually hard to find. In the distance you can only see the wind turbines and blue sugar silos. Only almost at the end, with a view of the car traffic and the swing bridge, is the activity back. Then you are in a charming nature reserve, the Sluiskil tunnel turns out to be deep underground. Talk about a changing landscape.
Hoek was in a different place in the twelfth century than it is now. The village has even moved twice. Vremdijcke, as Hoek was still called at the time, was rebuilt after the breakthrough of the Braakman in 1488. That village also drowned. The inhabitants built a church and a mill on the corner of two dikes. And the current Hoek was born.
During this walk you will get to know the historic town of Veere and the green, water-rich environment. First you walk along the towpath next to the channel 'Kanaal door Walcheren' in the direction of the 'Oude Veerseweg' nature reserve. Here you follow the banks of the 'Veerse Watergang' and the 'Botjeszeekreek'. Via the forest of Veere and the 'Veerse Kreek' you arrive at the 'Veerse Meer' dike. Before you reach the town again, you walk under the fortress wall wich was build by Napoleon Bonaparte. The marina and the cozy streets with the historic buildings invite you to stroll through the town and enjoy a terrace before heading back to the starting point.
The detour around Zandstraat is a succession of dykes with poplars, grass paths, gravel roads and fields. Yet the walking route around the village between Sas van Gent and Philippine is far from boring.
This walk starts at the nature reserve De Grote Putting, one of the few real old-land areas that Zeeland still has. In the village of Kuitaart you pass the corn mill Vogelzicht from 1865 and then you walk along the nature reserve De Vogel. Hengstdijk is located on a twelfth-century dike and has been embanked by Flemish monks, once it had an open connection with the river Westerschelde.
Westdorpe, modern activity in a changing landscape. Had the residents not fought so fiercely in the 1970s, Canisvliet would probably have been absorbed by industry by now and Westdorpe would not have had such a nice walk.
Zeeland Flanders may have few forests, but there is a lot of forest around Axel. The forest path already starts in the residential area. The detour goes straight through forest, past well-filled fields and along water. In fact, a lot of water.
The ramparts of Retranchement, built according to the Old Dutch fortification system, forms a nature reserve that connects many landscape elements, such as dikes, meadows, hedges and trees. Remains of the "Oranje" and "Nassau" forts can still be found there. The walk starts on these ramparts in the center of this small village in Zeeland.