? Route by bike
In Amsterdam there are many forts spread by the city. They are part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam (in Dutch named Stelling van Amsterdam) and are protected by UNESCO. These forts weren’t very important, haven’t been used in combat service but they would have became a great idea in case the aeroplanes and the tanks weren’t invented. This route go along some forts and besides, it has a genuine medieval castle, The Muiderslot, which is part of the defence line of Amsterdam and protected the country against water. As you can see, the route is very interesting historically and you can visit some of these places.
During the route you’ll find 4 forts and the castle:
➧ Fort aan de Ossenmarkt (in Weesp)
➧ Muizenfort (in Muiden) – It was a museum but last year it was closed.
➧ Muiderslot Castle (in Muiden) – You can visit the castle, check on Muiderslot official website (if you have the Museumcard the entrance fee is free)
➧ Fort Westbatterij (in Muiden)
➧ Fort Uitermeer (in Weesp)
And if this weren’t enough, other attraction close to Muiderslot Castle is Forteiland Pampus. This island is part of defence line of Amsterdam as well. That isn’t included in the route by bike but you can plan the visit from Muiden easily. You only check Pampus Fort Eiland (official website).
What you’ll see during the route, besides of the defence line, is the Mirror Lake and the Tafelberg moorlands, a beautiful landscape to photograph and, if the weather is good, to swim in the lake. In fact, the lake has small but lovely beaches.
? Route Information: Fietsen langs oude Hollandse forten (the fort Westbatterij is not included)
In the next section you can find the complete route I’ve explained (4 forts and castle).
An important thing: there are works in the highway, so when you arrive to this part of the route maybe you will feel confused, you only cross the bridge above the highway and follow the trail.
I suggest to start the route in Weesp station and visit the castle at the beginning (check the opening hours here), that means following the trail in a clockwise direction.
? The easiest way to get to Weesp is by train. Google maps can provide you with timetables or you can check also the local public transport site.
➤ How to do the route?
First, you need a mobile application or a Garmin device to display the route. Normally, I use Garmin but you can download a mobile application or use the application of the website route.nl. If you have a device, you know what to do, only choose the file gpx below and download it. Otherwise, you have two options depending on the route you choose:
- Route of website route.nl: Fietsen langs oude Hollandse forten.
First, you download the application of route.nl.
Then, you open in the application (click on ‘Open in app’ with your mobile) on this url or search the track name.
- My customized route (including the fort Westbatterij): Biking along forts and the Muiderslot Castle (1.3km more).
First, you need a mobile application with offline maps like OsmAnd.
Then, you choose and install the app in your phone and open the gpx file.
Now the most important thing: the bike. I rented a bike in the Weesp Station, an OV-fiets (€3’5 , you need a personal chipkaart to rent it). If you can’t rent those bikes, don’t worry there are also normal bikes available (€7’5 + €50 deposit). Another option is taking your own bike with you (only off-peak hour), the price for carrying a bike in the train is €6.
➤ My experience
I always prepare the routes myself and I choose trails around 30 km. I think is a good distance, you exercise enough without getting tired ?. This route is 32 km and, although I knew about the forts and the castle, was a surprise to me because of the lakes and the beaches. Two quiet places in the middle of nowhere. The lake’s water was so great! Too bad I missed my bikini ?. We were lucky and the weather was good. We saw many bikes during the route, I guess because it is very close to Amsterdam, only 18 minutes by train!
About the castle, an important thing to know is that the rooms can be visited by guided tour so you should ask at the ticket office the starting time and the meeting point.
At the end of the day, before leaving the bikes in the station, we went for a walk by the centre of Weesp, we saw the canals and the church. After that we took a snack while a floating house went up river ?.
➽ More activities in the Netherlands on Extra Netherlands.
Any contribution or question is welcome, please write a comment!