🚴 Route By Bike
During the route, you’ll discover part of the Netherlands history. Principally it’s about Second World War. You’ll get into the Atlantic Wall of IJmuiden which is formed by many bunkers built by the Nazis to protect themselves against a potential attack along the Atlantic coastal. Besides, you can visit the Bunker Museum, where you can enter some bunkers and see personal belongings, guns and other things of the period. It’s weird to go all over the museum and the Atlantic Wall like you are walking in a park: you remember all what happened, and you get a feeling of sadness and even horror. Anyway, if we don’t want that to happen again, we should know the history, and the best way is first-hand.
On the way, there is an another historical place which is a must-visit: the Ruins of Brederode Castle. It’s very genuine, and you can climb the tower and see the views from the top.
On this post, I’m going to explain all you need to know to do the route: links with important information, the GPX route to download, photos, a map and the description of the route.
🔗 Essential Information:
Bunker Museum, Stichting WN2000 – IJmuiden – the opening times, tours (2 hours or 45 minutes duration) and more. If you want to know more about the tours, you can get in contact with them by email.
Ruine van Brederode – Santpoort – the opening times, information about the castle and other routes.
Bunkerroute, Tourism of IJmuiden – There is a pdf file with a route along several bunkers and other military places (I think it is the same route as the 2-hours one the museum offers, but I’m not sure). The biking route I suggest goes along this way as well.
🔗 More Information: There are many websites with useful information about the Atlantic Wall, and other places to visit. I’ll tell you some pages I checked so you can investigate more if you want.
Atlantik Wall Platform // Atlantik Wall Platform, IJmuiden – Information about the Atlantic Wall.
Wikimapia.org (Categories ➜ military, area of Velsen) – Map where you can find several military sites if you select the military category. All the red points are bunkers or similar structures. This map is made by the users.
BunkerSite, Netherlands // BunkerSite, Festung IJmuiden – Photos and information of the bunkers.
Forteiland IJmuiden – Close to the Bunker Museum there is a Fort. It’s opened a few days a month for visits (check it on the website). This page is in Dutch but you can translate with the browser’s tools.
➽ Description of the route
The route is 20 km. We started the route at Santpoort Zuid Station. Our first stop was The Brederode Castle.
Then we went to the Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland. We left our bikes on the way and went on foot to see a bunker, a tobruk, walzkörpersperre and part of the anti tank ditch; all of them are abandoned. But, what are these constructions? The next links explain more: Bunker Wn92 1 R676, Walzkörpersperre and tobruk (the photos of this tobruk don’t show what I saw, they may be examples).
It’s possible to get into the tobruk (you need to crouch, and a flashlight inside) and go out for another ‘hidden door’:
When we were going through the national park a group of horses surprised us! This park is amazing, we’ve been there before and we loved it, you can read more about the park on the dedicated post: Awesome full of life forest – National Park Zuid-Kennemerland.
We continued the way to the Bunker Museum. About 1 km before the museum there is another important place: Torpedo Storage Bunker 77. Nowadays, it is used as a building for rock musicians to practice. Finally, we arrived at the museum. After visiting it, we did the 45 minutes tour with a great guide who explained us in English 😀 (and obviously in Dutch) several interesting curiosities about the Atlantic Wall.
After the tour, we took the bikes again and carried on the route. The next part was the Bunkerroute which is described on the IJmuiden’s web of tourism. In fact, there is a pdf with a lot of information about this part. I recommend to print this information and follow it so you won’t lose anything. It’s important to know that the way isn’t a bike path, there are little stones and sand. It’s possible to go by bike, but we took a walk on the greater part of that path to see the bunkers.
Many of the bunkers are filled with sand but we were able to enter to 3 or 4 of them and explore inside:
At the end of the Bunkerroute, we arrived at the bike path again. We tried to see other points: Anti Tank Wall Wn85, Anti Tank Barrier Wn85, Emplacement Wn85, Bunker Wn85 and Tobruk Wn85. I marked these points on the route but we couldn’t see them because we didn’t find the way to reach them. Maybe you could be luckier. This was the last thing we did before returning to the Driehuis Station to go back home.
Extras: There are more places around IJmuiden like the Forteiland (I’ve already mentioned it on More Information) and other tobruks and bunkers in the area that you can search on Wikimapia.
➽ How to do the route?
On the next map, you can observe the complete route and all the waypoints we saw (and also what we didn’t see). Take a look at the map to know where each place is. Besides, there is more information if you click on the icons.
The blue way is the final route we did and the red one was the one I planned along an official bike path. Both are equal except for 1’5 km. That different piece is the Bunker Route (formed by many points). It is located near the Bunker Museum (the brown area).
The black icons are the waypoints we couldn’t see. Besides, we skipped two places (green color), for that reason I suggest you to follow the pdf.
Click on the next link to download the route we did, this includes all the mentioned points. Keep in mind that on the map you see different colors and icons but on your phone app these characteristics are unavailable. In your phone, points only have one color and one icon.
Route GPX: Ruins of Brederode Castle and the Atlantic Wall.
How do you use the GPX on your mobile phone?
First, you need an offline map app which allows the GPX format. I use OsmAnd. The app hasn’t maps so you should download the map of The Netherlands following its options. Next, you open the file with the app (you can send it by email and when you open it, the app will appear). You should check that you can see the route with your device. Now, you’re ready to use the phone as GPS (and with no Internet)!
Now, the last important thing: the bike. We took our bike from home but if you want to rent there are two options:
1. Renting an Ov-fiets at Santpoort Station. If you don’t have a personal chipkaart you can’t rent these bikes. Besides, there are only 8 bikes available so maybe the option 2 could be better.
2. Renting a regular bike at Rijwielhuys Santpoort. It’s a shop where you can rent bikes (check the opening times), but you should get off the train at the Santpoort Noord instead of Santpoort Zuid and start the route from there. I’ve indicated the shop on the map as well.
I don’t know if there is another place to rent a bike close to these train stops. If you know another near place, please tell me and I’ll add that to this post, thanks!
➽ More activities in the Netherlands on Extra Netherlands.
Any contribution or question is welcome, please write a comment!