Hogeland or Hoogeland is a region in the north of the province of Groningen in the Netherlands. The borders of the historical Hogeland region are not well-defined, but generally it refers to the parts of the province north of the Reitdiep river and Damsterdiep canal, or simply north of Groningen city. In 2019, a new municipality named Het Hogeland was formed in this region, based on a merger of the old municipalities of De Marne, Winsum, Eemsmond and Bedum. This travel guide also includes the municipality of Loppersum.
The name Hogeland literally means 'High Land'. This refers to the relatively high elevation of the region, as a result of the alluvial deposits of clay from the Wadden Sea. 'High elevation' is very relative in this case, and must be considered in the context of the Netherlands, as the average elevation is only about 1 to 2 metres above sea level.
There are 11 tourist information offices and agencies in the Hogeland region. Some of them are listed below.
- 1 VVV Warffum (Tourist Information Warffum), Schoolstraat 4, Warffum (in Openluchtmuseum Het Hoogeland), ☏ . Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 13:00-17:00.
- 2 [dead link] VVV Bedum (Tourist Information Bedum), Kapelstraat 3, Bedum, ☏ . M-F 14:00-16:30, Tu W F 09:30-12:00.
- 3 VVV Infopunt Uithuizen (Tourist Information Uithuizen), Blink 9, Uithuizen (in Venema Bookstore), ☏ . M 13:00-17:30, Tu-Th 09:00-17:30, F 09:00-20:00, Sa 09:00-17:00.
There are several expressways and key trunk roads leading into the Hogeland region. From Groningen city, there are the N46 expressway to the Eemshaven port in the northeast (via among others Bedum, Middelstum and Roodeschool) and the N361 trunk road to the port of Lauwersoog in the northwest (via Winsum). An alternative way in to the eastern side of the Hogeland is the N33 expressway from Veendam via Appingedam/Delfzijl. To the western side of the Hogeland, there is the N388 trunk road providing a connection with the Westerkwartier region and Friesland province.
There are 11 railway stations in the Hogeland region, and all larger villages are connected to the railway network via two different railway lines that go north from Groningen city (one to Roodeschool in the Hogeland region, and one to Delfzijl). Both train services are operated by Arriva, and run twice per hour per direction.
- Groningen - Roodeschool via Sauwerd, Winsum, Baflo, Warffum, Usquert, Uithuizen, and Uithuizermeeden.
- Groningen - Delfzijl via Sauwerd, Bedum, Stedum, Loppersum, and Appingedam.
With a relatively dense railway network, to most larger villages in the Hogeland region, the train is a better option than taking a bus. However, to get to the smaller villages, or the outskirts of some of the villages, some bus routes may be useful. Bus route 50 is operated by Arriva, all other routes by Qbuzz.
- Bus route 50 (1x/hour): from Leeuwarden via Dokkum to Hogeland (Lauwersoog).
- Bus route 61 (1-2x/hour): from Groningen via Hogeland (Zuidwolde, Bedum, Middelstum, Usquert, Uithuizen, Uithuizermeeden, Roodeschool) to Delfzijl.
- Bus route 65 (1-2x/hour): from Groningen to Hogeland (Adorp, Wetsinge, Winsum, Mensingeweer, Eenrum, Wehe den Hoorn, Leens, Ulrum, Zoutkamp).
- Bus route 163 (only to connect to the ferry to Schiermonnikoog at Lauwersoog): from Groningen to Hogeland (Adorp, Wetsinge, Winsum, Ulrum, Lauwersoog).
Apart from bus route 50 providing a connection from Leeuwarden to Lauwersoog, from all other destinations in the Netherlands the easiest way to get to the Hogeland by public transport is to take a train to Groningen city, and connect there to the train or bus to the Hogeland.
There are ferry connections to and from the Hogeland with two of the Frisian Islands. There are usually 4 or 5 daily crossings between the 1 Port of Lauwersoog and the West Frisian Island of Schiermonnikoog. In addition, there are 2 or 3 daily crossings from the 2 Eemshaven port to the East Frisian Island of Borkum (Germany). Eemshaven got railway service in March 2018 making it convenient to reach both via Borkum and from the Netherlands.
Within the villages and for short distances using a bicycle is recommended. In many cases separate cycle paths are available, and all villages are clearly signposted with dedicated signposts for cyclists. The fastest way to travel between villages and towns that are farther apart, however, is by car.
To get around in the Hogeland region by public transport, the two railway lines as mentioned above can be used to travel between the towns and larger villages (to transfer from the one railway to the other, you will need to change at Sauwerd railway station). Also bus routes 61 and 65 (see above), and bus route 68 (Winsum-Baflo-Pieterburen-Kloosterburen-Leens) can be used for travelling within the region.
- 1 Menkemaborg, Menkemaweg 2, Uithuizen. Mar–Sep: Tu-Su 10:00-17:00, Oct-Dec: Tu-Su 10:00-16:00. This historic, brick mansion still boasts lovely gardens, moats and promenades. It's one of the best examples of its kind in the country and gives a great insight in the life of the inhabitants of a Groningen 'borg' in the 18th century. Adults €6.
- 2 Verhildersum (Landgoed & Borg Verhildersum Leens), Wierde 40, Leens, ☏ . Apr-Oct: Tu-Su 10:30-17:00. 14th-century 'borg' (manor house) with large gardens with a carriage house, a farmhouse, and a garden shed. The borg houses a museum decorated in 19th-century style, and various expositions and events are organised throughout the year. Adults €6.
- 3 [formerly dead link] Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen (seal sanctuary), Hoofdstraat 94a, Pieterburen, ☏ . Daily 10:00-17:00. The Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre is the main attraction in Pieterburen. It has a small visitors centre and of course you can watch the seals that reside there. This is a rescue centre, not a zoo, so the number of seals varies. Adults €7.50, children €5.
- 4 Jacobus de Meerderekerk (James the Greater Church), Hoofdstraat Oost 2, Uithuizen. The oldest neo-Gothic church of Groningen (1860).
- 5 Walfriduskerk (St. Walfridus Church), Plantsoen 2, Bedum. 11th-century church with a Romanesque style clock tower that is leaning more than the tower of Pisa.
- 6 Windmill 'De Vier Winden', Hoofdstraat 150, Pieterburen. Open for the public every Sunday in uneven weeks 10:00-16:00 (until 17:00 in Summer). Windmill 'De Vier Winden' (The Four Winds) is an old windmill that can still be used, built in 1864.
- 7 Windmill 'De Goliath', Goliath’s pad 1-3, Eemshaven. Sat/Sun 13:30-17:00. Relatively large polder windmill, used for drainage of reclaimed land. The traditional windmill is surrounded by a large number of huge modern wind turbines.
- Go mudflat hiking. Pieterburen is a starting place for guided mud walks on the bottom of the Wadden Sea, at low tide.
- If you enjoy hiking, set out on the most popular Dutch long distance walking route, the Pieterpad. It starts right here at Hotel Waddenweelde in Pieterburen and runs all the way south to the Sint-Pietersberg in Maastricht. The first stage runs from Pieterburen to Winsum.
- The walking and cycling trail, Jacobspad, starts right here in Uithuizen. This route runs from church to church, all the way to Santiago de Compostella in Spain. Dutch cities on the route are Groningen, Deventer, Nijmegen and Maastricht.
- 1 't Schathoes. Good quality restaurant located in the Menkemaborg. It also offers arrangements for lunch or diner including a visit to the borg and its gardens.
- 2 Azzurra, Hoofdstraat West 2, Uithuizen. The town's Italian restaurant gets rather good reviews, especially for its pizzas.
- 3 Rose Garden, Schoolstraat 1, Uithuizen. Chinese restaurant.
- Bij de Buren van Pieter, Hoofdstraat 82, Pieterburen, ☏ . Pizzeria and mixed grill. Nice terrace. Pizza €6.50-15.50.
- Waddengenot, Hoofdstraat 93, Pieterburen, ☏ . Excellent fish menu. Same owner as the pizzeria.
While accommodations in Appingedam, Delfzijl, or Groningen city are good bases for day trips in the Hogeland region, there are also various hotels and other accommodations in the Hogeland region itself.
- 1 Hotel Het Gemeentehuis (Hotel Uithuizen), Hoofdstraat Oost 16, Uithuizen, ☏ . Fully renovated after a fire in 1996, this historic building is now a comfortable hotel and restaurant. €85 for a double room including breakfast.
- 2 Hotel 't Gemeentehuis (Hotel Bedum), Grotestraat 2, Bedum (along the canal in the town centre), ☏ . Former town hall of Bedum, right in the town centre. €79.50 for a double room.
- 3 Hotel Waddenweelde, Hoofdstraat 84, Pieterburen, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. In hotel Waddenweelde you will spend the night in a historical building in the centre of the village. From €75 per night for a double room.
- 4 Hotel Ekamper, Radsweg 12, Oosteinde (Roodeschool), ☏ . The northernmost hotel of mainland Netherlands. Near the Eemshaven port. €70 for a single room, €85 for a double room.
- 5 Hotel Spoorzicht, Molenweg 11, Loppersum (2 minutes walking distance from Loppersum railway station), ☏ . Hotel with restaurant and spa facilities From €79 per night for a double room.
- Frisian Islands — Hop on a ferry to one of the Frisian Islands. You can go to the East Frisian (German) island of Borkum from the port of Eemshaven, or the West Frisian (Dutch) island of Schiermonnikoog from the port of Lauwersoog.
- Appingedam — Charming town with many medieval buildings in the centre.
|Routes through Hogeland|
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