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Amsterdam to 's-Hertogenbosch – Pilgrims’ Path part 1

Jonas Weidner

Amsterdam to 's-Hertogenbosch – Pilgrims’ Path part 1

Hiking Collection by Pauline van der Waal

8-18

days

3-6 h

/ day

134 mi

1,150 ft

1,125 ft

Throughout history, pilgrims have walked in many places around the world. You could walk to Santiago de Compostela or Lourdes, but you can also go on a pilgrimage in your own country. Even if you are not catholic, you can follow this pilgrim’s route for its beautiful countryside and typical Dutch polder landscapes.

The Pilgrims’ Path part 1 – also known as the Long-Distance Walk or LAW 7-1 – takes you from the heart of Amsterdam to the heart of 's-Hertogenbosch. It’s called part 1, because there is, of course, a second part that runs from Den Bosch to Maastricht. If you like, you can also hike a little further across the border to Visé in Belgium. But, more about that later, for now you are following the road of part 1.

The first stage starts at Amsterdam’s Central Station, near the place where the Miracle of Amsterdam took place. In 1345, a man was deathly ill and he received Holy Communion. Soon afterward, he vomited, and his sick, including the Host, was thrown into the fire. The next day, everything had burned except for the host. It might be a stomach-churning story, but Amsterdammers saw it as God’s hand. On 20th March, this miracle is still celebrated every year in the Stille Omgang.

During the first stage, you leave the city behind and walk through the Amsterdamse Bos park into the polders. Polders, meadows, mills, sheep and cows, rivers, ponds and other water – you encounter a huge range of nature during the 12 stages of the Pilgrim’s Path.

You walk through the Green Heart of Holland, stereotypical Dutch landscapes, where the churches are Protestant rather than Catholic. But isn’t the divine found just as much in nature? If you enjoy quiet stretches through the countryside, then this walk is for you. You won’t encounter many built-up areas or large cities on the way. You follow the course of rivers, listen to the water and birdsong of meadow birds as they chirp and call. The sky is blue with fluffy clouds. You think of the words from the poem ‘Herinnering aan Holland’ by Hendrik Marsman: ‘Thinking of Holland, I see broad rivers…’

Towards the finish in Den Bosch (s’Hertogenbosch), you cross the Noord-Brabant border again. The penultimate stage takes you through the beautiful Loonse and Drunense Dunes for an entire day.

In Den Bosch, you finish at the station, but not before you have stopped at the Sint Jan cathedral. A miraculous image of Mary which is said to have performed several miracles is located in the church. This is a place that should not be missed on your pilgrimage.

As you can see, the Tour starts and finishes at train stations in Amsterdam and Den Bosch. Moreover, both cities have a strong link with miracles and pilgrimages. This is less the case with the other stages. If you don’t walk the whole route in one go then you should decide in advance how you’ll reach the starting location. More often than not, the stages don’t start or finish in a large town so it’s a good idea to book a B&B or campsite pitch in advance.

Along the way, in the villages and towns, you find cafés and terraces, but be sure to bring water and snacks. A packed lunch can help make sure you have plenty of energy.

On The Map

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Pelgrimspad deel 1 (LAW 7-1)

129 mi

1,125 ft

1,100 ft

Last updated: December 17, 2021

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Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:45
    11.6 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first leg of the Pilgrimspad, which runs from Amsterdam to ‘s-Hertogenbosch, starts at Amsterdam Central Station. After a few hundred meters you will come across the famous Oude Kerk. This beautiful old church is located in the Red Light District, in the middle of the Red Light District. Via the

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  • Intermediate
    03:12
    7.87 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The second stage of the Pelgrimspad starts on the south side of the Amsterdamse Bos. You walk from here into the Schinkelbos, where you can encounter Scottish Highlanders. When you have your dog with you, you walk along the Ringvaart via the dike. The Schinkelbos is off limits to dogs. After the forest

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  • Intermediate
    04:30
    11.1 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the starting point in the village of De Kwakel, in this third stage of the Pelgrimspad, you will already walk a few hundred meters against the Fort bij de Kwakel. This fort was built in the early twentieth century. The fort is part of the Defense Line of Amsterdam, the 135 kilometer long line of

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  • Intermediate
    04:06
    10.1 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage number four of the Pilgrimspad starts as Dutch as it gets. Shortly after leaving Aarlanderveen you pass successively four mills; the Putmolen, the Ondermolen, the Middenmolen and the Bovenmolen. This Molenviergang Aarlanderveen is unique in the world, because it is the only working windmill tunnel

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  • Intermediate
    04:45
    11.7 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This beautiful fifth stage of the Pilgrimspad literally takes you through the middle of the Reeuwijkse Plassen. You walk around the holiday park on the water and quickly follow the path along the water. Just a little further you come to a narrow footpath that runs right through the puddles, so you walk

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  • Intermediate
    04:02
    9.93 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    The sixth stage of the Pilgrimspad starts in Haastrecht. The route does not directly pass it, but you will see the Roman Catholic St. Barnabas Church shortly after departure. This church fits well with the pilgrimage route, although a bit further away is also the Reformed Church of Haastrecht. Via the

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  • Difficult
    07:11
    17.7 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Wet your chest, because stage number seven of the Pilgrim's Path is a tough one. No less than 27 kilometers through the Alblasserwaard is planned today. This makes this stage the longest of the entire Pilgrim's Path. Today you start in Groot-Ammers, directly on the river Lek. Soon you will follow the

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  • Difficult
    05:01
    12.4 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    75 ft
    Ferry
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    This eighth stage of the Pilgrimspad largely follows the course of the Nieuwe Merwede. Plan enough time for this walk, so that you have time to visit Gorinchem and Woudrichem or take a break.

    

    Before you get there, you start from the edge of Hardinxveld-Giessendam in the Alblasserwaard. You cross the Steenenhoek

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  • Intermediate
    04:41
    11.6 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Ready for the ninth stage of the Pilgrimspad? You start at the Wilhelminasluis in the Afgedamde Maas. Soon you turn left and walk via a forest path towards the Battery under Brakel, part of the New Dutch Waterline. A battery is a small defense work and the Battery under Brakel closed off the west of

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  • Intermediate
    04:50
    11.9 mi
    2.5 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    From the starting point in Nederhemert-Noord you walk towards the wooden mill Gebr. Remmerde, which you can see a little further on. As soon as you get to the mill, you can already see the ferry that will take you to the other side of the Afgedamde Maas. From here you walk on a piece of land called The

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  • Intermediate
    04:25
    10.8 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Loonse and Drunense Duinen are central in the eleventh stage of the Pilgrimspad. You depart from Drunen and follow the Afwateringskanaal until you come across a bridge and almost immediately enter the National Park.

    

    The Loonse and Drunense Duinen lie roughly in the triangle between Tilburg, Waalwijk

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  • Intermediate
    03:11
    7.79 mi
    2.4 mph
    125 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today this twelfth and last stage of part one of the Pilgrimspad takes you from the edge of the Drunense Duinen to the center of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. From the starting point you walk a few kilometers to the recreation area de IJzeren Man. When the weather is nice, be tempted to take a refreshing dip.

    

    Just

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    12
  • Distance
    134 mi
  • Duration
    54:40 h
  • Elevation
    1,150 ft1,125 ft

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Amsterdam to 's-Hertogenbosch – Pilgrims’ Path part 1

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