RECREATION

 

Picture: walking in the polders  

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Recreational facilities in Damme

Damme is ideal for soft recreation: cycling, walking, a boat trip...  Or would you rather enjoy a sunny terrace, searching for that one special book in one of the bookstores or visit the weekly market?  Below is just a grasp out of the offer (more info is always available in the tourist office). 


 Damme
 Den Hoorn
 Hoeke
 Lapscheure
 Moerkerke
 Oostkerke
 Sijsele
 Vivenkapelle

 

 

 

Ferry "Kobus"

Cross the canal (Damse Vaart) yourself on a little self-service ferry called Kobus.  This little boat is suited for walkers and cyclists.  You will find it at the end of the "Moordenaarsstraatje" in Lapscheure.  Have fun!

Touristic trip to Bruges with "Lamme Goedzak"

"Lamme Goedzak" is a paddle boat navigating between Bruges and Damme.  It sails normally only from April till end of September on the historic canal "Damse Vaart".  Exceptions are possible in case of special reservations for groups.  Departure from Damme (5 times a day): 9h15, 11h, 13h, 15h and 17h20.  Reservation is possible at the tourist office.  Picture: John Maenhout .

Damme book village - Damme book market

Each second Sunday of the month there is book market in the centre of Damme.  On other days there are also other activities around the theme of books.  Damme is a book village and you can find several book store at walking distance from each other.  On top of that there are regularly special events around books. 

Cheese market / Festival of regional products "Damme Culinair"

Unfortunately the popular cheese market is no longer organized.   In replacement came the festival of regional products in cooperation with the Flemish Gastronomical Association, but at the festival there still is plenty of attention towards dairy products.  Defenitely a fun afternoon for all those who like to eat and drink. 

Rural village feast in Vivenkapelle

Each year in mid August, the clock is turned back in time for the fural feast in Vivenkapelle.  Crafts from our grandparents' time are presented: blacksmith, corn threshing, woodworking,...  Farmyard animals cannot be absent: goats, sheep, chickens, mules, draft-horses...  There also is an annual plowing contest for oldtimer tractors.

Walking and cycling in the Damse polders (bike rental: see info page)

The polders around Damme are excellent territory for the sporty nature lover.  Various touristic routes cross the area such as the "Maerlantroute", the "Smokkelroute", the "Uilenspiegelroute" and the "Riante Polderroute".  The newest one is the "Chapelroute".  The "Maerlantroute" takes you to Damme, Sluis, Aardenburg and Middelburg.  The "Smokkelroute" reminds us of the smuggling that went on at the border area.  It will not come as a surprise that this route swings back and forth over the belgian-dutch border and this as far as Sint-Laureins and Sint-Margriete.

If marked routes are not really your thing, here's a few tips.  A short stroll on the historic ramparts of Damme gives you a good idea on how the town defenses looked like in the 17th century; at the same time you see a beautiful piece of nature.  A walk in the nature reserve is possible too, but only with a guide.  If you want to watch birds at the turn of the seasons, then you should check out the Romboutswervedijk.  This dike is situated just outside the centre of town.  If you prefer a woody area, then the domain of Ryckevelde is the place to be.  The old trainroute from Bruges to Maldegem (via Sijsele) is nowadays transformed into a peaceful walking and cycling route.  Often forgotten, but defenitely worth your while, is the creek area around Lapscheure: calm and rural. 

Other nice roads for a small ride are the Zuiddijk between Moerkerke and Damme, the Krinkeldijk between Oostkerke and Hoeke, the Polderstraat, the cycle path next to the Damse Vaart and the Schipdonkkanaal.
If you like an excursion on horse, there are several possibilities.  There is a riding-school next to the Damse Vaart, one next to the Schipdonkkanall and one in the Legeweg.

Hendrik De Leyn - www.damme-online.com