Welcome to Heemskerk
We hope you enjoy your stay in our municipality. Originally a small market gardening village, Heemskerk now numbers 39,000 inhabitants. It is an attractive town with much to offer visitors.
Heemskerk is first recorded in a document dating from 860, although it was already inhabited in pre-historic times. Those with a love of history can indulge themselves in mediaeval castles, ancient churches and other monuments. The Heemskerk dunes are a paradise for both walkers and cyclists. The Marquette estate, the numerous meadows, and a belt of parks and ponds make Heemskerk a green heart in the northern Randstad. And all this is but a fifteen minute train ride from Alkmaar and Haarlem and less than half an hour from Amsterdam Central station.
At Heemskerk the 5,300 hectares of the North-Holland Dune Reserve is at least five kilometres wide. The vegetation in the dunes is attractive and varied, and the fauna profits from the fact that the reserve is a designated sanctuary. The beach can only be reached by bicycle (fifteen minutes) or on foot (one hour). With its well-stocked beach café it offers all that you can wish for from the North Sea coast, while remaining an oasis of peace and quiet. During the swimming season the rescue team’s post is constantly manned. It is not surprising then, that Heemskerk is also referred to as 'Heemskerk on Sea'.
Those looking for leisure activities other than walking, cycling and swimming, have a varied choice. From midget golf to 18-hole golf, from skiing to archery and from horse riding to tennis: Heemskerk has it all. Those with energy to spare at the end of the day can go to the cinema, the theatre (in season), a jazz or a pop concert, or enjoy a meal at a restaurant in any price category. Check out the AB-Sea of Heemskerk. Half the fun is in the preparation!
What has a walk through Heemskerk to offer? Plenty! Heemskerk prides itself on being a green, peaceful and attractive village. Those discovering it on foot will agree that this is no exaggeration.
The route described here is a varied trail along historic buildings and works of art, it crosses an ancient country estate, takes you through parks and around ponds. For a large part of the route you will be walking on asphalted or non-asphalted pathways, and slightly less frequently on pavements.
The route is signposted, although if you miss a sign, this description should help you on your way. The text mainly focuses upon the places and objects of interest along the route. At the crossroads, described under number 16, you have the option of continuing along the main 13-kilometre route, or of following a route that is three kilometres shorter. The longer route will take an experienced walker about two and a half hours, the shorter version about two hours. But you can of course start and end the route at any given place. Each part of the route is definitely worth walking.
The cycle route follows the historic boundaries of the municipality. It is quite literally a cycle ride 'around Heemskerk'. It is an interesting and varied cycle ride over dikes and through dunes, passed agricultural land, meadows and water; you will also see houses and castles: Heemskerk at its best.