Extensive countryside - and no fewer than four National Parks - sheltered forests, colourful heathlands, rural and urban areas: it's really wonderful walking in the varied landscape of North Brabant. Everything is close by, with excellent facilities and a very complete and well-maintained walking network. We'd like to make it as easy as possible for you. Plan your own route or be inspired by one of our themed walks.
Walking route Zuiderwaterlinie
Discover the story of the Zuiderwaterlinie (southern water defense line). Get to know 11 fortified towns in Brabant and the lands surrounding them, and learn about the water defense system that binds them.
The Zuiderwaterlinie is the oldest, longest and most widely used of all Dutch water defense lines. It spans all the way from the historic town of Bergen op Zoom (with no fewer than 800 monuments!) to the town of Grave. Where once soldiers stood at attention, you will now find Brabant hospitality against the backdrop of a rich history. Enjoy the picturesque fortified towns, visit the sturdy forts and savour the beautiful countryside.
The Zuiderwaterlinie footpath has been marked out using the Brabant numbered junction system. The walking route is recognisable by the green and yellow signposts with the Zuiderwaterlinie symbol. The total length of the footpath in North Brabant is 290 kilometres, but you can also choose to walk shorter partial routes. Suggestions for shorter routes can be found in the Zuiderwaterlinie walking guide. Or map out your own route using the maps in the guide, on which all the junction numbers are visible. Order the Zuiderwaterlinie walking guide here.
Top Scenic Routes
Walking route Oisterwijk Forests & Fens
The Oisterwijk Forests & Fens (Oisterwijkse Bossen & Vennen) are special, soothing and inspiring all year round. Discover the beauty of one of the Netherlands' most unique natural landscapes. A landscape that boasts no fewer than 80 meres! Spot kingfishers, deer and roe deer, or head to the meres and ditches and discover a wide variety of insects and water creatures. A lovely, fairy-tale-like atmosphere.
And Oisterwijk itself is also well worth a visit. With its exclusive boutiques in a verdant and monumental setting, it is one of the most appealing places to shop in the Heart of Brabant. Stroll along De Lind, the high street in the centre of Oisterwijk, or settle down on one of the many pavement cafes. Be sure to visit the site of Leerfabriek KVL, next to the railway tracks. This old leather factory is a beautiful piece of heritage that now houses all kinds of companies, such as the internationally renowned ceramics workshop Sundaymorning@ekwc which hosts a unique exhibition and offers guided tours. Don't forget to buy something delicious from By Robèrt, owned by Master Patissier and Master Boulanger Robèrt van Beckhoven. Or enjoy lunch or dinner at Keuken van Leer. Children will feel right at home in the mini bakery!
The route is 10 km long. If you are coming by car, you can park next to Natuurpoort Groot Speijck.
Walking route Cartierheide
Discover the wild heathland of the beautiful Cartierheide in the middle of hiking paradise De Kempen, southwest of Eersel and close to Eindhoven. Formed by the centuries-old traditions of smallholder farmers and shepherds, who let their cattle graze on the heath.
The quiet footpaths were shaped by hawkers, who came to sell their merchandise. Amidst the history and footpaths you will find streams and lakes which house wildlife such as salamanders and snakes. If possible, take a walk at dusk on a summer's evening, then you'll have the best chance of spotting a wild roe deer.
The route is 6.5 km long. If you are coming by car, you can park next to Natuurpoort TerSpegelt.
Walking route Mastbos Breda
An ideal walk for the whole family, because along the way you will pass a real castle, and a play forest where the children can have a great time. The centuries-old Mastbos, one of the oldest coniferous forests in the Netherlands, sets a magical scene.
Surrounded by 500-year-old trees, you can quietly enjoy the rays of sun that filter through the leaves. The walking route takes you along the river Mark in the Mark valley and past the fairytale-like, fifteenth-century Castle Bouvigne. You will also pass Play Forest Boeverijen along the way. A place for the kids to climb to their heart’s content!
The Mastbos is located on the outskirts of Breda, around the corner from the Ginneken area with its famous and charming Ginnekenmarkt and its pavement cafes. From here it’s a short distance to the historic centre of Breda. Do some shopping in the delightful streets and alleys, have a drink in front of a cafe in one of the city's historic squares or at the harbour, or get to know the city better by viewing the amazing mural exhibition Blind Walls Gallery.
Tip: city park Valkenberg is an oasis of peace in the middle of the city and within walking distance of the picturesque Beguinage. These are Breda’s two must-dos.
The route is 5 km long. If you are coming by car, you can park on car park P1 at Waterschap Brabantse Delta on the Bouvigne estate.
Walking route Kalmthoutse Heide
The Kalmthoutse Heide heath, a natural park south of Bergen op Zoom, is a park full of contrasts.
The area encompasses heathlands, fens and woods, making this national park, part of which is in Belgium, a particularly varied area to discover on foot. During this beautiful walk you'll be hiking along largely unpaved paths with occasional height differences. You will pass deciduous and coniferous forests, heathlands, sand drifts and dunes.
The route is 6 km long, making it very suitable for children. The starting point and end point is pancake restaurant De Heusche Bollaert, on the grounds of Recreatiecentrum Hazeduinen.
Walking route Andreas Schotel
Landgoed De Utrecht is located in the Kempen region in North Brabant and extends over the municipalities Hilvarenbeek and Reusel de Mierden, close to the border with Belgium. It is an area of heathlands, fens and coniferous forests.
Graphic artist Andreas Schotel expressed his love for Brabant peasant life by sketching and etching it. He placed his works of art in the beautiful Brabant countryside. This inspired later artists to literally place artworks in the countryside, and so the Andreas Schotel route at Landgoed de Utrecht has grown into a walking museum. You can end the walk with a visit to the Andreas Schotel Museum.
The route is 9.5 km long. If you are arriving by car, you can park at Café Schuttershof in Esbeek.