It is time to continue hiking on the Great rivers trail in the Netherlands. Last time, I ended on the outskirts of Buren. Now I first go through the historical centre of Buren. Next, I hike in the direction of fruit village Erichem and walk via Soelen castle and a town with the same name (but with a Z) to the station of Tiel.

Hiking map Great rivers trail: Buren - Tiel
Hiking map Great rivers trail: Buren – Tiel

Royal city of Buren

To get to Buren by public transport (from Rotterdam), I first travel to Culemborg. From here, I can easily take the bus via Beusichem to my final destination Buren. In Culemborg, I have to wait for the bus and I see a coloured information panel in the distance. Always nice to read such a panel. Culemborg turns out to be a transfer point for no less than four wooden shoes trails! I have seen the markings of these trails several times and these paths seem very nice.

P.S. At the time of this hike, I had not yet hiked any of the wooden shoes trails, but in the meantime (2022) I have and they are very nice so far. Want to know more? Take a look at

Wooden shoes trails transfer point in Culemborg
Wooden shoes trails transfer point in Culemborg

I get off at the Plantsoen bus stop and am very close to the historic centre of Buren. Just cross the road and I’m there. The royal family of Holland have kept Buren busy and you can see that in the beautiful buildings with the St. Lambertus church as the centrepiece. I must say it is one of the most colourful church towers I have ever seen.

Royal family in Buren
Buren may call itself Orange City because many members of the Dutch royal family (with Orange as last name) have a connection with it. William of Orange married Anna van Buren in the St. Lambertus church. The former queen and the current king are countess and earl of Buren. King Willem-Alexander even used the name Van Buren as a pseudonym to participate in the Elfstedentocht (ice skate marathon event which rarely takes place). The last Orange to live in Buren was Frederik Hendrik, prince of Orange.

Source (in Dutch): Wikipedia

I walk towards the city wall via picturesque little streets. There are several museums. For instance, I pass museum Buren & Oranje.

Arriving at the city wall, the trail goes to the right over the wall. But I first go a little to the left, because there is a windmill with the appropriate name of Prince of Orange. Just like all the other windmills, this one has to be photographed as well, of course.

Then I continue along the wall. At first, it’s more like a park, but further on it’s really like an old wall, at least what’s left of it.

On the inside of the wall, I pass an enormous building with cascading gables, shutters and many ornaments. This building turns out to be the Orphanage and I am also walking along the Weeshuiswal (Orphanage wall), what a coincidence! The orphanage now houses a museum.

On the other side of Buren, I leave the little town. But not before I have taken another photo of the church. And notice the text on the sign on the right (which translates to: Could I just say as an adolescent “sorry mum, I have no active memories of that”.) A wink or a sneer at the Dutch Prime Minister, who said the latter sentence. I found it quite humorous.

Weeshuiswal street in Buren
Weeshuiswal street in Buren

I walk along a nice, narrow path between the hedges. Behind the hedges, I see fields, croplands and, of course, fruit orchards.

A little later I have to turn right and now look out over reeds and cornfields and on the other side a pear orchard. The verge has been mown and a cattail lies pruned along the road. I take it with me as a souvenir. I am not going to pick them, of course, but if this one lies motionless by the side of the road, I can take it with me.

Other trail guide about the same region

The golden yellow cornfield gives way to a green cornfield. I have no idea what the difference is or what kind of wheat or grain it is, but I like the change in colour very much.

Fruit village Erichem

I follow the bend to the left and walk past a field where the vegetation is allowed to grow abundantly. Most are weeds, but there are beautiful cornflowers growing among them. To my right is a rather barren field, where only a few poppies bloom.

Then the village of Erichem comes into view. Around this village, it is bursting with fruit orchards. And I walk past them again. Erichem’s church peeps through the trees.

I don’t go through the village, I only see it from far away. In the distance, I see a strange-looking tree in a kind of lantern shape. Black crows are sitting on the branches. When I come closer, I see that the tree belongs to a cemetery. This gives it a creepy effect.

I continue on an unpaved path past more orchards. This time, no apples or pears, but other kinds of fruit such as strawberries and raspberries.

I leave the orchards behind and walk through the polder again. This part is a bit boring, but it allows me to go a little faster. I pass a field with lots of ponies. At a farm with a large garden, different coloured roses are full in bloom. So many pretty flowers today!

At a large country house, I have to turn left, but not before being enthusiastically greeted by a cat. I am now walking towards Soelen Castle. Halfway along the road, there is a parking lot and I take a break here.

Beautiful country house
Beautiful country house

Soelen castle

Of course, a castle and estate should have a long avenue of trees. I take many photos of the avenue.

And there it is, Castle Soelen. Personally, I like the gate better than the castle itself. The castle is surrounded by a nice canal. I leave the estate via another avenue of trees.

Via a zigzag trail and passing a beautiful farm, I reach the town of Zoelen. Just before the church, I take another break. The church has a simple tower, such church towers are common in this region. The nave of the church is plastered in white. The difference in colour makes the church rather special.

I leave the town via a bridge. In the distance, I can see windmill The Cornflower, very appropriate with the cornflowers that I saw today. The river turns out to be the Linge. I did not realise that I would be crossing this river again.

Windmill the Cornflower
Windmill the Cornflower

The last part of the trail goes to the railway station in Tiel. This is a very boring part along the outskirts of the city. They have tried to make the trail more attractive by going through parks and green areas in Tiel, but I don’t like it that much. I also walk along the Doode Linge. This stream seems very dead indeed. The water is a dirty brown colour and often full of duckweed. The green areas run alongside a railway track and that is how I know I am almost at the train station.

Final thoughts

I found this part of the trail a more enjoyable than I had expected. There is a lot of variation in landscapes and paths. The last part from Zoelen to Tiel was a bit boring though. All in all, a fine hike.

More info:

Trail: Section 11 LAW 6 Great rivers trail
Where: from Buren to Tiel, Gelderland, the Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 11 km
Hiking date: 2 july 2021
Materials used in illustrations: Coloured pencils for the map and watercolour paints for other illustrations
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Trail booklet:

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