Netherlands inland waterway cruise – Delft to Leiden

Rijn-Schiekanaal – new bridge being built

Thursday 3rd July

We left Delft at our usual sort of time, about 09.40.

The weather was perfect, sunny and hot with no wind.

The route to Leiden was along the Rijn-Schiekanaal – a very pretty route, through Leidschendam, where there was one lock.

Locking up in Leudschendam

But a lot of bridges! 25 in total.

2 fixed bridges and 23 BB (beweeg brugge).

The 2 fixed bridges were no problem, being 5.6 m or more clearance.

One of the BB had a fixed clearance of 4.5 m, but as we had the radar arch down, we passed under it okay.

Overhaalbrug – newer and more modern bridge

Most of the BBs opened timeously and we did not have too many delays.

2 bridges, Kanaalbrug and Reineveltbrug were a bit tardy in opening, but did so eventually.

Leidschendam was a typically pretty little Dutch town, with the canal and lock right in the centre, lined with cafes and restaurants.

Always quite fun locking up or down surrounded by all the people eating or drinking at theses places. And as the weather was good, there were loads of people about.

Waiting at one Spoorbrug

Between the Het Fortuin spoorbrug and the Hoornbrug we came across much construction work going on in the canal, where it seemed they were building yet another bridge! (see first pic)

Although most bridges in Netherlands are of the old design or style, there are now quite a few with modern or futuristic designs.

Julius Caesarbrug – modern example

After passing through the last bridge, almost in the town centre, we found a good spot in the passantehaven (visitor or passing boats).

The harbour master operates from that bridge.

He takes boat names as they pass through and no doubt wont let you pass out unless you have paid your dues.

We tied up at 14.00, thankful to have found a spot.

Kerkbrug – Old style bridge

We were now in the height of the season and marinas and harbours fill up quickly.

One needs to be moored up by mid afternoon at the latest, or run the risk of not getting a berth.

Leiden centre

All public or gemeente havens seem to have their own way of working.

Here we paid 16 Euro for the mooring, a 10 Euro deposit for the key to the ablution block, and had to buy tokens for shower water or electricity.

Unfortunately, this one did not have wifi/internet at all, but we did find a pub with free internet access later.

Leiden – view from our back deck

Leiden turned out to be a lively vibey sort of place, with loads of people out in small boats (sloepen) driving around, and much partying quite late into the night.

It also has a lot of history to it, being particularly known as the home of Rembrandt.

Leiden – Rembrandt Plein

We did the self guided walking tour of the town, taking the historic building, old restored windmills and the numerous canals and bridges in the centre.

The Corn Bridge is apparerntly the only covered bridge in Netherlands.

Named so because that was where the corn barges tied up and where corn was traded, and later covered to keep the produce dry.

Leiden – Corn Bridge

As usual, we preferred to eat on the boat rather than at restaurants, so after a mini shop up, we had another pleasant evening on the back deck, watching the passing traffic (people and boats).


Distance –             25 Kms
Locks –                1
Fixed bridges –     2
Beweeg Brugge – 23
Time –                  4 hrs 20 mins

Next week – Leid to Haarlem via the Kaageplaasen

Bon voyage!

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