Your journey from Britain to Groningen

Rail Station St Pancras International in London Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Rotterdam Central Ferry from the UK to the Netherlands Travel by train to Groningen in the Netherlands Travel by car to Groningen in the Netherlands Strand en duinen op Schiermonnikoog in Nederland

Travelling by public transport (train and/or ferry)

It is also possible to travel to Groningen without taking the car. You could cover the whole journey by train. In that case you to have to travel to the railway station London St Pancras International where the Eurostar to Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam departs. You could also take the train or bus to one of the ferry terminals on the east and northeast coast of England, take the ferry and then hop on a bus or train to the nearest railway station to continue your journey to Groningen. You will have to travel to Rotterdam Central or Utrecht to get on board of the train that moves to the city of Groningen. In the city you can change for one of the two railway lines into North Groningen's countryside if you like.

Travel times to Groningen: from IJmuiden: 3 hours (bustransfer to Amsterdam Central and then 2 hours by train with one change in Utrecht) | from Europoort: 3,5 hours (bustransfer to Rotterdam Central and then 2 hours 45 minutes by train) | from Hook of Holland: 3,5 hours (metro to Schiedam Central and then 3 hours by train with one change in Rotterdam Central). These times could vary a bit depending on the connection between bus and train at the time. Below you will find more information about the ferry services, the train journey from London and of course a way to book tickets for these services. These links will lead you to English pages on my Dutch website about Great Britain. You might have read about it on one of the other English pages here on Ontdek Noord Groningen.

Eurostar groen vlak Ferries

Travelling by car

If you live in England, Wales or Scotland there are multiple ways to cross the Channel or the North Sea and travel to the Netherlands. If you live in the south you could opt for the shorter ferry services from Dover to Calais or Dunkirk in the north of France and then drive north via Belgium to Holland. You could also take the shuttle which is more expensive but goes quicker. The shuttle leaves in Folkestone, just as Dover situated in Kent.

However, you could also hop on one of the longer ferry services that depart on the east coast of England. There is the service from Harwich (Essex) to Hook of Holland, from Hull (East Yorkshire) to Europoort (Rotterdam) and from Newcastle (Tyne and Wear) tot IJmuiden (Amsterdam). There is a day and a night service from Harwich; the ships from Hull and Newcastle sail during the evening and night only. These three services can be used by foot passengers as well.

Travel time to Groningen: from IJmuiden: 2,5 hours | from Europoort (in the area of Rotterdam): 3 hours | from Hook of Holland: 3 hours | from Dunkirk: 5 hours | from Calais: 5,5 hours

Map with railway lines and ferry services in UK and Netherlands
The most southern ferry-icon in the Netherlands doesn't pinpoint one ferry terminal. The ferry from Hull arrives in Europoort and the one from Harwich in Hook of Holland. These terminals are situated in the same area but it is by no means the same location.

Information and destinations

This website is written in Dutch, this particular page is one of the few exceptions. Luckily for you the site contains a lot of photos, interactive maps with interesting locations and the walking routes and cycling routes can be viewed on map as well. For instance: go to Bestemmingen to find possible destinations, to Overnachten to find and book hotels or other types of accommodations, to Wandelroutes to view walking routes and to Fietsroutes to study cycling routes. On the pages below you will find a small number of destinations in this specific region around Eemshaven, including the City of Groningen. In case you travel by train: all of these have a train station. The first two along the railway line between Eemshaven en the city. Winsum is a pretty village. Loppersum and Appingedam are situated along another railway line. To get there you first travel to the City of Groningen (last station), hop off and hop on the train to Delfzijl. Pieterburen is a village in the northern countryside and close to the coast. You can get there by bus if you want to. The sixth location is the name of a Wadden Island and that is Schiermonnikoog. You can get there by ferry (45 of even 20 minutes). Eemshaven itself by the way is industrial so that's no place to linger.

Vakantiebestemming Stad Groningen Vakantiebestemming Winsum in Groningen Vakantiebestemming Pieterburen in Groningen Vakantiebestemming Appringedam in Groningen Vakantiebestemming Loppersum in Groningen Vakantiebestemming Schiermonnikoog in Noord Nederland

Interactive map

This is the interactive map of the north of Groningen, including the city and the island of Schiermonnikoog.

In case you are looking at this page on a smartphone:

Check the interactive map here

How do you buy a train ticket?

In the Netherlands you will need an ov-chipkaart to be able to travel by train. It works the same as an Oyster Card in London: you check in before you travel and check out when you get off the train. The ov-chipcard can be used to open gates at stations but you check-in by hovering your card over a check-in pole which can be found on or near the platform. The traveller has to make sure there is enough credit on the card. Dutch people have a card with their name on it but that is not possible for a tourist. A tourist has two options, the first one is an anonymous ov-chipkaart (costs 7,50 euros). You can top it up yourself at a service/ticket machine. The second option is a disposable card which can bought for just a singular use or for a certain period. This card usually is more expensive than the anonymous card. These two product can be bought on various locations, including the larger railway stations. Sales points are indicated by the OV-chipkaart logo. They can also be purchased at service-ticket machines. Considering you would follow one of the describes routes to travel to the Netherlands you would normally encounter one of such locations at Amsterdam Central, Rotterdam Central or Groningen.

In case you will only use the train during your journey to Groningen you won't need an ov-chipkaart because you could buy an international train ticket for the entire route from London St Pancras International to your Dutch destination. If you will only be visiting the city of Groningen and won't use the train or bus anymore during your stay then you won't need an ov-chipkaart at all.

Anonymous OV-chipkaart for tourist

Hotel Prinsenhof - City of Groningen

Click the booking link and you will see that the selected language is English.

De Prinsenhof (rougly translated as the 'court of princes') is a stately, historic four star hotel in a relatively quiet location but also on a stones throw from the Martini Church whith it's gigantic tower and also the Grote Markt (great market) in het city centre. From the end of the 16th century the Prinsenhof was the house of the governor, for a while at least. At the back you can stroll through the Prinsentuin, the walled rose garden.

In the city there is a lot to see. The Martinitoren (church and tower) has already been mentioned. There is also the neoclassical City Hall, the beautiful A Church at the end of the Vismarkt (fishmarket) and the historic quarter around the northern harbour is very scenic. Het Hoge der Aa is one of the most beautiful streets in Groningen. The city also bosts two iconic modern buildings. Forum Groningen is situated near the hotel and offers a library, a museum, a great roof terrace and more. It as an architectural gem which offers views from every floor. Near the railway station (one of the most beautiful in the country) there is the Groninger Museum, a very colourfol building near the canal that you can't miss. It offers historic and more modern collections. Probably the best known museum here in the north.

How to get there from Eemshaven: if you disembark the ferry as a footpassenger than you can hop on the train. That service will bring you to the city in 53 minutes. Hop off at the last station (Groningen). From there it is 1,5 km walk to the hotel but you can also take the bus. There are multiple buses that ride to the Grote Markt (near the hotel). These are services 1,3,4 and 10 and these go very frequently.

This is probably the most expensive hotel in the city. Obviously there are a lot more hotels you can pick. You can check the following link about Groningen to check the other ones (second tab). That page will also show an interactive map with interesting locations and visitor attractions in the city and region (in Dutch):

Hotels in the City of Groningen

Waddenhoes Gastenverblijven - Pieterburen

Click the booking link and you will see that the selected language is English.

Waddenhoes Gastenverblijven is an accommodation where you can book a double room in the bed and breakfast but you can also pick an appartment or of even holiday home if your group is very large because the home sleeps 11. This accommodation is situated in the village Pieterburen, not far from the coast. A very specific activity on this coast is what we call 'wadlopen' which means walking/hiking on the mudflats. When the tide goes out the mudflats become visible and with a guide you can take a long hike from the coast to one of the Wadden Islands or a shorter route. You must never go alone because that is dangerous and you also should be prepared when it comes to proper boots and clothing. Check out this website, you can swap the language into English: Mudflat hiking Pieterburen. These mudflat hikes start on the coast near Pieterburen. Therefore you will need your car. If you travel through Groningen using public transport then maybe somebody of the other participants can take you. It is not far at all.

Apart from mudflat hiking you can also take a walk on land, Pieterburen is the very start of the Pieterpad, the best known long distance walking route in the country. Also, you can rent a bike (also electric) at Waddenhoes Gastenverblijven and explore the surrounding countryside on two wheels. Pieterburen also offers restaurants, a beautiful church with right next to it a small botanical garden and also a seal centre, once erected as a shelter for seals and still a visitor attraction.

How to get there from Eemshaven: it would be logical to take the car if you are staying here but you can use public transport if you want to. If you disembark the ferry as a footpassenger than you can hop on the train. That service will terminate in the city of Groningen but you must hop off in Winsum. That train station also has a bus station where more than one service departs. You will need line 68 to Hornhuizen, that will also stop in Pieterburen.

There are more b&b's and also a hotel in the village of Pieterburen. You can check the following link about Pieterburen to check the other ones (second tab). That page will also show an interactive map with interesting locations and visitor attractions in the region (in Dutch):

Accommodations in Pieterburen

Some walking routes from Pieterburen

Below you will find two walking routes to follow. The texts are in Dutch but the maps should be very clear. You can zoom in the interactive maps and also use the gpx files in case they come of use. The first one is a circular walk: it passes a couple of small villages in this part of the Hogeland, the northern cultural landscape that is dominated by agriculture. The second walk is stage 1 of the Pieterpad that has already been mentioned. The end of stage one is Winsum and there you can take back the bus (line 68) to Pieterburen.

Wandelen in Pieterburen groen vlak Wandelen over het Pieterpad in Groningen

Some cycling routes from Pieterburen

Below you will find two long cycling routes through the surrounding area. Maybe these ones are too long but there are so many paths and roads that you can easily shorten them. Just study the interactive map.

Fietsen op het Hogeland groen vlak Fietsen in Pieterburen

Strandhotel om de Noord - Schiermonnikoog

Click the booking link and you will see that the selected language is English.

Strandhotel om de Noord is a hotel near the beach on the beautiful Wadden Island called Schiermonnikoog. There is only one small, quite pittoresque village on the island that stretches 18 kilometres from east to west. You can't get here by car. You will have to park the car in Lauwersoog on the mainland and there take the ferry, or take the bus from either the city of Groningen or the city of Leeuwarden. There are two ferry services: the first takes 45 minutes and the quick one 20 minutes. When you disembark there will always be a bus. Even if it's full the next one will come shortly. The Strandhotel om de Noord is situated 1,5 kilometres north of the village and is served by line 3. The bus will stop at the doorstep of the hotel. The ferry link beneath is in English, the others are in Dutch.

Ferry to Schiermonnikoog | Bus to Lauwersoog | Bus on Schiermonnikoog

Schiermonnikoog is an island with only one small village, beautiful nature wich consists of beaches, dunes, some woods, flowers, saltmarsh and polders where lots of different birds come and visit. A part of the island is part of National Park Schiermonnikoog. There is a lot of beach, one of the biggest in Europa. It stretches the entire 18 km northern coastline and also the smaller western coast. It is a great place to go to the beach, unwind, relax and also walk or cycle. There are three locations where you can rent a bike: one at Veerdam (place where the ferry arrives) and the other two in the village. Check the link below. There you will also find a cycling route and a walking route on the island. There are more walking routes possible.

Cycling route | Bike rental | Walking route

You can check the following link about Schiermonnikoog to check two other hotels as well. The other ones are located in the village):

Hotels on Schiermonnikoog

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