"Finally Managed To Escape Its Confines!" Roosendaal by johngayton

Roosendaal Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 78 photos

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As an invertebrate smoker I buy all my tobacco at Adinkerke, in Belgium, rather than the UK, because it is over two-thirds cheaper. I buy a relatively large quantity each trip, usually 4 Kg, and my annual savings, even after taking into account the cost of my trips, work out at £2,000. So as well as saving money I get a little break out of it too.

If I'm in a hurry I usually catch the Eurostar into, and back from, Brussels and use the Belgian trains out to Adinkerke. If I travel overnight from North Devon to London and back overnight the following day I can do the trip in two days, without incurring any hotel bills. Booking well in advance the trip costs me about £150 in total - without my between-train bar bills.

However if I'm in no rush and want to make a proper trip of it my favourite journey is by ferry between Harwich and Hoek van Holland using the Stena Line rail/sail package. This includes the train from London to Harwich and then from the Hoek on to any Dutch station. It's a sort of magic ticket, especially if I travel on the overnight boat, since it allows me unlimited travel in the Netherlands for the day, provided I'm heading away from the Hoek, and vice-versa on my way home.

On previous journeys this has allowed me to variously loop the Dutch railway system, stopping off at all sorts of interesting places including; Den Haag, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Amsterdam (of course) and I've even used it to travel all the way down to Maastricht.

There are times however where I'm using my time in Belgium rather than the Netherlands and so my rail/sail ticket only takes me as far as Roosendaal from where I connect to the Belgian local train into Antwerp. Normally all I ever see of the town is the train station but on this particular trip I made a point of making the time for a bite of lunch, a wander around and the obligatory couple of beers.

Despite it being a damp, grey October day, the threatening rain held off and the walk into the town centre from the station took me through an attractively autumnal little park which brought me to the main square, pictured.

Roosendaal turned out to be the perfect lunch stop-off. It is small-town Netherlands personified with its Markt surrounded by terraced cafes, its little side streets with more bars, a mostly pedestrianised centre and an easy-on-the-eye mix of modern and classical Dutch architecture.

I even found a John Pub - but you'll have to pop into "Favourites" for that.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A Very Pleasant Little Town
  • Cons:None That I Noticed
  • In a nutshell:Next visit I'll hopefully get decent weather.
  • Last visit to Roosendaal: Oct 2013
  • Intro Updated Nov 27, 2013
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