Length 4.1 km (2.5 miles), terrain: flat
Amersfoort is a fairly typical Dutch town, with a beautiful old town full of narrow lanes lined by elegant old houses, market squares full of outdoor seating for an ample assembly of pubs and restaurants, with the whole place criss-crossed by canals, boat-locks and sluices. And surrounding the old town, there's a pulsing, modern city with big, planned communities of tidy row-houses and bike-ways. The Dutch have a knack for preserving their heritage while embracing the modern.
|Doors on Muurhuizen|
So, if you're lucky enough to be spending a bit of time in this friendly town, head to the main market square, the Hof, at the St. Joris church. There's a little fountain in the center of the square, so let's start there: turn south and run out of the square along the narrow alley between the two pubs and cross the next street and canal.
|The Hof market square: run straight that way!|
In a block, you'll cross the main (pedestrian) shopping street, called Langestraat, and then run by the little covered fish market.
|The fish market|
|Muurhuizen houses along the old city wall|
|The city gate called Kamperbinnenpoort|
|Along the Zuidsingel canal|
Now turn left to head north again, curving along the path at the walls. This wall-ring is now a narrow park with a path called Plantsoen Oost. There are distance markers painted on the asphalt walkway every 100 meters, to remind you of your progress, although I don't like such frequent reminders!
|Along Plantsoenoost and its city walls|
|Some surviving city wall|
|Running on top of the city walls|
Just after the 2-km marker on the pavement, you come to the biggest surviving gate, Koppelpoort. It's nice to turn right to run through the gate and cross the bridge outside it to get a better look at it.
|Koppelpoort at night|
|Spui, with its sluice|
Before we go back to the main square, though, take the first diagonal turnoff onto Lievevrouwestraat, heading to that big church tower at the other main square in the old town.
|The square at Lieve Vrouwekerkhof|
Now turn northeast to head up Haversteeg the two blocks back to Hof, the main square. And there you are: another great run in paradise!