The province of Gelderland is filled with incredible destinations; the town of Lochem is one of those. If you’re thinking of spending one day in Lochem and its surroundings, then this article has all the information you’ll need. Whether you’re looking for small towns to visit in The Netherlands, or simply things to do in the Achterhoek region, Lochem is the perfect place to visit.
What I like about visiting Lochem is that you’ll quickly see this city in the centre of The Netherlands within a couple of hours. Then you can start exploring the castles, nature reserves and spectacular attractions in the surroundings of this place in The Netherlands.
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What to do in one day in Lochem, The Netherlands
When you’re thinking of going on a day trip to Lochem, then I have many great recommendations for you. Not only are there quite a few things to do and see in Lochem, but as it’s one of the unusual places to travel to in The Netherlands, you have all of it to yourself.
If you only have a few hours to spend in Lochem, then that’s okay as well, and you can choose yourself which attractions in Lochem you want to visit and which landmarks you want to see.
Lochem is worth visiting. Keep in mind, though, Lochem is not found in the Holland region, but The Netherlands. When you’re bringing some tourism to Lochem, please remember that as not everyone is fond of the Holland generalisation (as it’s not correct). So yeah, I hope you’ll enjoy this Lochem travel blog and that you will explore many sights here.
History & facts about Lochem
The city of Lochem is found in the province of Gelderland, The Netherlands, and has a population of around 13.000 inhabitants. Lochem is also a municipality that is home to more than 33.000 people. The town of Lochem is found at the edge of the Berkel river and the Twentekanaal.
Lochem was one of the five cities within the ‘States of the quarter of Zutphen’, that had a lot to say and could vote. Lochem actually got city rights from Count Otto II in 1233. However, the town is a lot older than that. A certificate from 1059 shows that there was already a church in Lochem at that time. During excavations for the restoration of the Sint- Gudulakerk (church), evidence was found that there was a wooden church on this location in 900. The reason why there was already a church there, was due to its location on the Berkel river, which was an essential river for trading purposes.
After 1233, Lochem rapidly grew and even got permission to built a city wall in 1330. During the centuries that followed, Lochem was besieged endless of times, especially during the 80-year-war against the Spanish (1568-1648).
The army of the Dutch Republic was responsible for the rescue of Lochem on the 24th of September 1582. But the Spanish weren’t eager to give up the area. In 1590, the Spanish troops wanted to enter Lochem via a trick: They tried to enter Lochem by hiding in a hay cart, which failed due to the vigilance of the son of the gatekeeper.
In the early morning of the 29th of October 1590, three hay carts from Zutphen came close to Lochem. They were accompanied by men with pitchforks, which happened daily at that time, so no one suspected anything. Children were plucking hay from the carts, which was allowed during that time. When the carriages were found under the city gate, children could take some hay for their pets. The son of the gatekeeper also took part in this event but crashed into a part of a soldiers boot. He then screamed: Treason, treason!
That’s when the garrison under Francois Ballochi was alarmed, but also 300 soldiers and 150 riders that were hiding outside the city gates. All 18 gatekeepers lost their lives as the Spanish fought to enter the city. They were met with a lot of resistance from the people of Lochem and were pushed back outside the city. The waagmeester from Zutphen (the person who was in charge of the weighing house) and the pastor of Zutphen, who came up with the trick, were both killed as well.
After Ballochi and the son of the gatekeeper, a street was named to remember them. And nowadays people from Lochem are still nicknamed ‘Hooiplukkers’, or hay pickers.
In 1606, the city of Lochem was occupied two more times. Then in 1648, after the Peace treaty of Münster, Lochem was occupied twice within 25 years by the bishop of Münster: Bernhard von Galen. The city, where most houses were made of wood, also had some horrible city fires. The worst city fire in Lochem, where only the church and four houses remained, took place in 1615.
There was an essential economic time for Lochem during the transition of the 19th to the 20th century. Industrialisation and the ever-improving public transportation brought wealth and expansions to Lochem. Landowners, noblemen and owners from big factories, created a bigger city, a theatre and even a hospital in Lochem.
Interesting to know is that between 1968 and 1986, on Ascension Day a pop festival took place in the open-air theatre of Lochem. It was the second, yearly event of this sort in The Netherlands and one of the oldest in all of Europe. There were performances from regional, national and international artists.
What’s also cool to know is that you can find a push moraine on the territory of Lochem, with the highest point of 49 metres high, which is tall for The Netherlands. A big part of the push moraine area is a nature reserve in Lochem.
Where to stay in Lochem
If you’re looking for places to stay in Lochem, then there are a few great accommodation options to choose from. You all know me by now, and know that I always recommend you to spend a night in a town, city, or any other place to visit in The Netherlands. I say this only for one reason: You get to enjoy the city truly. This way you’ll experience the changing atmosphere of day and night and will have tons of time to, enjoy not only the town but also its surroundings to get a perfect view of the Gelderland countryside.
Hart van Lochem: check rates & availability on Booking.com
Fletcher Hotel Restaurant Paasberg: check rates & availability on Booking.com
Hotel Hof van Gelre: check rates & availability on Booking.com
Best restaurants in Lochem
While Lochem is small, there are tons of great restaurants and cafes to find in Lochem. Think of visiting Raedthuys Lochem, Restaurant Kawop, Grand Café Restaurant Babbelaer and Van Semmelink. But there are tons of more that are great, so if you’re visiting Lochem and it happens to be a bit more bustling (usually during the weekends when the weather is nice), don’t be afraid to head into other places if their spots are full. Also, don’t forget to grab an ice cream in Lochem at Ijsjes & Zo.
Things to do in Lochem
Free walking tour in Lochem
This free & self-guided walking tour in Lochem is a little less than 4 kilometres.
One of the things you have to do in Lochem in one day is a walking tour. This walking tour in Lochem starts at Markt 4. This is the location of the Grote Kerk, or Sint- Gudulakerk, in Lochem. This protestant church of the current look was first taken in use in around 1500. However, before this one, there has been a church on the same location since 950. At first, it was a wooden church with a 12 metres high tower. A stone church in around 1000 replaced this one. Then in about 1100, this church was, yet again, replaced, but this time made from tuff. In 1300, it was reconstructed into a cruciform church. In 1478, a tower was added to the church. After that, the ship was extended, and the church was reconstructed into the hall church it is today in 1500.
Then you’re going to continue walking on the Markt square, then head to Bagijnestraat, Markt (again), Molenstraat, Het Ei, Hoogstraatje, Oosterwal, Tuinstraat and Het Ei (yes, again). After that, you’re going to continue with one of the best things to do in Lochem and will walk to Smeestraat, Nieuwstad, Emmastraat, Zwiepseweg and Zwiepseweg 2.
Here you see the former coach house of Huis Java. Huis Java, or House Java, was built by textile manufacturer J.G.H. Hoffman in 1841. During the time of Hoffman in the textile industry, a lot of changes were made that increased the textiles. At that time it was expected that children were working twelve hours a day and that’s who he mostly employed. This was the first, big factory in Lochem, but that’s not why Hoffman was able to build an estate.
The reason why he became so rich, is because he could do business with the Nederlandse Handel- Maatschappij, which was founded by King Willem I in 1824. Because of that, his company got almost a monopoly on trading in the Dutch Indies. And in Lochem, the company of the Handel- Maatschappij functioned as a sort of shipping company. It shipped its products to the Dutch Indies and let that enter the market with tons of subsidies from the government.
Then, in the Dutch Indies, the Handel- Maatschappij bought tropical products such as sugar and coffee against a low price that was grown for the European market. Because of the cheap production of tropical products and the guaranteed colonial selling market, The Netherlands could stimulate the ‘industry and its people’ back home. Of course, at that time, it meant that only the rich were profiting.
In around 1840, the income reached an all-time high, that’s when he got the plan to have an estate for his family. When it was built, the profits decreased, and it reached an all-time low in 1844, which left Hoffman no other choice than to sell a part of his possessions. Then in 1848, he had so many debts, that he only saw one solution: Emigrating to the USA.
Then you’re headed to Albert Hahnweg, De Gloep, Zuiderbleek, Westerbleek, Mauritsweg, Walderstraat, Westerwal and Westerwal 6. This is where you can find a former synagogue that was built in 1865.
Continue your journey to Zuiderwal, Schoolstraat, Achterstraat, Vilderstraat, Walsteeg, Blauwe Torenstraat, Brouwhuissteeg, Noorderwal, Poststeeg, Markt and Markt 2. This is the city hall of Lochem, which was built between 1634 and 1640. It was then reconstructed in 1741. And finally restored between 1898 and 1900.
Your final stop on this tour in Lochem will be Bierstraat. I hope that you’ve enjoyed one of the must-do activities in Lochem and that you’ve enjoyed wandering through one of the best small towns to visit in Gelderland.
Get your Lochem walking tour here!
Best museums in Lochem
There is one great museum found in Lochem, and that’s the Liberation Museum Lochem. This museum in Lochem is free to visit and will show you how Lochem was freed by the British and Canadian troops, as well as how life in Lochem was during the Second World War. But most importantly, they show you who the people that freed Lochem were, what they did and what happened. Lochem was liberated from the Germans on the 1st of April 1945. It’s usually opened from Tuesday until Saturday from 11:00- 16:00.
Markets & events in Lochem
Two weekly markets take place in Lochem. On Wednesday from 08:00- 12:30, you will find a regular market in Lochem where you can buy things such as local cheeses and other products, vegetables, fish, bread and so much more. Then on Saturday from 08:00- 13:00, there’s an organic market in Lochem.
The best shops in Lochem
Shopping in Lochem is quick, but pleasant. It has so many small shops that you won’t find anywhere else. So, whether you’re searching for the perfect souvenirs for your The Netherlands holiday, or want to treat yourself, there’s something in Lochem for you.
Visit Tanta Pos for second-hand items, for instance, or head to Natuurdrogist ‘ De Klaproos’ for the best natural products for your body, but also organic food, fair trade wines and so much more. De Parade is also fantastic to visit for second-hand items, and there are tons of more shops to visit in Lochem.
Things to do in the surroundings of Lochem
Walk in the surroundings of Lochem
What I mainly love about Lochem and its region in the Achterhoek, is that there is so much nature and Dutch beauty to enjoy and experience. There are many estates and castles in the Achterhoek region, but also some hills which give you a beautiful view of the otherwise flat Dutch landscape.
Visit Landgoed Ampsen, for instance. This is an estate of 680 hectares and has a castle that dates back to the 17th century. Although you can’t visit this castle in Gelderland, it’s well worth it to explore the estate and its incredible nature. One of the highlights of this estate near Lochem is the so-called Sterrenbos. This is a forest which has lanes that follow a specific pattern, in this case, a star.
You could also visit Het Grote Veld. This is a big forest that has plenty of heather fields to admire. You will probably see a herd of Schoonebeker sheep (a rare Dutch breed), they graze on the heather fields to make sure they will still exist.
Another beautiful nature reserve in the Achterhoek you must visit is the Lochemse Berg and Kale Berg, these are the names of the two hills that you can find here. These hills were created in the penultimate ice age. They used to have no vegetation until the forests were planted in the first half of the 19th century. The nature reserve is very varied and exists out of woods, wooded banks and plenty of more. At the highest point of the Lochemse Berg, you can find a viewing tower called Belvedère, that, unfortunately, cannot be visited anymore.
You could also visit Staringkoepeltje, which is a viewing point at around 6 kilometres from Lochem. It’s usually opened (free to visit) and has a beautiful view.
Lastly, I would recommend you to head to ‘t Joppe. This estate is around 100 hectares and is filled with forests, parks, meadows, and so much more. You can freely visit the estate, but you are not allowed to visit the house itself or come in the direct surroundings of the house. There is a walking route, called ‘Drie Kieftenroute’, that you can follow through the estate.
Explore the city of Deventer
Not far from Lochem you can find the city of Deventer. Deventer is a real dream. Not only is it home to one of The Netherlands most special Dickens Christmas events, but it’s one of those cities in the east of The Netherlands that will blow your mind away. It has the coolest shops (even an old, authentic brush shop!), the most magical streets and incredible things to do. Deventer is a city that everyone in The Netherlands should visit.
Go cycling in the area of Lochem
There are two bike shops where you can rent bikes in Lochem: Goossens Lochem and at Fiets Service Finke.
It’s very easy to go cycling in the surroundings of Lochem, as there are beautiful things to explore everywhere. Head to estate De Belten, for instance. You can see more than 1000 conifers in this estate in Vorden, which is almost 2 hectares big and free to visit.
Or head to Ruurlo and visit the castle (with the fantastic museum) and the maze nearby the castle. Cycle to Borculo, or the Staringkoepeltje for an incredible view of the Dutch landscape. There are simply tons of options. You can also find more tips about cycling and walking in the area of Lochem at the tourist information (VVV).
Get to know the town of Borculo
Borculo is another small town in The Netherlands that’s worth a visit. There are tons of fascinating museums to explore in Borculo, plus the surroundings of this small Dutch town in Gelderland are absolutely breathtaking and perfect to visit.
Walk through Estate De Wiersse
Estate De Wiersse is one of those picture-perfect places to visit in The Netherlands. You can explore a stunning Dutch estate in the East of The Netherlands and learn about its history. It’s undoubtedly one of the best things you can do in The Netherlands, especially if you’re looking for historical and nature activities. This estate in Gelderland has been in the hands of the same family since 1678 and is kept in absolutely incredible shape.
Visit the Dutch ruins of castle Nettelhorst
Visiting castle ruins in The Netherlands is always a good idea and nearby Lochem you can do precisely that. Nowadays, the estate of Nettelhorst is 110 hectares, but it used to be a lot bigger, at least 331 hectares. It was a fortified house and one of the 36 in the historic quarter of Zutphen. In 1379, House Nettelhorst was first mentioned, but it is said that there was already a house with the same name before 1227. The reason for that is that during the Battle of Ane in that year, Lambertus van Nettelhorst was killed.
The estate in Gelderland was restored between 1994 and 2006. And nowadays its estate is both a nature reserve and cultural monument. You can walk through the area and even cycle on the cycle paths in this nature reserve in Gelderland.
Museum MORE Ruurlo
I cannot recommend you enough to visit this museum in Ruurlo. It hosts different exhibitions, but the main one that has made this art museum in The Netherlands famous is the permanent exhibition about Carel Willink. It shows the development of this Dutch artist, as well as his works throughout time. He is seen as one of the most important painters of Magic Realism.
The Verwolde House is a perfect castle, or rather a manor house, in Gelderland to visit. In this house, you can discover and learn about the noble family that lived in this breathtaking house for 200 years. Upstairs you can find the living quarters that are incredible to see. As you enter this manor house in The Netherlands, you will immediately go back in time. You won’t only discuss the noble family, but also learn about their staff. Don’t forget to visit the Orangerie for souvenirs and region Dutch products, plus you can go here for a nice drink and something to eat.
Zutphen is one of the many Hanseatic cities you can find in The Netherlands. Not only is there an incredible history to explore, but you can also find one of the only chained libraries in the world in Zutphen. Besides that, you can climb a church tower for an incredible view of the Dutch landscape and can discover many museums. Don’t forget to walk through its picturesque Dutch streets to admire the countless beautiful monumental buildings.
How to get to Lochem
I would always recommend you to use 9292.nl/en to plan your current trips by public transportation in The Netherlands. This is only used to give you a quick idea on the arrival time and how you roughly can travel to Lochem.
From Deventer: To go on a day trip from Deventer to Lochem, you have to take an intercity train to Zutphen and from there transfer to a train to Lochem. It will take you around 36 minutes to get to Lochem from Deventer.
From Den Bosch: To go on a day trip to Lochem from Den Bosch, or ‘s-Hertogenbosch, I would recommend you to take a train to Zutphen and from there to transfer to the train that will take you to the train station of Lochem. It will take you approximately 1,5 hours to get from Den Bosch to Lochem.
From Nijmegen: If you want to visit Lochem on a day trip, or weekend, from Nijmegen, then you can take the train to Zutphen. From Zutphen, you can transfer to the train to Lochem. It will take you around 57 minutes to get from Nijmegen to Lochem.
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I hope you enjoyed this Lochem travel guide on one of the cities to visit in Gelderland. Spending one day in Lochem and its surroundings will be easy with this Lochem itinerary. This way, you will explore Lochem beyond its centre and must-sees.
24 hours in Lochem is great, but a weekend would be even better. This way you will discover not only Lochem and its beautiful streets and buildings, but also hidden gems in the middle of The Netherlands to visit. Sightseeing in Lochem is excellent, but as you now know, that’s not all there is to do.
The Netherlands is filled with places to see and visit, but hopefully, I’ve interested you in visiting, yet another more off the beaten path place to visit. I hope you enjoyed this city guide and blog on what to do in Lochem. But also that you’ve learned the answer to the question ‘Where is Lochem, The Netherlands?’. I hope you had fun reading about what to see and where to go in Gelderland. Share this post!