Just 10km west of Bolsward, MAKKUM is a very agreeable place, a collection of immaculate houses, church towers, and canals, cobbled streets and wooden boats that’s saved from postcard-prettiness by a working harbour. It’s long been a centre for the manufacture of traditional, high-end Dutch ceramics, and the town is a bit of a magnet for coach parties during the summer, as well as a year-round sailing centre. But it never feels overwhelmed, and the Tichelaar workshops, Turfmarkt 65 (Mon–Fri 9am–5.30pm, Sat 10am–5pm; t 0515 231 341, w tichelaar.nl), are worth a visit during your wander around the centre. You can have a look at the workshop out the back or just browse through the gallery-like shop, which is full of beautiful objects priced way beyond the reach of most people, before taking the weight off in its small Bakkerswinkel café.
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Choosing the scenic route south from Makkum to Workum takes you along the Museumroute Aldfaerserf, in which the villages of Allingawier, Exmorra and others serve as open-air museums illustrating Frisian life in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Historical buildings have been restored and refurbished, regaining their historical functions as bakeries, carpenters’ shops, farms and smithies, and the 25km route can be done by car or bicycle. Bikes can be rented at the museum route’s base at Meerweg 4 in Allingawier (April–Oct Tues–Sun 10am–5pm; €5; t 0515 231 631, w aldfaerserf.nl).