Tiny Blokzijl, some 5km north of Vollenhove, is the prettiest of the area’s former seaports, its cobweb of narrow alleys and slim canals surrounding a trim little harbour, which is now connected to the Vollenhover Kanaal. The town once prospered from the export of peat and boasts dozens of seventeenth-century buildings, dating from its heyday. The most conspicuous is the Grote Kerk, which, with its splendid wooden pulpit and ceiling, was one of the country’s first Protestant churches.

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