Frequently asked questions
Questions about the starter kit
How do I register?
You can register for a Walk of Wisdom by a one time donation to our foundation. You will then receive a starterkit. It’s up to you when to walk and how you do it.
In the starter kit is a routeguide, a 99mm bamboo pin of our symbol and the pilgrim lace: a shoelace with a metal ring that has your unique pilgrim registration number. Along the way you can collect 11 bird rings with the names of the municipalities your travel through. Proof and souvenir of your pilgrimage.
You can register for one pilgrim, for someone else (present) or for several pilgrims. Children under 18 get reduction.
How to proceed after registration?
After registration and payment we will send you the starter kit and a list with accommodation including host families. You can then plan your pilgrimage! If you have Facebook: we have a group ‘pelgrims van de Walk of Wisdom’ where you can ask advice to 3.000+ members.
At the start and end of the pilgrimage you can make a picture at the huge statue of our symbol in the Nijmegen Stevenskerk or burn a candle there. When you return your pilgrim’s certificate will be signed here and missing bird rings will be supplied for.
If the Stevenskerk is closed, you can ring the bell at Stevenskerkhof 62. Often a volunteer is still available and if they are not too busy they are happy to help.
Is it possible to only get the routeguide?
Sorry, that is not possible. If you want to go for a nice hike, possibilities abound. We want to grow a pilgrimage traili that is more than just a nice route. The guide is thus part of a starter kit with the other elements/symbols of our trail.
Is it possible to buy the starter kit without delivery charges?
Starting 20 Ferbruary 2022 you can register online and select ‘pick-up at Stevenskerk’. You will then not be charged postage and can collect the kit at the Stevenskerk (note: you must do this within one week).
The Stevenskerk in Nijmegen is (at) the heart of the city. You can normally drop in between eleven and four, if closed ring the bell at Stevenskerk 62. More about the Stevenskerk: link.
Note: a starter kit for more than one pilgrim is not collectable in the Stevenskerk. It is too complicated for the volunteers there.
I like to do the Walk of Wisdom with children, do they get discount?
Wisdom belongs to children they say! That’s why children get reduction for their registration when they walk the pilgrimage with an adult. Look for the starterkit for two or more pilgrims via deze link.
I like to walk in a group, how does that work?
You want to walk with six pilgrims or more? Contact us at (link). We got some advice for accommodation.
Private goodbye ceremony
For groups from 10 pilgrims we are happy to organize a private goodbye ceremony. Costs depend on the type of organization. Free for schools or universities.
Questions about the route and accommodations
Has the route been signposted?
The route is signposted everywhere with the exception of the German Reichswald, where we did not get permission. Pilgrims tell us the routeguide and map is very clear here though. We have a gps and sometimes pilgrims volunteer to walk with you if you are a female pilgrim and afraid to get lost (connect to the Facebook group ‘pelgrims van de Walk of Wisdom’).
GPS op apparaat of mobiel
For registered pilgrims we have a GPS available. Mail [email protected] with your registration number if you can’t find the link.
No gps device? Use the app gpx viewer downloaden (Android) or maps.me. For maps.me we have a separate gps track in KML.
Is it possible to walk the routes in different stages?
Walk the trail in one go: that is our advice! You get into a rythm after a couple of days and the inner voice subsides.
But if you want to do it different, feel free. Patricia Akkermans made a spreadsheet with bus times: link. Note: it’s from a couple of years back!
How do I plan my trail?
Every pilgrim is different, so every pilgrim decides how many kilometres a day to walk. Our advice: take it slow, why rush?
For your information:
- The first 60 kilometres are a bit hilly, un Dutch. The most beautiful part of the trail, you don’t want to rush through here, linger on, sit on a bench, watch the clouds, the trees, the birds…
- After 60 kilometres it gets flat so you can scooter on!
- Ever thought of taking a break halfway to write, draw, to contemplate, be lazy…?
- There is good public transport. When in trouble, a bus is usually closeby or ring your accommodation if you need a pickup (do ask it nicely, it’s not a right, it’s a privilege!).
GPS track route
We have a GPS track available for registred pilgrims. Mail [email protected] if you can’t find it and state your registration number (it’s on your pilgrim lace).
Pilgrims advice: gpx viewer (Android) or maps.me (Android en iPhone).
Let op: download or update and install the app befóre you download the GPS track downloadt else trouble… Another trick is to download the track and mail it to yourself. Often you can open the track then.
Still having trouble? Join our facebook group ‘pelgrims van de Walk of Wisdom’
What about accommodation?
In het startpakket zit een routegids met adressen van veel B&Bs, campings en hotels langs de route. De volledige lijst met B&Bs en een aantal tips staat op de site (link).
In de bevestigingsmail van je inschrijving staat een handig uitprintbare lijst met 10 pagina’s van alle adressen, inclusief gastgezinnen waar je kunt overnachten tegen vrijwillige bijdrage of tarief vrienden op de fiets (€22,-).
Maak gebruik van de gastgezinnen via bovengenoemde uitprintbare adreslijst of wordt voor €8,- lid van vrienden op de fiets. Er zijn dan +- 75 gezinnen langs de route om te overnachten. Een andere optie: couchsurfing. Dit is gratis.
Mail [email protected] met vermelding van je inschrijfnummer als je de bevestingsmail niet (meer) hebt om de adreslijst te krijgen.
Can you make the pilgrimage on a tight budget?
- There are several accommodations along the route who give a reduction rate to pilgrims who can show our pilgrim lace. Always inquire if this is possible.
- We have a list with hostfamilies for pilgrims who register for the starter kit. You will get an email upon registration. If you don’t find the list, please email [email protected] with a mention of your registration number (it is written on the metal birdring on your pilgrim lace).
- In the Netherlands we have the wonderful organisation called ‘Vrienden op de Fiets’ (friends on bikes) for hikers and cyclers alike. You can sleep at 75 host families near our route for +-€22,50 a night including breakfast. You only need to become member for €8,-. . Find their english webpages here: link. Another option is Couchsurfing.
- Fit for camping? You can put up tents at several campsites at the route. Or make a base at the forest camping de But in Groesbeek. You can travel from there by bus 5 quite easily to the whole of the pilgrimage trail. It is a very quiet and spacious camping with no thrills.
Book accommodation in advance or on the go?
- Be sure not to on pilgrimage in the third week of July. Nijmegen is then swamped by 50.000 hikers and 1.000.000 visitors for the ‘Walk of the World’, the Nijmegen marches. Forget about accommodation! Check the dates on internet.
- If you travel on the go, you can always travel back or forth by bus and sometimes train if you can’t find a place to stay. The city of Nijmegen has many possibilities and is easily reached (the trail is in a circle around it).
- You can ask – in a nice way – if a host family or B&B is willing to pick you up if the distance is too far. Offer to pay for the mileage. If possible a lot of people are willing to help.
- Have you considered booking one B&B in Nijmegen or on a camping near the city to make your base there and travel to and from the whole pilgrimage? A sense of homecoming everyday. Some pilgrims love it this way.
What about camping?
There are quite some campings on the way, see our accommodation list. You can also put your tent on one camping and travel to and fro every day. Public transport is good around Nijmegen.
Are there any group accommodations?
Here is a incomplete list based on experience from pilgrims (update juli 2020). Mail ons for additions!
- Ubbergen: group accommodation de Elegast (former girl school and monastery). Ecological breakfast.
- Beek: hotel Sous Eglises, With café.
- Beek: Pastorie Beek, three two bed rooms extendable with one bed each.
- Groesbeek: glamping Bij Ons, just before Kranenburg. Luxurious tents and tipis or cabins. Campfire spots.
- Kranenburg: Rivendel, retreat centre.
- Groesbeek: camping Zoete Aagt, near the Reichswald of vlakbij Jansberg/Plasmolen. Cabins and beautiful orangerie.
- Groesbeek: camping op de stuwwal, near Mookerheide, holiday houses.
- Mook: herberg t Zwaantje, family restaurant and hotel, fourth generation, near forest.
- Groesbeek: conferentiecentrum De Poort, supper possible, cabins and hotel rooms.
- HatertseVennen, camping de Drie Linden, also huts and group accommodation with private kitchen.
- Velp, bij Grave, capucin monastery from the 18th century.
- Herpen (bij Ravenstein) Het Voorhuis. Far from the route, but pick up service.
- Ravenstein, city hotel/stadsherberg de Keurvorst, with restaurant and café.
- Niftrik, hotel Hoogeerd, halteplaats Walk of Wisdom
- Hernen, B&B de Terp, near castle Hernen, hartelijke eigenaren
Where can I best park the car best?
Nijmegen is easy to be reached by train, but if you want to come by car, here is some advice from our Facebook group ‘pelgrims van de Walk of Wisdom’ (of you use google translate, you can pick up much advice there).
- Park your car at de Limoskazerne, Groesbeekseweg in Nijmegen. From there 1,5 kilometer to startpoint de Stevenskerk or take bus 5.
- Nijmegen-Oost is the safest neighborhood in Nijmegen, on many places you can park there for free, the centre is close by. (see the payzones: betaalzones).
- Park your car at the station Nijmegen-Lent or Ravenstein and take the train to Nijmegen centrum, which is close by.
- Park you car at café Waalzicht, Oosterhoutsedijk 21 in Lent. From there it is ten minute walk to centre.
Is it allowed to walk the route with a dog?
You can walk the pilgrimage with a dog (with two exceptions, see below), but it must be kept on a leash in some nature reserves. Look at the entrance signs for information. We kindly ask you to keep your dog close by on route map 4 after leaving the Ooijpolder and crossing the footpassenger bridge until you reach the Elysian Fields on de Heerlijkheid Beek (“deliciousness Beek”). Dogs of pilgrims have caused some trouble there, so we would appreciate if you abide by this request.
On two locations you cannot walk the pilgrimage with a dog:
- Routemap 3, circle 7 you are not allowed to cross the gate with a dog. Turn right and the first street left (Kruisstraat). Keep left at the next fork in the road (Koudedijk) and go straight at the next crossing. Here you have joined the trail (map 4, circle 5) to the water crossing.
- Routemap 27, circle 10, you can not enter the nature reserve at the hedges here. Please continue walking on the Elzendweg. You will join the trail again at route map 28, circle 3.
Accommodation with dog
In our list of accommodations that you get when you sign up, you will find accommodations where a dog is welcome. If you become member of our Facebook group ‘pelgrims van de Walk of Wisdom’ you will find much good advice there or feel free to ask, we have 3.000+ members who are very willing to help. Use google translate if necessary!
Below some advice (update 2020 july)
Picture in the Stevenskerk
Many pilgrims want a picture of themselves before our 2,2 metre statue of our symbol that is proudly hammered against the inner wall of the Stevenskerk (the start and end of our pilgrimage). Officially dogs are not allowed in the church, but some volunteers turn a blind eye. Ask the volunteer in charge if you can, and if you can’t please accept that. It is only thanks to the volunteers that the church is open!
Adressen waar de hond welkom is
- Beek (routekaart 5) Hotel ‘t Spijker, luxe.
- Milsbeek (routekaart 12). B&B bij T&T, middel of budget 2p.
- Malden (routekaart 15 en 16) B&B Malden bosrand, middel of budget 2p. And B&B Woeste Hoogte but on a leash.
- Hatertse Vennen (routekaart 18) Bakhuisje Ronald en Machteld: only on a leash because of the chicken, budget.
- Hatertse Vennen (routekaart 18) B&B van Beijden (alleen in de voorkamer), middel of budget 2p.
- Alverna (routekaart 18) B&B Agnetenhoeve. Your dog gets a seperate room. Middel of budget 2p.
- Grave (routekaart 20) Catharinahof. Only help dogs.
- Velp (routekaart 21) Landgoed Lievendael, luxe of middel 2p.
- Niftrik (routekaart 24) Hotel Hoogeerd. Not in the restaurant, but in the bar and on the terrace yes. Luxe of middel 2p.
- Hernen (routekaart 26) B&B de Terp. Middel of budget 2p.
- Bergharen (routekaart 28) B&B de Donk en trekkershut. Luxe of budget 2p.
What is there to see on this pilgrimage?
The Walk of Wisdom is meant as an inner journey: what happens inside you is more important than what you see outside of you.
Still, many pilgrims are quite jubilant about the beautify of the trail. You pass three provinces and two countries, from new wilderness to un-Dutch hills, a vast wood and one of the most pictoresque old forests of the Netherlands. You will walk through heathland and cross swamps and pass old towns and villages and two real ‘Deliciousness’ (yes that is the literal translation of the word in Dutch!),land formerly or presently held by Dutch nobility.
You will also pass one of the rare old castles in the Netherlands that is never been besieged (what luck!) and a monumental open Maria pilgrimage site by a modern artist. The begin and end is the oldest city in the Netherlands and last but not least you will find a 2.2 metre statue of our symbol hammered against the inner wall of the most beloved building of Nijmegen: de Stevenskerk.
More about the route.
Is luggage transport possible?
If you need luggage transport for whatever reason, here is some advice:
- Book a B&B or host family in Nijmegen. The trail circles around this city and there is good public transport. You can return ‘home’ every day and will travel lightly.
- BnB Veldzicht in Horssen at Bergharen or Maria van den Heuvel in Hernen collect you where you are on the trail if you choose to stay there the whole week. You can find luggage service at some B&Bs and hotels, you can always ask and offer to pay for some gas.
- Zet een tent of caravan op camping de But in Groesbeek. Deze is tot laat in de avond goed te bereiken met OV, bus 5 Nijmegen-Groesbeek, uitstappen halte Dekkerswald.
Voor een klein bedrag brengen sommige B&Bs je bagage naar het volgende adres. Let op: het is geen recht, maar een service als het uitkomt! Stem dus van tevoren even af, ook over de kosten.
- Beek (routekaart 5) B&B Pastorie Beek.
- Mook (routekaart 13 en 14) Herberg ‘t Zwaantje.
- Mook en Malden (routekaart 14- 17) B&B Aan de Bagijnstraat.
- Malden (routekaart 15 en 16) B&B Malden bosrand.
- Ravenstein (routekaart 23) Stadsherberg de Keurvorst.
- Beuningen (routekaart 31) B&B de Sprokkeltuin.
You are not religious, why then do you start and finish Nijmegen St Stephen church?
The St Stephen church in Nijmegen has never been just a church. It is one of the most beloved and oldest buildings (+-1273) at the heart of our city on the top of a hill. Seeing the church from afar meant ‘coming home’ for many, many generations. You are invited to step into that line by leaving and – after a circle of 136 kilometers – returning there.
In medieval times the city protected their most cherished documents in an elaborate cabin to protect it from fire. The keys were dispersed among several keepers that needed to come together to open it.
The Nijmegen University holds its highest ceremony in this building, that is also the commemorative start of the famed Nijmegen Marches in July (the Walk of the World).
It is one of the rare building that miraculously escaped the tragic error bombing by the allies in WW2.
It is a place of grace and quiet, of history and community. We are proud and happy to have it is the focal point of our pilgrimage.
Why is the route called Walk of Wisdom?
Wisdom is universal through all human experience and traditions or cultures. It’s a quality that can’t be claimed or bought, it transcends borders and generations. We thus thought wisdom was an excellent word to communicate our quest for balance between inner freedom and interconnectedness.