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Berkelland is a municipality in the far northeast of the Gelderland, the Netherlands.

The river Berkel at the Mallumse Molen, a water mill near Eibergen. Berkelland is named after this river.



Berkelland is the most northeast municipality of the Achterhoek, bordering the Overijsselsche sub-region of Twente, as well as Nordrhein-Westfalen in the east. The municipality is, as many other of the Achterhoekse municipalities, not very old. The municipality was created in 2005 by merging the former municipalities of Borculo, Eibergen, Neede and Ruurlo.


Mostly destroyed church of Borculo after the Cyclone of Borculo, also known as the storm of 1925.

Borculo is a city that was built around a castle known to have existed during the 12th century. It was built on a well-defendable place along the Groenlose Slinge and Berkel rivers.

Borculo gained its city rights in 1590. The region was bought by Prince William V of Orange-Nassau in 1777, which gives the current king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, the title of Lord of Borculo.

Most notable in Borculo's history are the storm of 1925, also known as the Cyclone of Borculo, which led to a massive increase in tourism, disaster tourism especially. The storm of 1925 destroyed the entire town of Borculo. Eyewitnesses spoke of several tornadoes. Newspapers reported of hundreds of deaths and of men and women being picked off of the ground and thrown around for hundreds of meters. The storm was unlike anything ever seen in the Netherlands. What happened is debatable, but the most common assumption is that a tornado of one to two kilometers in diameter hit the Achterhoek that night. Two years later the city of Borculo, having mostly recovered from 1925, was nearly hit by another tornado of scale F4. This time, however, Eibergen took most of the damage.



Eibergen got its city rights rather late, in the fifteenth century. Eibergen, however, never became a proper city, as local law was practised and written in Borculo. Eibergen got heavily damaged by the 1927 tornado, which hit on June first. Though it was a weaker storm than the one that hit Borculo two years earlier, the town did get damaged severely, and many lost their lives.

The biggest monument in Eibergen is the Mallumse Molen, which dates back to 1748. The building consists of a water mill and the mulder house (miller house) that belongs to it. The mill, lock, mulder house and the waterworks around it all once belonged to a large manor. These four remaining monuments are open every Saturday, when volunteers operate the mill.


The Hollandse Molen (Dutch Windmill) near the Needse Berg.

Neede has always been a small settlement. It was created as a trade post on the road between Deventer and Vreden. The church was constructed in 1506. The church itself doesn't stand anymore, yet its tower still does and is now part of the Hervormde or Grote Kerk.

Southern Neede was connected to several rail lines in 1884. The town had a large station which was mostly necessary for the many lines that connected to the station. Amongst these was the line between Doetinchem and Hengelo, a line to Winterswijk and one to Hellendoorn. These lines got removed one by one, and by 2001 the station too got demolished.

Similar to Eibergen, Neede was severely damaged by the 1927 storm. All of the village's industry was damaged. The industry mostly existed of stone factories and textile factories. The train depots was destroyed completely, train cars were thrown around and entire houses broke down.

Though Neede is in the Achterhoek, its customs and language are closer related to those of Twente.

  • 3 VVV Neede (Neede Tourist Information), Oudestraat 52C, NL-7161 Neede.


Ruurlo Castle

Ruurlo has never been more than a small village that wasn't of much importance to Gelderland. The rail line between Zutphen and Winterswijk which opened in 1878, however, opened new opportunities to the small village. The town grew a bit, but grew more in tourism, as the main attraction, Kasteel Ruurlo (Ruurlo Castle), was accessible to people from all over the country.

Get in


By public transport


Berkelland is rather difficult to reach if you do not intend to travel to Ruurlo, as the only station in the whole of the municipality is 1 Station Ruurlo  . Here you'll have to switch to a bus if you would like to get to Borculo, Eibergen or Neede. Bus 23 services between Doetinchem and Borculo. When you'd like to get to Eibergen and Neede, use bus 74 from Enschede or Lievelde to get to Eibergen. In Eibergen you can switch to bus 72 which will bring you to Neede.

By car


When travelling from Arnhem, use the A12 towards Oberhausen. At the Oud Dijk interchange, turn onto the A18 heading for Doetinchem. Follow this highway until it ends near Varsseveld. Follow the Twenteroute (N18) heading towards Groenlo and Enschede. On this route, you'll first find the N312 near Lichtenvoorde, which you'll have to use to get to Ruurlo. In Ruurlo you can use the N315 to get to Borculo and Neede. If you wanted to get to Eibergen, then stay on the N18 at Lichtenvoorde. The N18 will take you to Eibergen directly. Directly after crossing the Berkel in Eibergen, take a left onto the N823 heading for Neede. This is a quicker route than the aforementioned N312-N315 combo.

When travelling from Enschede, head onto the Twenteroute (N18) heading for Haaksbergen. Just before you drive into Gelderland, the N18 will branch off into the N315, servicing Neede, Borculo and Ruurlo in that order, and the N18 which will take you to Eibergen, and pass by Groenlo and Lichtenvoorde before turning into the A18 heading for Doetinchem near Varsseveld.

Get around

Ruurlo train station and busstop.

The best ways to get around in Berkelland are by using public transport or a (rental) car. Additionally, you could get hold of a bicycle and cycle around the municipality, which may be rewarding on beautiful days.

By public transport


As mentioned, public transport may be the best way to get around in Berkelland. Bus 23 services between Station Ruurlo (Ruurlo Train station) and Borculo. The line has two variants. One goes directly to Borculo using the N315, the other makes a small detour via Leostichting. What variant of line 23 you're dealing with is mentioned on the bus. From Borculo, you can switch to line 62 to get to Neede, where you then can switch onto line 72 heading for Eibergen. From Eibergen you can loop back to Ruurlo by using line 72 to get to the Groenlo-Lichtenvoorde train station, though note that the bus stop is called Lievelde Station, where you can get a train heading for Zutphen. The first stop is the one you should get off on: Station Ruurlo.

By car


The infrastructure of Berkelland is mostly based on a loop between Ruurlo, Eibergen and Oost Gelre, existing of the N18, N312/N319 and N315. Using sat nav or a map to get to smaller picturesque villages such as Beltrum, is a rather great idea.

Map of Berkelland

  • 1 Kristalmuseum (Crystalmuseum), Burgemeester Bloemersstraat 1, NL-7271 DA Borculo, +31 545 272 200. The Kristalmuseum owns a large collection of crystals, minerals, gems and fossils. It is located in the former city hall of Borculo.
  • 2 Brandweer- en Stormrampenmuseum (Fire Brigade and Storm disastermuseum), Hofstraat 5, NL-7271 AP Borculo, +31 545 271 966. The museum is focuses on both the Dutch and local fire brigade, as well as the cyclones of 1925 and 1927.
  • 3 Historisch Museum de Scheper (Historical museum de Scheper), Hagen 24, NL-7151 CA Eibergen, +31 545 471 050. De Scheper is a museum in Eibergen with collections about archeology, geology, the farmers' and daily life in the region, as well as other regional subjects, such as writes from Eibergen and the Second World War in the region.
  • 4 Openluchttheater Eibergen, Grotestraat 46, NL-7151 BD Eibergen, +31 545 474 568.
  • 5 Kasteel Ruurlo (Ruurlo Castle), Vordenseweg 2, NL-7261 Ruurlo, +31 545 250 250.    
  • 6 Mallumse Molen, Mallumse Molenweg 37, NL-7152 AV Eibergen, +31 545 471 994.
  • 1 Nationale Jammarkt (National Jam Market): Neede7161 CX Neede. The largest jam (marmalade) market of the Netherlands takes place in Neede during August. (date needs fixing)

Borculo has a total of two supermarkets, both of which are located just outside of the city centre. These are the 1 Albert Heijn Borculo, Lichtenhorst 1, NL-7271. and the 2 EMTÉ Borculo, Lichtenhorst 7, NL-7271 AE..

Eibergen too houses two large supermarkets. Again, both of them are just outside of the city centre. These are 3 Albert Heijn Laagte, Laagte 2, NL-7151 BS. and 4 Jumbo Eibergen, Brink 35, NL-7151 CR.

Neede too houses two large generic supermarkets, namely 5 Albert Heijn Borculoseweg, Borculoseweg 11, NL-7161 GP. and 6 EMTÉ Neede, Zwaluwstraat 11, NL-7161 GX Neede.. Additionally, Neede houses a budget supermarket, 7 LIDL Neede, Ten Coateplas, NL-7161 DC.. The exact same goes for Ruurlo, which houses 8 Coop Ruurlo, Leeuwerikstraat 2, NL-7261 GA. and 9 PLUS Kogelman, Borculoseweg 1, Nl-7261 BG. near the city centre, and discount store 10 ALDI Ruurlo, Wildenborchseweg 2, NL-7261 WZ..

Alternatively, if you are not staying in one of the four greater cities, then consider buying day-to-day groceries in Beltrum, which is a small town located in the middle of Berkelland. It houses a medium sized supermarket; 11 Coop Beltrum, Kampstraat 23, NL-7156 LW..







Go next

  • Bronckhorst to the west is the municipality of castles, with Vorden alone counting eight of them.
  • Lochem to the north features an old market and townhouse, scenic landscapes and lots of culture.
  • Oost Gelre, which contains Groenlo and Lichtenvoorde, is a municipality most known for its large events, amongst which is the re-enactment of the Battle of Grolle and the Zwarte Cross.
  • Nearby cities are Zutphen and Doetinchem.
Routes through Berkelland
DoetinchemOost Gelre  W   N  HaaksbergenEnschede
Lichtenvoorde  S   N  Lochem
DoetinchemZelhem  W   E  Haaksbergen
ZutphenVorden  W   E  LieveldeWinterswijk

This city travel guide to Berkelland is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.