The polder of the Kromme Rijn stretches out at the foot of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. Here you cycle on old dikes through a landscape of floodplains, watercourses and vast grasslands. Even though you are close to Utrecht, this region still has an almost old-fashioned tranquility.
As you drive through the basin of the Kromme Rijn, you will see how the many floods have created a pattern of sandy levees and bowl soils of heavy clay. The wet bowl soils were mainly used as hayfields and willow land, the fertile and higher levees as arable land. In the coming years, this unique nature reserve will have the opportunity to restore itself to its original biotope.
From afar you can see the restored corn mill Rijn & Weert, dating from 1882, looming on the horizon. A little further on is Castle Beverweerd. The exterior of this castle has been restored to the condition in which it was completed around 1850. During this renovation, the originally medieval castle from the thirteenth century received a major makeover. The castle is now owned by the religious Quaker community, which established an international school in the castle and on the estate.
Castle Sterkenburg is a knight's court town whose history goes back to the thirteenth century. The first lords of Sterkenburg descended from the house of Wulven, a powerful family who also had Hinderstein Castle built a little further away.
The area around Langbroek used to consist mainly of swamp forest. The reclamation through waterways and ditches created the battle landscape that characterizes this area. The characteristic residential towers that are located here initially functioned as a defense, but later as a status symbol.
From a distance you can soon see Cothen. The silhouette of this village is determined by the church tower and by the windmill Oog in't Zeil. Part of the charming village has been designated as a protected village view. You pass Kasteel Rhijnestein where robber baron Jan van Rhijnestein once held hostage some goldsmiths from Paris. It was bad eating cherries with this bandit, but nowadays those fruits at the castle taste a lot better thanks to the small cherry orchard. In any case, cherry cultivation still plays an important role in Cothen. The cherry festival is organized here every year. In the spring, the area is adorned by the flowering cherry trees.