Hook of Holland

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Hook of Holland
Hoek van Holland
Town centre of the Hook of Holland.
Hook of Holland town centre
Coordinates: 51°58′52″N 4°7′43″E / 51.98111°N 4.12861°E / 51.98111; 4.12861
ProvinceSouth Holland
 • Total14.1 km2 (5.4 sq mi)
 (1 July 2008)[1]
Major roadsN211 N220
Dialing code0174
Ferry terminal on the New Waterway
Passport stamp issued at the ferry terminal to passengers to/from the UK

Hook of Holland (Dutch: Hoek van Holland, pronounced [ˈɦuk fɑn ˈɦɔlɑnt] (About this soundlisten))[2] is a town in the southwestern corner of Holland (hence the name; hoek means "corner" and was the word in use before the word kaap – "cape", from Portuguese cabo – became Dutch), at the mouth of the New Waterway shipping canal into the North Sea. The town is administered by the municipality of Rotterdam as a district of that city. Its district covers an area of 16.7 km2, of which 13.92 km2 is land. On 1 January 1999 it had an estimated population of 9,400.

Towns near "the Hook" (Dutch: "de Hoek") include Monster, 's-Gravenzande, Naaldwijk and Delft to the northeast, and Maassluis to the southeast. On the other side of the river is the Europort and the Maasvlakte. The wide sandy beach, one section of which is designated for use by naturists, runs for approximately 18 kilometres to Scheveningen and for most of this distance is backed by extensive sand dunes through which there are foot and cycle paths.

On the north side of the New Waterway, to the west of the town, is a pier, part of which is accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

The Berghaven is a small harbour on the New Waterway where the Rotterdam and Europort pilots are based. This small harbour is only for the use of the pilot service, government vessels and the Hook of Holland lifeboat.


The Hook of Holland area was created as a sandbar in the Meuse estuary, when it became more and more silted after St. Elizabeth's flood of 1421. All kinds of plans were designed to improve the shipping channel to Rotterdam. In 1863 it was finally decided to construct the New Waterway which was dug between 1866 and 1868. The route ran through the Hook of Holland, where a primitive settlement, Old Hook (Oude Hoek - nowadays the Zuidelijk Strandcentrum), was created. Many workers and senior employees of the Rijkswaterstaat settled in Old Hook.

The Hook initially fell under the administrative authority of 's-Gravenzande. An attempt by the inhabitants to transform the place into an independent municipality failed and, on 1 January 1914, Hook of Holland was added to Rotterdam. After the First World War the village started to develop into a seaside resort. It has since been informally known as 'Rotterdam by the sea'.

During World War II, the Hook was one of the most important places for the Wehrmacht to hold because of its harbour, which comprised an important and strategic part of the Atlantic Wall.

Hook of Holland already had a ward council in 1947. Hook of Holland has been a borough since 1973. In 2014 it was replaced by an 'area committee'.

Transport links[edit]


The Schiedam–Hoek van Holland railway is a 24-kilometre branch line from Schiedam Centrum station via Vlaardingen and Maassluis. The final two stations on the line are located within the town. Hoek van Holland Haven, the penultimate station, is close to the town centre, adjacent to the ferry terminal and the small harbour, the Berghaven. Hoek van Holland Strand, the terminus, is closest to the beach.

The railway line opened for service in 1893 and was electrified in 1935. International trains ran from Berlin and Moscow to connect these with London via the ferry service. From 1928 to 1939 and from 1962 to 1979, Hook of Holland was the northern terminus of the Rheingold Express to Frankfurt and Geneva. Services on the line to Rotterdam Centraal station were operated by NS every half-hour during the day until April 2017, when the line was closed for conversion to metro standards. It was reopened in September 2019, as an extension of the Rotterdam Metro. The metro line service from Hook of Holland does not offer direct connections to Rotterdam Centraal.


Hook of Holland is also the location of an international ferry terminal, from which service to eastern England has operated since 1893 except for the durations of the two World Wars. Currently, two routes are operated: one, a day-and-night freight and passenger service to Harwich, Essex, and the other, a night, freight-only service to North Killingholme Haven, Lincolnshire. The passenger ferry service is operated by Stena Line as part of the Dutchflyer rail-ferry service between Hook van Holland Haven station and Harwich International station in England, from which Greater Anglia provides service to Liverpool Street station in central London.

A local ferry operated by RET links the Hook with the Maasvlakte part of the Port of Rotterdam.


The A20 motorway begins approximately 10 kilometres east of Hook of Holland near Westerlee, heading east towards Rotterdam and Utrecht. It connects to the A4 heading north towards The Hague and Amsterdam 17 kilometres east of the town.

Notable people[edit]

  • Jan Knippenberg (1948–1995), a Dutch ultrarunner and historian; in 1974 he ran from Hook of Holland to Stockholm (1,600 km [990 mi]) in 18 days
  • Richard de Mos (born 1976), a Dutch PVV politician and climate-change sceptic; brought up in Hook of Holland
  • Jesper Leerdam (born 1987), a Dutch footballer who has played for Dayton Dutch Lions, Excelsior Maassluis and SW Scheveningen[3]
  • Roy Kortsmit (born 1992), a Dutch professional footballer who currently plays as a goalkeeper for NAC Breda in the Dutch Eerste Divisie[4]
  • Bryan Janssen (born 1995), a Dutch professional footballer who since January 2020 has played for ASWH[5]


  1. ^ "Bevolkingsmonitor 2e kwartaal 2008" (PDF). Centrum voor Onderzoek en Statistiek Rotterdam. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2008.
  2. ^ Van in isolation: [vɑn].
  3. ^ "Jesper Leerdam". World Football.
  4. ^ "Roy Kortsmit". World Football.
  5. ^ "ASWH versterkt zich met doelman Bryan Janssen". Voetbal 247 (Football 247).


  • Hendy, John; Cowsill, Miles; Brown, Stephen (2010). Harwich - Hook of Holland 1893-2010. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781906608101.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°58′35″N 4°07′56″E / 51.9763°N 4.1323°E / 51.9763; 4.1323