Hook of Holland
|Hook of Holland
Hoek van Holland
Town centre of Hoek van Holland
|Population (1 July 2008)||9,382|
|Major roads||N211 N220|
Hook of Holland (Dutch: Hoek van Holland, pronounced [ˈɦuk fɑn ˈɦɔlɑnt] ( listen) - literally "Corner of Holland"), also known as De Hoek [də ˈɦuk] or in English The Hook, is a town in the western Netherlands. Its name refers to its geographical location in the southwestern "corner" of Holland proper, at the mouth of the Nieuwe Waterweg ship 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.
Nearby towns include Monster, 's-Gravenzande, Naaldwijk and Delft to the northeast and Maassluis to the southeast. On the other side of the river is the Europoort 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 Nieuwe Waterweg, 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 Nieuwe Waterweg where the Rotterdam and Europort pilots are based. This small harbour is only for the use of the pilot service, government vessels and the Hoek van Holland lifeboat.
During World War II this was one of the most important places for the Germans to hold because of the harbour.
There are two railway stations, Hoek van Holland Strand, which is at the end of the line and closest to the beach and Hoek van Holland Haven, which is close to the town centre, adjacent to the ferry terminal and the small harbour, the Berghaven. The railway line connects Hoek van Holland to Rotterdam via Maassluis, Vlaardingen and Schiedam, the trains running every half hour during the day.
The ferry terminal is operated by Stena Line with the passenger terminal and access for passenger cars being next to Hoek van Holland Haven Station and the freight entrance being to the east of the town.
There has been a ferry service to eastern England operating from Hoek van Holland since 1893 with only the two World Wars interrupting the service. Currently two routes are being 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. From 1 March 2009 the Harwich service will be departing at 2:30 pm and 10:45 pm and the Killingholme service at 9:15 pm.