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Visitors to Waalwijk may easily be confused by the inaccurate and inconsistent markings on the ANWB chart and in the Almanak. The only yacht club open to visitors is the WSV Waalwijk, which is on the port (east) side as you approach the lock. Access to the canal beyond the lock is only for commercial ships, or by special arrangement for yachts undergoing repair or winter storage.

The harbour master lives on site and is incredibly friendly and welcoming. However, his almost complete lack of English makes communication a challenge for most visitors. Arriving unannounced as four British boats of 10 or 11 metres each we did cause a bit of a stir and filled all the available spaces without much room to spare. Showers (at €0,50 a time) and toilets were voted quite satisfactory, and the Chocomel machine in the clubhouse proved a popular attraction with our younger visitors. They also appreciated the small play area - something I'd omitted to mention before - which we could even keep an eye on from the boat.

Since my last visit the electricity supply has been uprated to 6A, and is still provided free, along with unmetered water. The market is in fact on Wednesday afternoon, not in the morning, and the 30 minute bike ride to De Efteling took our party the best part of an hour, and we were in sight of the fairy kingdom before we spotted any of the special cycle route markers. It was a sunny day in August when we visited and crowds of visitors meant queues of 30-45 minutes for the main attractions, but even those who did not classify themselves as true dare-devils enjoyed the attractive surroundings and the enchanted wood.

Visit the Lady Alison blog for the De Efteling photo gallery