Hell's Highway 220 km
Where Market Garden meets Operation Aintree - 220 km
The 220 km (137 miles) route is more than double the distance operation Garden had planned. The start is in front of the Sherman Firefly Tank outside Leopoldsburg's (Bourg-Léopold, Belgium) train station. It sets off differently to HH 180, HH 195, and HH 210 right from the start as it takes the rider to a unique cycling experience on an iconic landmark that has nothing to do with Operation Market Garden, 'Fietsen door de Bomen'; a cycle path that safely takes you into the tree tops at a height of 10 metres.
Please note: this route is recommended in the summer months when days are longer. Attempting this ride in September will result in missing POI's due to rushing it to get in before evening falls. An alternative is to break it up into 2 days.
On this route, Joe's Bridge is skipped in favour of the more westerly crossing of the Bocholt-Herentals Canal via the Old Bailey bridge at Mol.
The route goes eastwards at Eindhoven, unlocking the flanks of the Operation Market Garden route towards Overloon. Here, the route will guide you on the cycle path that runs literally through Overloon War Museum. Please take note that the Sonsebrug, St.Oedenrode, Veghel, Zeeland, and Grave are therefore NOT part of this route.
The route goes eastwards towards Nuenen, Venray, Overloon, Cuijk, towards Mook, and Nijmegen. The history buff analysing this route will have noticed that the eastward deviation takes the rider away from the original Operation Market Garden route. Strictly speaking, the area from Venray to Overloon (‘Little Caen') is part of Operation Aintree (September 30 - October 18, 1944). This operation is known for the Battle of Overloon where the British 3rd Infantry Division fought hard in the face of fierce German resistance.
Once in the province of Gelderland, it will follow through to Driel, with a final westerly approach to Arnhem. The end of the route is on the Airborneplein in Arnhem after crossing the John Frost Bridge.
Route length: 220 kilometres / 137 miles
Elevation gain: 456 metres.
Grading: A moderate cyclist should be able to enjoy this route. However, the average speed is slowed down due to landmark visits. Expect a minimum of 12 hours in the saddle, excluding breaks. Including lunch and stops, this can take up to 15-16 hours.
A hilly section will start at kilometre 170 into the ride.
Route markers & cues
Below is an indication of the main points of interest you will find exactly along the route. The indicated km is a fairly accurate indication, but can vary a little. Especially if you deviate from the route. That is why most POI's also are also hyperlinked and state a town name. There are many POI's on this route. Stopping at each one will probably make the trip take too long. Therefore, you will have to be a little selective. The ones marked with a ★ are recommended. This website was made with Google Sites; external hyperlinks are checked for malware destinations by Google and therefore might take a fraction longer to load.
000.0 > Sherman Firefly Tank, Leopoldsburg
010.5 > 'Fietsen door de Bomen' (Tree top cycling)
016.3 > German Military Cemetery, Lommel
030.4 > Old Bailey bridge at Mol| One of the few surviving and almost completely original WWII Bailey bridges in Europe ★
030.5 > Lancaster III ND715 'PH-R' Memorial, Mol
051.0 > Wellington HZ520 Memorial, Bergeijk
053.8 > LRM#104, Borkel en Schaft | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
054.2 > Valkenswaard War Cemetery, Valkenswaard
057.6 > Victorie Brug; The first of many Market Garden bridges.
The Irish Guards 1st Battalion, The Dorsetshire Regiment, reached it on September 17, 1944 at 16.30.
059.2 > LRM#105, Valkenswaard | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
061.7 > Birkenhof Bunker, Valkenswaard
067.0 > LRM#107, Eindhoven | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
073.7 > LRM#108, Eindhoven |SoundCloud Audio ▶️
074.0 > War- and Liberation Memorial, Eindhoven | SoundCloud Audio ▶️ The Sept 19, 1944 bombing
074.2 > St. Catherine's Church, Eindhoven
075.0 > RECOMMENDED COFFEE & CAKE STOP @ Wielercafe Cyklist
075.0 > Eindhoven | SoundCloud Audio ▶️ A paratrooper in Eindhoven
075.0 > Eindhoven | SoundCloud Audio ▶️ Snipers & guns
081.5 > LRM#112 / Willem-Hikspoorsbrug | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
084.5 > 101st Airborne Division Memorial, Nuenen
115.0 > Taylorcraft Auster Mk V NJ669 Memorial, Ysselsteyn
126.0 > Norfolk Monument, Venray | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
129.1 > Overloon War Museum, Overloon | SoundCloud Audio ▶️ ★
138.4 > Lancaster PD221/BQ-Rof Memorial, Westerbeek
156.2 > Lancaster lll ED997 Bomber Memorial, Oeffelt
158.6 > Lambrechtsen Bridge Memorial (longest Bailey Bridge), Oefelt ★
165.5 > LRM#131, Cuijk | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
170.7 > Mook War Cemetery, Mook | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
174.4 > Waco Glider, Groesbeek | SoundCloud Audio ▶️ ★
184.0 > LRM#45, Berg en Dal | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
186.7 > LRM#68, Berg en Dal | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
187.1 > LRM#48, Heilig Landstichting | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
187.1 > LRM#48, Heilig Landstichting | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
193.3 > Infocentre WW2, Nijmegen ★
193.3 > The mistaken American bombing ▶️
193.3 > 'Once in your life do something good...' ▶️
193.3 > German frogmen ▶️
193.3 > Men’s Island - Betuwe ▶️
193.3 > The Americans commandeer private boats ▶️
204.0 > LRM#31, Elst | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
210.4 > Major General Stanisław Sosabowski Memorial, Driel
From this command post, general Sosabowski would cycle to inspect his troops on a ladies' bicycle. This to the great hilarity of his men.
211.0 > The monument at Plac Polski, Driel | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
213.4 > Memorial Royal Engineers and Royal Canadian Engineers, Driel ★
214.6 > LRM#67, Elden | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
219.2 > John Frost Bridge | SoundCloud Audio ▶️
220.0 > Airborneplein, Arnhem - END
All SoundCloud soundtrack links are from Liberation Route Europe.
All the location discoveries are from TracesOfWar.
If you stay the night in Arnhem, there is always the option of a local Bridge too Far ride. An option is the Arnhem Airborne Cycle Route.