Quaint and quiet Oostduinkerke is famous for its paardenvissers (horse fishermen), who trawl the shallows at low tide fishing for the grey North Sea shrimp used in dishes like tomates-crevettes.

Paardenvissers, Oostduinkerke, Flanders by Emma ThomsonLast chance to see! Oostduinkerke is the only place left in the world where you can watch paardenvissers (horseback fishermen) trawling the North Sea shallows for grey shrimp. A hundred years ago, they could be seen all the way from the Netherlands to the south of England, but no more. This coastal village keeps the tradition alive by training just a few young men to take over the tradition of donning sou’westers and wading their Clydsdale-like Brabant horses into the muddy waters, thin nets stretched out on a wooden frame behind them. When they come ashore you can buy the ‘catch of the day’ for just a few euros – seafood doesn’t get any fresher!

(Photo: © Emma Thomson)

Back to the top

Related books

View all