Schokland's islanders eked out an existence for hundreds of years on a long, narrow strip of land in the Zuiderzee. By the mid-19th century the clock had run out: fish prices plummeted and vicious storms were eroding the island away. The plucky locals hung on, despite the appalling living conditions, prompting Willem III to order their removal in 1859. Schokland was eventually swallowed up by the Noordoostpolder in the 20th century. The Schokland Museum affords glimpses into this tortured past.
Displays, including a film in English, detail the history of the island, now a Unesco World Heritage Site. Views from the lower path hint at just how big the waves were at the prow-shaped barrier, constructed from tall wooden pilings. Ironically, since the area was drained the foundations have begun to dry out. Schokland is sinking but no longer into the sea.
The museum is 14km east of Urk; there's no public transport, so you'll need your own wheels. Once here, you can follow a 10km walking route around the old island.