With its thicket of boat masts poking out above the rooftops, it’s easy to spot Sloten from afar. It’s something of a museum piece, and the village’s 1000 inhabitants are proud to call Sloten one of Friesland’s eleven “cities”, and a medieval one at that. Encircled by water, it’s a popular spot with Dutch and German tourists alike – the delightful central canal, Heerenwal is flanked by plane trees and pavement cafés. On the bastion at Heerenwal’s far end, the De Kaai windmill provides a sort of focus, a working mill open on Saturdays for visits (April–Sept Sat 1–5pm; Oct–March Sat 10am–noon).There’s also a small museum, in the town hall on Heerenwal (April–Oct Tues–Fri 11am–5pm, Sat & Sun 1–5pm; €3; w, but otherwise it’s just a case of wandering the cobbled alleyways and encircling bastions and admiring the gabled facades.

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