July 28th 2020

Discover much more than Amsterdam

Windmill 'De Hoop' - Loenen

We are all very excited to be able to announce one of our new Walks for 2021 – the Netherlands!

A small country that punches way above its weight, it’s perfect for walking. We’ve made this an easy Level 2, so wonderful for all Wayfarers.

The Netherlands has top-notch transport links with the UK and the rest of Europe – and we know you’ll love Amsterdam, our start and end point. Well worth spending a few extra days in this vibrant, cool capital city.

And we have the inside track on the very best places to visit and stay, thanks to our Netherlands’ “team” of Ron and Rolf van Dijk, our Operations and Media Directors respectively.

Our itinerary offers a thoughtful mix of art and architecture, quaint villages, countryside, Dutch history, great food and drink and terrific places to stay.

We know this Walk is set to be a great favorite with our guests. Read more about it below and, as ever, do contact us if you have any questions at all.

Ferry of the Hanseatic town of Deventer on the IJssel River

Palaces, gardens, waterways and windmills!

Amsterdam is probably the first stop on anyone's trip to the Netherlands—and for good reason. But there is so much more to this small country (about one-third the size of Pennsylvania) than its capital.

And in this country “as big as a city” you are never more than a couple of hours away from all it has to offer.

Historic farm in the Achterhoek

That includes wonderful architecture and fabulous art collections. Gardens to marvel at, a fascinating history and beautiful, peaceful countryside.

Water is never far away, whether it’s at the coast or following the trail along one of the myriad inland waterways or rivers that pass through impossibly picturesque towns.

No wonder Lonely Planet has the Netherlands as one of its Top Ten countries to visit this year!

Idyllic Vecht River

Geography plays a key role in the iconic Dutch landscapes. More than a quarter of the pancake-flat country is below sea level, and one-fifth has been reclaimed from the sea.

Winds fresh from the North Sea have powered windmills since the 13th century and agriculture and horticulture are key industries.

The locals love to cycle, and of course it’s wonderful walking territory. This Level 1 Walk is on mostly flat, easy terrain, with one “hilly” day. There are footpaths over meadows, heaths, fields and through varied forests.

But just because the walking is easy, we don’t miss out on variety.

Paleis Het Loo - Apeldoorn

Here’s a taster of some of the highlights we can look forward to:

  • Exploring the Dutch Baroque gardens of beautiful Het Loo Palace. This royal palace was built by William of Orange and his wife, Mary II of England, and served as the summer residence of the House of Orange-Nassau for nearly 200 years.
  • Walking in the Achterhoek, an area known for bucolic open spaces, forests, farms, manor houses and estates. One of the grandest, De Wiersse, will open its gardens especially for us. After lunch we’ll have a guided tour of the historic Hanseatic town of Deventer, where we stay.
    De Wiersse - Vorden
  • The renowned Kröller-Müller Museum is set in the marvelous Hoge Veluwe National Park. It houses a vast Van Gogh collection. We’ll stroll in the National Park with its beech and pine trees, heaths, and dunes. Cycling in the park is a national pastime, if you want to give it a try!
    Kröller-Müller Museum - Otterlo - Vincent Van Gogh
  • The gardens of 17th century Kasteel Middachten, one of the Top 100 Dutch Heritage sites, will take your breath away. They were inspired by the gardens at Versailles.
    WWII Airborne Museum - Oosterbeek
  • Holland's WWII history, is on display in Oosterbeek, which saw fierce fighting during Operation Market Garden, portrayed in the film, "A Bridge Too Far". Our forest walk includes the Airborne Cemetery of Allied troops who fell during the battle of Arnhem, as well as the Hartenstein Villa, which now houses the Airborne Museum.
  • As we explore the wild and calm beauty of Loosdrecht Lakes and its surroundings, the trail is edged by canals, panned by bridges, and lakes which arose from old peat bogs. Admire the 17th and 18th century summer residences built by wealthy Amsterdam merchants. And yes, in Loenen, a small town with flower-covered houses, we will visit a working windmill!

Where we stay:

IJsselhotel - Deventer

The Sandton IJsselhotel is a magnificent 19th century listed building, with superb views over the IJssel river and a waterside terrace overlooking historic Deventer.

Hotel Kassteel Engelenburg - Brummen

Kasteel Engelenburg is a colonial-style country house dating back to 1828, set amid 250 acres of landscaped gardens, with a golf course and a private forest. The restaurant in the 19th-century conservatory has a celebrated reputation for its fine cuisine.

Hotel De Nederlanden - Vreeland aan de Vecht

De Nederlanden Hotel is a building dating back to 1680 and is situated on the romantic Vecht river in the quaint town of Vreeland. It boasts magnificent bedrooms with brand-new bathroom facilities.

The Netherlands

Click to download itinerary

Walk Level 2

6-12 June, 13-19 June 2021

Biking along an Amsterdam canal

What’s special about the Netherlands?

Who better to ask than Ron van Dijk, our Operations Director, a proud Netherlander!

"We will definitely introduce everyone to some of our favourite Dutch specialties."

  • raw herring with onions (grab it by its tail)
  • smoked eel (delicious, and melts on the tongue)
  • Dutch shrimp from the North Sea (the smallest,but also the best in the world)
  • bitterballen (fried croquettes), goes well with Dutch beer
  • cheese (the Dutch are the largest cheese exporters in the world: not surprisingly my daughter is in the cheese business, marketing Old Amsterdam in Germany)
  • liquorice, sweet as well as salty (the Dutch eat more than anyone else)
  • pancakes (the absolute best in the world, both sweet and savory) and poffertjes (mini-pancakes)
  • chocolate sprinkles on the bread for breakfast
  • stroopwafels (syrup wafers), for instant energy

Dutch treats

The Dutch drink a lot of coffee, and we will have our share on this trip. It was the Dutch merchants who introduced Europe to coffee in the 16th century, and they haven't stopped drinking since.

By the way, Dutch men are the tallest in the world, and the Dutch women the 2nd tallest, partly due to the high consumption of dairy products.

Travel is so easy and rewarding for tourists because - considering English as a second language - the Netherlands has the highest English proficiency (90%) in the world..

Dutch people love to speak their mind and discuss politics...

We will definitely encounter some of the excellent cycling infrastructure (bike paths, signs, storage, etc) in this country, which has more bikes than inhabitants.

Last but not least, we will visit numerous gardens to admire the plants and flowers.

Did you know that 80% of the world trade in flowers is in Dutch hands?

Maybe you’ll want to visit the flower and plant auction in Aalsmeer (near Schiphol Amsterdam airport. It’s early on weekday mornings.”

Flower Auction - Aalsmeer

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