Magnificent palaces in picturesque gardens, impressive castles and fortresses surrounded by protective water. Large country estates, historic country houses, imposing mansions in the midst of extensive meadows—and mile after mile of dense forest.
Dive into the history of Holland through its magnificent castles and country houses. You'll find no less than 700 still-standing monuments to years gone by scattered across the country, from historic fortresses to stately homes. And with numerous properties being the one-time home of the Dutch royal family, you can trace the roots of this mighty lineage back through their many homes—and experience their connection to the other powerful families of Europe.
If the Dutch royal lineage doesn't interest you, however, you can simply admire the architecture. In the Golden Age, wealthy merchants would construct hundreds of luxurious country houses, complete with stylistically designed gardens and intricate interiors—inspiring numerous architectural and design trends over the years. And best of all: Many of these Dutch castles and country houses are now open to the public, whether as museums, family-friendly attractions, hotels, youth hostels or excellent restaurants.
In this Collection, we present six bike rides and two hikes that'll take you to the most beautiful Dutch castles and country houses.
This bike tour takes you to the publicly accessible castles and estates in Wassenaar, Voorschoten and Voorburg. The whole region around The Hague has been popular with the owners of castles and estates for centuries, as it is very close to the sea.In addition, the route leads past no fewer than three top-class museums: Duivenvoorde Castle, Voorlinden Museum and Huygens' Hofwijck. By far, cyclists will also pass the royal estate De Eikenhorst, where King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima live with their daughters Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.If you want to have lunch royally on the way, you can reserve the restaurant Central Park on the estate Vreugd en Rust. Start and finish of the circuit is Castle Duivenvoorde, where the brand new Visitor Pavilion "Hof van Dunivoorde" is perfect for coffee, cake or lunch.
This unmarked hike leads from the impressive Amerongen Castle via the picturesque village of Amerongen to the magnificent Amerongse Berg recreation area. Outside the closed village you soon reach the woods, where the paved roads stop. The Amerongse Berg has been part of the Heuvelrug National Park since 2003 as an independent forester. Since time immemorial, the area has belonged to the country estate Schloss Amerongen. The varied forest is one of the oldest on the entire ridge, rising southeast of Utrecht.The ascent to the 69-meter-high summit takes its course at a wide angle at Restaurant 't Berghuis. In the vicinity you can discover remnants of burial mounds from the Middle and Late Bronze Age. Afterwards, you will first descend in a wide loop before you take the second ascent to the "Lonely Oak" on the eastern tip. The tree was planted as early as 1792 and it is right in the middle of a circle, on the eight ways to run.Through the river landscape of the Amerongse Bovenpolder you return to the castle Amerongen. You wander through a magnificent path through the dyke foreland of a Rhine arm, where the water can freely determine its course. A real recommendation.
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The largest privately-owned estate in the Netherlands is the protagonist of this unmarked circular walk over Twickel. The estate covers a good 4000 hectares and is located near Delden in Twente, a region in the east of the country. Twickel Castle is the center of a country estate that includes landscapes as varied as forests, heaths, valleys and farms with fields and pastures. All 160 farms can be recognized by the black and white window hatches.Part of the route runs along the banks of the Twickelervaart, an 11-kilometer-long canal constructed in the 18th century for transporting textile products and oak. The goods were shipped across the rivers Regge, Vecht and Zwarte Water to the then Zuiderzee. The construction of better transport routes in the 20th century marked the end of this form of shipping. The last part of the route finally leads through the Deldeneresch.
This cycling route takes you from Amsterdam to Muiderslot and back. Muiderslot is one of the most picturesque medieval castles in the Netherlands. On the way there, you will be driving along the shores of the IJ and IJmeer virtually uninterrupted.It starts at the Centraal Station, where once the Amstel flowed into the river IJ. On the way, on the 12th century Diemerzee dike, you gain interesting insights into the tireless struggle that the Dutch lead with the water. At the same time you can observe how the people used the water for defense purposes. Numerous forts remind to this day. Last but not least, you will pass through some (former) ports, which in turn will allow you to look back on the history of transport and locomotion. Above all, the route is a magnificent excursion, at the turning point of which as a cherry on the icing of the cake Muiderslot Castle waits.As well as the way out, the way back leads almost continuously along the water. It starts at the centuries-old Vecht and Gaasp rivers, followed by the Amsterdam Rhine Canal and the Weespertrekvaart from the 17th century, before finally reaching the river Amstel, which gave Amsterdam its name. This will take you exactly the route from Muiderslot to Amsterdam, which served to transport goods hundreds of years ago.
This route takes you through the eastern part of the Veluwezoom and through the municipalities of Rheden and Rozendaal. The varied landscape is one of the reasons for the high attractiveness of this region.The route leads along the IJssel and through the dyke foreland, but also through unique and wonderful heath landscapes in the National Park Veluwezoom. The most impressive castles and estates on your route are privately owned and inhabited Biljoen Castle, Middachten Manor in De Steeg, Rosendael Park and Castle in Rozendaal.These castles and estates lie amidst magnificent gardens that invite for walks during the summer months. Do not miss the famous water games (Bedriegertjes) in the Rosendael Park, but make sure you do not get wet. In addition, on some days you can visit the castles themselves, whose interior clearly shows how people used to live.
The Veluwezoom is often referred to as the "Gelding Arcadia" due to its landscape and its vast estates, castles and mansions. Here you will find, among others, the estate Middachten, Park and Castle Rosendael, House Zypendaal, Castle Doorwerth and the Villa Sanoer.The hilly landscape has always been an attractive place to live and relax for wealthy families who built their mansions here and created wonderful parks and gardens. With the advent of the railways in the 19th century, more and more wealthy people gradually came to the moneyed Arcadia to enjoy the unique nature and relax on their estates. These estates you can admire today and give you an insight into the life of yesteryear and today.
Diepenheim's Six Castles cycle route is one of Twente's most popular cycling routes. This digital variant navigates you along the route and informs you about the castles, their inhabitants and the remarkable things. On the way there are enough nice terraces to rest.
The year is 1765 and the bumpy country roads along the Vechte are busy. In great hustle and bustle "country seats" are built, one more beautiful than the other. The owners are in the course of the VOC wealthy Amsterdam, who want to escape the city in the summer. The pleasure gardens should serve the recovery, but also impress! Now, almost four centuries later, the stately country estates with its gardens, round tea pavilions and gazebos are still imposing.The cycle route leads along the water on former towpaths on which horses used to pull the boats centuries ago. The path leads over old bascule bridges and through stylish towns. Take your time and take a short rest at a bridge or lock. There is so much to see and to experience.