As a nation, I don’t think Holland crops up that much as a destination when we’re planning our next family holiday, but this little stretch of land across the channel offers a lot more than the cultural riches of Amsterdam. It’s easy to reach by train, plane or ferry and boasts long stretches of coastline, rugged woodland, excellent cycle routes and some of the best theme parks in the world. The holiday parks are numerous and really high quality, so if you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration for the summer holidays, here are my top five holiday parks in Holland.
Duinrell holiday park in the Netherlands is nestled between beach, forest and dunes and features over 30 rides and attractions. With eleven different slides, a typhoon and a lazy river, the Tiki Pool is one of the most talked-about attractions at the park. But there are plenty more: adrenaline junkies can check out the Falcon while the younger ones enjoy the new family rollercoaster, the Dragonfly. The comfortable Duingalows are fully-equipped and surrounded by woodland with terraced gardens for a midsummer barbeque. Wassenaar, in the south of Holland, is the second most affluent town in the country. Small in size and big on charm, this town is known for being home to the King of the Netherlands. A trip to the Royal Estates is highly recommended during your visit. With cobbled streets, old fashioned pubs and beautiful churches, this lively little town provides the perfect setting for a mini break.
Hof van Saksen
Think luxury, wide open space, Saxon farmhouses and an impressive array of facilities. Hof van Saksen is situated in Drenthe and offers traditional farmhouses with magnificent views of the sprawling Dutch countryside. The cottages are decked out with all the modern appliances and designs, some offering jet-stream bathtubs and Infrared saunas. The facilities at this park are what sets it above the rest. For the grown ups, there is a spa and wellness centre offering massage treatments, beauty therapy and all the usual saunas and steam rooms. While you’re getting some much needed rest and relaxation, the children can join one of the fab Children’s Academies, ranging from crafts to adventure, they promise educational entertainment for all ages and persuasions. You can rent bikes from the park to explore the nearby national park nearby, or the ancient Dolmens, picturesque villages and the city of Groningen.
You know I love a theme park, but adding a second one onto this list of five is for a very good reason: Efteling has consistently won awards for being one of the oldest, most visited and most unique theme parks in the world. Enchanting the public since 1952, Efteling apparently inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland (although that rumour was never confirmed nor denied by the man himself). The relaxed and magical ambience throughout is the perfect way to spend a day with the kids. There are multiple themed rollercoasters, an enchanting fairytale forest (top) inspired by the Brothers Grimm and multiple other attractions for all ages and levels of bravery! Whatever you do, don’t miss the incredible Ravelijn theatre show: expect knights in shining armour on horseback and fire breathing dragons. At the end of each day, admire the Aquanura water show with music, lights and fire. The Efteling now consists of a theme park, two holiday parks, a golf course, a hotel and a theatre.
The best thing about Efteling is that the magic doesn’t end once you leave the park; the walk back to the holiday cottages in Efteling Bosrijk is richly-wooded and feels almost as enchanted as the Fairytale Forest at the centre of the theme park. The cottages are stylish, comfortable and boast beautiful views of the water or the woodland. A new holiday park, Efteling Loonsche Land, is perched on the edge of a nature reserve and set to open its doors at the end of June 2017. Both parks offer guests free and unlimited entry to Efteling theme park.
Landal Rabbit Hill
This gem of a holiday park is located in the nature-rich Veluwe region of the Netherlands, known for its ancient forests and purple heathland. Landal GreenParks offer plenty of holiday parks across the Netherlands and Landal Rabbit Hill is among the favourites. With tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and various spa and wellness facilities, there’s not a shortage of things to do here. The Hoge Veluwe National Park is just around the corner and one of the lesser known highlights of Holland. Located in the province of Gelderland, the Veluwe boasts sprawling sand drifts, meandering streams and fields of purple heather. It’s not unusual to spot mouflons, red deer and wild boar roaming this park. For a taste of Dutch culture, the Kröller-Müller Museum, home to the second largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, after the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, is an absolute must-visit.
Beekse Bergen is one of those holiday parks that families return to year in, year out. First of all, it’s surrounded by water and luscious green foliage, and then the tropical pool takes that feeling to a whole new level with several attractions and relaxation facilities. Guests of Beekse Bergen holiday park receive free and unlimited entry into the theme park and safari park, promising varied entertainment every day. The chance to meet 1500 animals in a wide open space doesn’t come along every day and you can reach the safari park by boat from the holiday park itself. The boat journey is free but if you’d rather a more traditional method of travel, you can take the train. Accommodation ranges from furnished tents to small cottages and offer gorgeous views across the water.
Book a holiday park in Holland
If, like me, you fancy exploring the Netherlands, check out holidayparkspecials.co.uk to look at these parks and many more (thanks to holidayparkspecials.co.uk for the use of their fantastic photos too).