GOING DUTCH WITH AL FRESCO HOLIDAYS
Looking for a family holiday destination combining thrill-seeking adventure, day trips to bustling city life and a quaint coastal setting? Then look no further than a stay at Duinrell park set within the historic Hague region and adjacent to the affluent village of Wassenaar which is steeped royal tradition.
While many travel destinations lay claim to having ‘something for everyone to enjoy’ as a fundamental part of their appeal - after spending a morning on the beach, an afternoon moving between Wassenaar’s cultural highlights, and an evening in the enticing Dutch capital - you could be forgiven for assuming the phrase was only truly applicable here.
Duinrell’s internationally acclaimed attractions
For those in the family craving an adrenaline rush while on holiday, there are fewer better ways to let off steam than within the water complex, or ‘Tiki pool’, found at Duinrell, representing the perfect child-friendly base from which to explore this captivating Dutch corner of the western coast.
Featuring a pool area previously voted one of the ‘Top 20 in the World’ and a 1km total stretch of water slides that are defiantly out of this world, the sheer variation of chill-out aquatic spaces alongside thrill-seeking facilities here continues to be a major draw for children and adults alike.
As if the opportunity to make a splash amongst one of Europe’s leading water parks wasn’t enough, you can also find a theme park on-site complete with activities as diverse as taking in a magic show and braving the roller coaster, ensuring that there is always plenty to do as part of an action-packed stay.
When recovering from the breathless activity in-park, you have a wide range of choice when deciding what to do next.
The village of Wassenaar is more than walkable at only half a kilometre away, with the surrounding sand dunes, forest areas and varying green-hues of the countryside making for an ideal setting to explore by either bike or on foot.
Wassenaar itself is known across the country as one of the richest suburbs occupying The Hague, with lavish villas and large country houses housing some of the wealthiest royals and ambassadors in the nation.
Underneath the aesthetic of wealth however is a distinctly down-to-earth family day out, where you can take in the Berkheiveld market every Tuesday, where fresh food can be sourced and taken back to your mobile home to dine alfresco.
If the weather is warm then a stop-off at Luciano’s Ijssalon in the old town, ranked among the best ice cream parlours in the world, is an absolute must when seeking out traditional ice cream. Flavours tried-and-tested as well as more unique choices such as bacon biscuits and honey figs make for a great conversation point!
Onward to Amsterdam
Wassenaar also provides seamless public transport links to the capital and the city of Rotterdam, the latter of which is famous for its modern architecture and skyscrapers.
Amsterdam itself needs little introduction, with its old-world charm still evident amidst its offering of everything 21st century.
The appreciation for bohemian culture is evident with every street ventured, while the laid-back atmosphere is reflected in the ease in which you can easily move through the city on bike or foot, owing much to its famous canal network stretching some 165 waterways in total, surpassing even Venice.
Educational trips for the kids can include the Van Gogh Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of works from one of the nation’s most notable artistic exports, as well as the fishing village turned thriving harbour space in Volendam located just north of the city; shops, cafes and restaurants break up the discovery of traditional dress the area is notable for.
A day trip to Volendam wouldn’t be complete without taking in the still working 17th century windmill, which is open all year round for visitors looking to get snaps of these quintessential Dutch structures.
Whether you choose the poignant journey through the Anne Frank Museum, Madame Tussauds as a recommended visit for younger children, numerous heritage sites such as the turreted De Waag on Nieuwmarkt square or family-oriented entertainment offerings inclusive of kids’ theatre, Amsterdam is a must-visit during your stay on park.
Haven for cyclists navigating The Hague
If the family have recently taken up cycling as a means of exercise during lockdown, then a visit to The Hague sees cycling as synonymous with Holland as the smattering of windmills you are likely to pass on each ride.
The Al Fresco team has personal experience, having cycled all the way from Rotterdam to Duinrell and back in the past.
A tour of historic towns could take in the university town of Leiden with its beautiful canals and cobbled streets, or Delft which is renowned for its pottery industry. You can also try the bracing seaside ride to Scheveningen or Noordwijk through the dunes, while holidaying during springtime should always be rewarded with a countryside journey through the colourful bulb fields around Lisse.
For more information on Duinrell and a trip to Wassenaar, take a look at our Holland destination page.