Although De Veluwe is characterised by endless stretches of heath and ancient forests, De Achterhoek is definitely worth a visit if you love nature and you’d like to soak up some culture too. De Achterhoek is famous for its bocage country with a great many forests, rivers, meadows, fields and wooded banks, but there are also a lot of stately homes, castles and picturesque little villages to delight the eye.
Ruurlo for example is the ideal place to stay. This village, which was probably established round about 600 A.D., is located right in the heart of De Achterhoek and surrounded by other villages such as Vorden, Borculo and Zelhem. Hampshire Hotel – Avenarius, on the edge of Ruurlo, is the perfect basis for cycling along the country lanes into the woods. Of course, you can always map out your own route using the numbered cycle network, but the Tourist Information Office can provide you with plenty of existing routes too. The “local strolls” are one well-known feature of this region. These are signposted routes of about 20 kilometres that take you past all the local places of interest. If you go on the “Ruurlo Local Stroll” for instance, you can visit a local cheese farm, as well as the biggest maze in Europe and the castle of Huis te Ruurlo.
But no matter where you choose to go, one thing is certain: all the cycle routes here have something fascinating to offer.
There’s something to surprise you hidden behind every curve in De Achterhoek.
The long driveways bordering the wide forest roads lead to the 16th and 17th Century castles in the area, while a few hundred metres further on, the gardens at a stately home, a field full of cows or a traditional pancake house are waiting for you.
You may sometimes encounter unusual little gems such as the Boekenruilboom (Book Exchange Tree), where avid readers can borrow books like Schone handen by René Appel and Haantjes by Kluun. The rules are simple: the books are owned by the tree, and borrowers have to return books within one month at the latest. You may even have time to take a slim volume to a quiet spot and read it in a few hours.
Enjoy the “Achterhoekse” hospitality. More about Hampshire Hotels – Achterhoek