National Park De Veluwe
with its 1,000 square kilometres of woods and heathland, is situated some little distance north of Limburg. People come from all over the Netherlands to see the heather in flower in August: a sea of purple stretching as far as the eye can reach. But De Veluwe is equally impressive at every season of the year.
Staying at Hampshire Hotel – Mooi Veluwe means that you hardly have to go out at all. This hotel is situated in the middle of the Speulder- en Sprielderbos forest between Putten and Garderen. The pine-scented rooms are laid out in bungalow style, and you can see the forest all around you when you look outside. But it’s still worth hiring a bicycle and exploring the area.
You can cycle through the beautiful Veluwemeerkust nature reserve en route to Harderwijk and Hierden,
where you can enjoy green meadows and woods full of flowers, irrigated by water from the salt marshes and the Hierdensche Beek.
We also recommend a cycle trip along the road to Garderen, De Beek and Speuld, where the woodland and stretches of heath that are so typical of De Veluwe unfold before your eyes.
The Speulder- en Sprielderbos
is unique because it is one of the oldest forests in the Netherlands and was formed during the Ice Age. The crooked tree trunks rising skywards are characteristic of this forest, and are known locally as “dancing trees”. They were never felled because they were too crooked to use as timber, and today they add an enigmatic touch to the forest.
The Solse Gat loam pit was created by a huge lump of melting ice, and is another survival from the Ice Age. It was enlarged by loam cutting later on. The bog located at the deepest part of the pit is full of unique flora such as bog-bean and oxlip and fauna such as frogs and toads, while the old trees surrounding the pit provide nesting-places for a variety of birds including nuthatches, stock doves, tawny owls and black woodpeckers. You might encounter other denizens of the forest such as red deer, badgers, wild boar and pine martens.
But whichever route you decide to follow, don’t forget to visit the village of Drie, where Restaurant Boshuis Drie is located. This is a converted farmhouse dating from 1765, with bronze boars by the door to welcome you. Inside, the 18th Century atmosphere has been preserved with dark panelling, Delft blue tiles and the traditional Dutch scarves worn by farmers. You can sit at one of the small wooden tables by the fireplace or in the attractive d’Opkamer and enjoy a cup of coffee served in cups with a classic Dutch farmhouse pattern.
Beautiful at every time of the year, visit ‘de Veluwe’