At the end of May, we made what seems to be our annual visit to The Netherlands. On top of our usual trip to Duinrell, we arranged to spend a week in Utrecht in an Airbnb apartment.
For the first time, we took the overnight ferry from Hull to Rotterdam, which turned out to be a really enjoyable experience. Up to now, we’ve mostly gone via Eurotunnel, ferry or flown, mainly due to the other half’s concerns about sea sickness. This turned out to not be an issue and the ferry was great.
We arrived on the Saturday of the first week of the trip at our Airbnb apartment, located 3km out of Utrecht centre on Amsterdamsestraatweg. This turned out to be a great location to get about, close to the centre and not far to the countryside.
From the day we arrived, the weather in Utrecht was pretty much glorious every day (except one day). If anything it was a little too hot, if you can have such a thing. Given most of our Netherlands trips have been near the sea, it was actually a shame we weren’t near the coast this week.
We found Utrecht to be a really lovely city and it lived up to everything we’d read about. We’ve previously visited Utrecht before, but it’s only been for the day. Spending a week there, you get to experience a lot more the city has to offer.
As a city, it’s about the right size to have lots to do, but not be too manic and busy with tourists. If the only city you’ve been to in The Netherlands is Amsterdam, then Utrecht will feel pretty chilled out and refreshing compared.
From a cycling perspective, there’s plenty to see and experience. Utrecht has been getting a lot of international attention, no doubt helped by the many posts from Bicycle Dutch. There’s lot of examples of great cycling infrastructure in and out of the city, whether you’re looking for excellent cycleways or innovative cycle parking.
Utrecht is somewhere I’d definitely like to return to, and I’d highly recommend visiting. If you want a taste of Dutch city life, but fancy something different to the obvious, then get over there and visit.
- Cycle parking in Utrecht
- The route to De Haar Castle
- Around Utrecht Centraal Station
- Around Utrecht centre
- The route to Griftpark
- Around Amsterdamsestraatweg
For the second week of our trip, we were back in Duinrell for our seventh visit. Now, we never intended to be the kind of people who go to same place every year, but it’s sort of happened without us noticing.
The weather in our second week was a little more mixed than the first, with one of two colder days and some rain. We’d planned though and made sure we made the most of the sunny days by getting to the beach and having days out. For the less great days, we spent them in the theme park and pool, so we didn’t feel like we’d lost out.
Over the years, we’ve met other families at Duinrell and recommended it to others. This meant that for our visit this year, there were five families in total who knew each other and were staying in the same area. This meant for a very sociable holiday for both kids and grown ups.
Cycling around Duinrell on the whole is really great. If you’ve got bikes, there’s no the need for a car. There’s so much nearby that’s a ride away and the quality of the cycle infrastructure means even the most nervous rider will be fine. Whether you’re wanting to go to the beach, have a trip to the city or check out a local museum, all can be reached on bike.
If you have kids and you’re looking to experience what The Netherlands has to offer, both on and off the bike, then Duinrell is great option.