2018 saw us return to The Netherlands once again. On top of our usual trip to Duinrell, we arranged to spend a week in Bovenkarspel, in the region of West-Frisia, North Holland.
After a successful crossing last year, we decided to take the overnight ferry again from Hull to Rotterdam. This worked out well again and was particularly entertaining on the way back, courtesy of a gentleman who’d had one too many and upstaged the official entertainment.
We arrived on the Sunday of the first week of the trip at our Airbnb holiday home, located in Broekerhaven, Bovenkarspel. Our holiday home overlooked the harbour at Broekerhaven and was just a few doors away from De Overhaal, a rather fantastic boat lift.
From the day we arrived, the weather in Bovenkarspel was hot and sunny, with just a couple of isolated thunder storms. Thankfully, there was a small beach nearby in Enkhuizen, so were able to keep cool and have a splash in the water.
We found Bovenkarspel and nearby Enkhuizen to be really lovely places. While there wasn’t as much to see as being in a bigger city like Utrecht or Amsterdam, there was still plenty to see and do, like the fantastic Zuiderzee Museum. There’s other places nearby to visit, like the wonderful city of Hoorn.
From a cycling perspective, there isn’t a huge amount to see, to be honest. While there’s a few good cycle routes, it’s mostly paint on road cycle lanes. Though traffic levels were not that high, it wasn’t brilliant cycling with the family.
If you’re looking for somewhere quiet to stay, with lovely views and a medieval Dutch maritime feel, then you do a lot worse than stay in Bovenkarspel or Enkhuizen. We really enjoyed our week there and places we got to see.
- Around Bovenkarspel
- The route to Enkhuizen
- A day at the Zuiderzee Museum
- A day out in Amsterdam
- A day out in Hoorn
- A ride on the Houtribdijk
For the second week of our trip, we were back in Duinrell for our eighth visit. I’ve said this before, but we never intended to be the kind of people who go to same place every year, but it seems we are.
The sunshine mostly continued for our second week, with one of two cooler days and a little rain. As usual, we tried to plan our week around the weather, making the most of the sunshine by going to the beach and going to the theme park and pool when the weather wasn’t so good.
There were five families on our visit as there was last year. Though it was the first time at Duinrell for a couple of the families. We were mostly staying in the same area in Duinrell, which meant we could socialise and enjoy communal barbecues in the evening, while all the kids played and had fun.
We visited a few familiar places this year, going to the beach at Wassenaarse Slag, the miniature park at Madurodam and a few trips into Wassenaar. It’s always great to take people to some of these places for the first time, especially by bike. I even had chance to have a day by myself to explore, enjoying a ride to Zoetermeer.
Overall, cycling around near Duinrell 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.