Netherlands 19: The route to Nunspeet

For the first week of our near annual Netherlands trip, we usually try to find somewhere new to visit, where we’ve not been before. In previous years, this has included stays in The Hague, Zeeland, Utrecht and Bovenkarspel. This year, we headed to the holiday park Droompark Bad Hoophuizen, located in Hulshorst, Gelderland.

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Boats and holiday homes at our holiday park, Droompark Bad Hoophuizen

Hulshorst, the location of our holiday park, is a Village located between Harderwijk and Nunspeet. Harderwijk is a small city, located in the geographical centre of The Netherlands, about 50km east of Amsterdam.

Our holiday park overlooked Veluwemeer, a long and narrow lake, separating Gelderland and Flevoland. The province of Flevoland is made up of reclaimed land and was originally part of the Zuiderzee, before it was drained. In 2018, we stayed on the opposite side of the Zuiderzee in Enkhuizen, you can read more about that trip here.

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The view out across Veluwemeer

The town of Nunspeet is a just a short 6km ride away from Droompark Bad Hoophuizen. Starting at the holiday park, we headed out along the country roads, in between agricultural land. There’s no cycling infrastructure to speak of on these roads, though they are generally pretty quiet.

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On the rural roads near to Droompark Bad Hoophuizen

Reaching the main the road to Nunspeet, Harderwijkerweg. We turned left onto the protected cycleway and carried onto towards Nunspeet.

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Two-way cycleway, bus stop bypass and bus stop with cycle parking

Most of the route along Harderwijkerweg consists of high quality protected one-way and two-way cycleways. There’s bus stop bypasses, priority for cycling at side road junctions and typical Dutch-style roundabouts.

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Approaching a typical Dutch-style roundabout

Overall, you’d describe the route as unremarkable, but unremarkable in a good way. Cycle routes of this quality are so common in The Netherlands, even in rural areas, that they soon become unnoticeable. If something of this standard was built back in Manchester, there’d be people talking about it for months!

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Dutch-style roundabout with priority for cycling

Arriving at the edge of town, the protected cycleway ended and we were on the road, sharing the space with motor vehicles. This was a little busier than I’d liked and meant we needed to keep an eye on the kids a bit more.

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Sharing the road with motor vehicles on the outskirts of Nunspeet

Nunspeet is very much your typical Dutch town. The main pedestrianised area, with its neat paving, parked bicycles and typical Dutch shops like HEMA and Blokker is all very familiar. Pedestrianised streets are something the Dutch are experts at, with Rotterdam featuring the first ever purpose-built pedestrian street.

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Very neat and pleasant pedestrian street in Nunspeet

There’s also a large pedestrianised square in the town, with fountains and cafés. This was a lovely, chilled-out space where we spent some time taking it easy, enjoying an ice cream and messing about.

While in the square, we were passed by a group of schoolchildren and teachers with their bikes. On their way to or from a school trip of some kind I’m guessing. This is fantastic and is something I doubt you’d ever see back in the UK.

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Schoolchildren passing the square with their bikes

After a pleasant few hours in Nunspeet, we headed back to our holiday park, choosing a different route to the way we came. Initially, this was more high quality two-way cycleways. At one point, this included a residential section, with motor vehicle access running across the cycleway. With priority for cycles of course.

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Two-way cycleway with motor vehicle access to the residential area on the left

As we got further away from Nunspeet, we were back on rural roads with no dedicated cycling provision. These had pretty low levels of traffic, though with relatively high 60km/h speed limit. They were mostly OK, except for the odd tractor. Though we were glad when we reached a dedicated cycleway.

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rural roads with relatively high 60km/h speeds and the odd tractor

We were soon back on a cycleway and feeling much more relaxed. Though we were on pretty flat terrain and riding into a headwind, so it wasn’t all easygoing.

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Back on a cycleway and cycling into a headwind

We carried on along the cycle route, passing over the odd bridge here and there. Soon, we arrived back on the roads near our holiday park and back at our holiday home.

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Next to part 2 – The route to Harderwijk

Next to part 2 – The route to Harderwijk

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