De Horsten Royal Estates

De Horsten Royal Estates

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Have you been to De Horsten? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. The northern part of the estate is sandwiched between the N44 and the N448 (Papeweg) that leads to Voorschoten. It has several entrances but its main entrance is from Papeweg. Once you turn into the N448, it’s the first turning on your left. You will see a huge tall gate. I went a few years ago but I have only recently discovered how huge and beautiful it is. It is a very peaceful walk and you have the flexibility of how long you want to walk for. It varies from 1 km to 7.5 km. The paths are wide and level enough for wheelchairs or child buggys. I love the sound of the birds singing, the constant sound of a small creature or bird rustling in the bushes, the bridges, streams, the massive bushes of rhododendrons and seeing the cows in the distance. I even saw several families of ducks with their young ducklings today.

Whenever I walk in De Horsten, I seem to take a slightly different route as there are so many options. But, don’t let that put you off, as no matter which turning you take, you end up either at the Tea Pavilion or the Lookout tower or back to where you started. What’s nice about De Horsten is you are allowed to bring a picnic with you provided you bring your rubbish home. The area I recommend for picnicking would be around the Lookout tower.

I must admit that there’s nothing like ending the walk with a stop at the Tea Pavilion for a drink although the food there isn’t much to rave about. However, do note that the Tea Pavilion isn’t open on Mondays or Tuesdays! Its opening hours are from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00-16:45.

To walk in the estate, you need to buy a day ticket that costs €1 per adult or 50 cents per child aged between 4 to 14.  Parking is free.

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Japanese Garden in Clingendael Park, Den Haag

Japanese Garden in Clingendael Park, Den Haag

img_0043Have you been to Clingendael Park? It’s one of my favourite parks to visit as it is a more open park to stroll in. I love feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, which you can’t take for granted when you live in Holland.

For a few weeks in Spring and Autumn, the Japanese Garden is open. In 2017, it opens on the 29th April at 9:00 until the 11th of June. Hooray! I love walking in the garden, it may be small but it is immaculately maintained and absolutely stunning! Admission is free – what more can you ask for? It can get very crowded during the weekends, due to the narrow paths, so I would highly suggest visiting it during the week so that you can truly enjoy the beauty of this garden without the bustling crowds.