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House swap - Enkhuizen, Netherlands for London, 2013(4 Posts)
We have a large house in a beautiful, historic, small, harbour town 50 minutes (by train or car) from Amsterdam. We moved here from London and it would be great to have a swap instead of a hotel when visiting family and friends in London. Enkhuizen is fabulous for children. It is very safe - particularly for young cyclists - and has a beach, indoor swimming pool, playground, large parks, child-friendly restaurants and cafes, etc. Also, it has a children's theme park, www.sprookjeswonderland.nl (Fairytale wonderland), which is great for small children. There they have things like ladybird boat rides, train rides, mechanical horse rides, several play areas and a village of dwarf houses that represent different fairy tales that you can explore and look into. There is also a national museum here, www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl, which is huge with both an indoor museum with exhibits and a extensive outdoor museum that has been built of houses from different periods moved brick by brick to Enkhuizen with period furnishing as well as many workshops and displays showing what life was like around the Zuiderzee before and after the dykes were built across it. Enkhuizen is also one of biggest harbours for yachts and pleasure boats in The Netherlands and you can sail to Medemblik, Stavoren or Urk from here as well as hire sail boats or take tourist excursions on all sorts of boats. We are only 53 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal by train (station 10 min walk, 5 min cycle). The train is very pleasant, not crowded (Enkhuizen is an endpoint on a direct line to Amsterdam -so it is very relaxed) and, I think, significantly cheaper than trains in the UK!
Our house has two double bedrooms, one small single and a large attic room with two single (children's beds). We have three boys (4,7 & 10 years) and all the boy accoutrements you could ask for (toys, bikes, Lego, etc.). There are also three adult bikes and a bakfiets (which is great and not at all difficult to ride) that you are welcome to use. You really don't need a car here - we have one but we almost never use it except to drive over to the UK occasionally. Enkhuizen has all the shops you might want within walking distance - the supermarket is 5 minutes walk other shops are about 10 minutes and the shopping area is pedestrianised so safe for browsing with small children.
We're happy to swap for a few days to a week or more. Enkhuizen is best after the Easter holidays because some of the attractions close for the winter.
This is the first time I've thrown this idea out there so please let me know whether I've said too much (or too little?)!
Hi we have friends in Haarlem we visit about once a year as they don't have much space (and don't have kids yet) staying elsewhere is appealing or to extend our trip. We live in South East London. You've definitely sold your area sounds fabulous. We're very close to a train station and amenities but if you were visiting friends in North or West London might be a trek. Also we have 2 doubles and a nursery so not as big as your house and the boys would have to share.
Thanks for the response! I'm very new to practice of house swaps - though I've been interested in the idea for ages. We're looking, maybe, for a swap over one of the spring holidays next year. We would spend most of our time in Pimlico for family and Hackney for friends. I just looked and Haarlem is only an hour from here by train with one change in Hoorn (20 min down the track). Enkhuizen is such a lovely town - it really is idyllic and such a nice contrast to London.
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