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Holidays in Holland?

(14 Posts)
efmach Thu 02-May-02 12:46:04

Has anyone got any experiences or suggestions for holidays in Holland. We would like to take our young family there this summer. We would like to self-cater and visit places that would appeal to an 8, 5 and 2 year old.
Thanks in advance.

AnnieMo Thu 02-May-02 20:17:24

A couple of years ago we went to Duinrell holiday village and camped with Eurosites and thoroughly enjoyed it. The site is very big - and the price included entry to the water park and theme park attached to it - sounds horrendous but was very clean, untacky and great for the kids. The site also hired bikes and go carts which were great fun. We had a day trip to Amsterdam and The Hague, spent a day cycling in the sand dunes, and visited Madurodam - a model village based on famous buildings in Holland. We had a great holiday - would thoroughly recommend it.

Marina Thu 02-May-02 20:46:49

Efmach, have a look under the thread "Centerparcs - anyone been there recently?"
Mooma posted about the cheaper experience of booking direct with a holiday village in the Netherlands, rather than using a British holiday company.
Friends who lived in Rotterdam for a while thought Efteling, a theme park devoted to fairyland/myths and legends etc, was utterly enchanting.
Rotterdam itself has a good maritime museum, interesting modern architecture and even a small, very historic quarter. It's not an obvious tourist destination, but worth a day out (good shopping too).

Thewiseone Thu 02-May-02 21:49:53

Have you thoughts of the islands on the North of Holland ? Texel and Terschelling ??? They are not specifically for young children (no theme parks) but the Dutch are very family centred... and these 2 islands are fabulous. The beaches are great, you can bike and rent bikes easily... If you know NL this won't surprise you but over there babies and children are on bikes... so baby seats for bikes are VERY common and bikes are definitely a must in my opinion. The country is fairly flat and extremly well designed for cyclists.
Also Middleburg (Zeeland) is very nice.

AtkinsR Fri 03-May-02 09:32:03

A couple of years ago we went to a Landall Green Park near Arnhem in the south east of Holland. We stayed in a bungalow on a very leafy, child friendly site - pool, playground, activities in the summer. There was loads to do in the area aswell, fab national park where you can just pick up a bike (with baby seat) and ride, zoo etc. We booked through scandinavian seaways - they and Landall are on the web.

We then did a few days near Haarlem just outside of Amsterdam. It's near the sea, lots of nature reserves, bike rides etc.

Holland's a great place-friendly and v. child oriented. It's also small enough that you can easily drive to most of the places that cater for kids like amusement parts etc. Hope you enjoy it.

MandyD Fri 03-May-02 11:53:27

AnnieMo, did you do the entire holiday without a car? I have been interested in a Eurosites holiday for some time but always considered that one would need a car to get from the port/airport to the site itself. Is Duinrell accessible by train? And were the day trips by coach and orgainised from the site?

efmach Fri 03-May-02 12:28:59

A big thanks to you all for replying to my message. It's encouraging to know that Holland is family-friendly. We will certainly look into all your suggestions and we'll let you know how we get on!
Many thanks once again.

NikkiD Fri 03-May-02 19:16:18

Just like to say that we went to Gran Dorado holiday village in Zandvoort (on the coast near Amsterdam) and thought it was terrible. The accomodation was awful and everything seemed very run down. We were expecting it to be like Center Parcs but were very disappointed. Just thought I warn you away from this one.

efmach Fri 03-May-02 21:42:20

Good to know that too!!!!

smokey Sat 04-May-02 08:32:02

We went to the Het Heijderbos Centerparc in Holland in Feb. and had a great time. It is near to the German border so nearly everyone there was Dutch or German but all the staff could speak English and were very friendly. My kids were 4 and 8 at the time and joined in the children's activities. The pool and the jungle domes were particularly popular with them and I would certainly recommend this Centerparc.
One word of caution if travelling by plane and/or train as we did - watch out for pickpockets around Schipol and neighbouring stations. I had my purse stolen and this is apparently quite common. However, the police also spoke fluent English and were very helpful!!

Mooma Sat 04-May-02 09:14:34

NikkiD, when were you at Zandvoort Grandorado? We were there in April this year. The accommodation was far better than at Centerparcs in Sherwood, but we were there (Centerparcs) nearly 5 years ago, so maybe it's better now. My point is that things change from year to year, We had a lovely week, and found facilities very good. The beautiful weather probably helped (26 degrees for the first two days). Also used it as a base for sightseeing all over the area (Amsterdam, Haarlem, Keukenhof etc). I still thoroughly recommend it.

Mooma Sat 04-May-02 21:36:17

Wanted to add, the main reason we chose Grandorado was we were looking for a cheaper option, having been quoted £900+ by Centerparcs for a week in April (villa for 6). Our 6 day break in Holland was £490 including the ferry crossing. Grandorado give 20% family discount automatically if your party contains one child under 12.
I posted the link in the Centerparcs thread if anyone wants to know more.

AnnieMo Sun 05-May-02 09:15:14

MandyD - we did have a car for the holiday- and combined it with a second week in France. Not sure how you would get to the site without a car (especially considering all the gear you need to take for a camping holiday!) but public transport seemed very good in Holland and we did do some day trips with out the car using buses and trains.
Incidently we have booked a couple of holidays with Eurosite at the last minute and have had great discounts - they still seem to have good availability a month or so in advance. Our only problem was arriving at a French site at 1.00am, and finding that they did not know we were arriving and everything was shut up. Once the security guard got the poor rep out of her bed everything was fine!

Hales Sun 05-May-02 18:31:05

We spent a long weekend in Renesse in S.Holland.( Zeeland ) It was fab! Long sandy beaches, a nice beach restaurant and great accommodation. We stayed in a purpose built holiday village with all mod cons and you could hire bikes, baby beds ..everything. The beach was 5 mins walk away and there were also good day trips to do such as the storm barrier museum ( very child friendly ) and an indoor tropical paradise. I can thoroughly reccommend it! It's also very Dutch..we were the only Bris there which was nice. Check out for details of all this company's sites and to book online. It was also very cheap..only 552 Euro for 8 people for 4 nights.
The place we stayed was called "De Soeten Hart " but they have permanent camp grounds, basic houses like the ones we stayed in and also more luxurious ones.

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