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Anywhere similar to (and as good as) Duinrell?

(27 Posts)
Notname Sun 07-Sep-14 07:01:20

We've just come back from a fantastic week at Duinrell park in holland. We'd like to again next year (for late August) but half the fun of a holiday is in exploring a new place, so wanted to see if there are any similar parks elsewhere that we could try. I know that centre parcs in Europe is similar but I don't want to have to pay for activities, as with Duinrell access to the theme park was included and provided endless entertainment for our children (6 and 2). The swimming pool was also fantastic, muh better than the CP one we've been to, tho that was in the Uk so not sure how the European ones compare.

We'd like to travel via ferry, preferably from Hull (so to Rotterdam or Zebrugge?) and we love Holland so would be very happy to return there, although Belgium or France may be good too, as long as there were no very long journeys.

I expect a return to Duinrell may be on the cards, but if anyone can recommend a similar set up elsewhere I'd be very grateful.

PortofinoRevisited Sun 07-Sep-14 10:25:54

Efteling might be worth a look. They do bunglows with entrance to the theme park for everyday you stay. Or Europa Park in Grmany.

Notname Sun 07-Sep-14 21:05:44

Thank you. Both look nice, although don't seem to have the same type of swimming facility as duinrell (my son loved the water slides etc). The mix of water park and theme park access included in the price (plus nice park and good location) seems to be pretty hard to find.

PortofinoRevisited Sun 07-Sep-14 21:50:44

Or probably nearly impossible wink. CP de Kempervennen and de Vosserem both have excellent pool complexes. I don't know of anywhere that has a theme park on site like Duinrell. I live in. Belgium and have researched this stuff endlessly.....

PortofinoRevisited Sun 07-Sep-14 21:56:48

Sunparks in De Haan has the pool complex and is very near the beach. De Haan is my favourite out of all of the Belgian Coastal towns. And the tram takes you up and down the coast very easily. I have been to all the places above mentioned. They all have their pros and cons....

Notname Sun 07-Sep-14 23:00:08

Yes i fear it's impossible, why did I have to visit the best park first?! I have looked at those cp sites and the pools look good but I don't fancy paying out for every activity when we've just had a week of doing what we liked without thinking about the cost. May end up back there, and there's lots more to do in the area (we only went to Leiden and some beach resorts), just fancied getting somewhere just as good but new to discover. I suppose I should be happy that we could go there again and hit the ground running smile

Notname Sun 07-Sep-14 23:04:31

Oops, just saw your later post, I'll check out those other places, which I'm sure we'd be happy to visit but may end up deciding that the lack of newness of duinrell is outweighed by the fact that it's perfect for the children (and that makes it a better holiday for all of us!).

Thanks again for your advice, i recall seeing your advice on old threads that I searched for tips/reviews of duinrell so you've helped me quite a lot!

GoodtoBetter Sun 21-Sep-14 20:50:22

We were there the first week of September for our 2nd visit (first time 2012) with DC 6 and 3. It really is fabulous, isn't it?

Why not go back but explore a bit further afield too? We went to Rotterdam zoo this time (kids went free the month of sept) and loved it. We also went to Leiden. Last time we went to Amsterdam, Delft (which was lovely, we went on a boat trip), Haarlem. There's also Gouda to visit and a place with windmills that I can't remember the name of. Hire bikes and go to the beach. There's a steam train nearby (like about 10 mins away) and also a children's farm in Wassenaar.

We're saving for 2016. Can't afford it every year sad

Notname Mon 05-Jan-15 20:42:42

Sorry for slow response, just saw this! I really want to go back to Duinrell now as it seems impossible to find anywhere that compares. But the lovely duingalows that we stayed in last year are fully booked for the week we want to go, so wish I hadn't left it til now to book sad

snowgirl1 Mon 05-Jan-15 22:47:15

How about Het Vennenbos?

Notname Tue 06-Jan-15 13:11:43

Thanks Snowgirl, have you been there yourself? It looks nice but don't know much about that region, there doesn't appear to be as much to do as in some areas, though have only had chance to have a quick look into it.

We're also considering Domaine des Ormes in Brittany which looks good for kids, but would mean a longer drive.

snowgirl1 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:31:21

Notname no, sorry I haven't been there myself - I want to go this year. Like the look of Duinrell, but Het Vennenbos is a slightly shorter drive for us.

Notname Tue 06-Jan-15 23:00:55

Het vennenbos looks nice but I can HIGHLY recommend Duinrell smile especially the premium duingalows. And the area is brilliant - near lovely beaches and lots of great towns.

Thereisnoroomonthebroom Fri 09-Jan-15 18:37:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MuddhaOfSuburbia Fri 09-Jan-15 18:46:59

There's an Efteling thread here in Holland Anyone been and is it really good, or parc Asterix better

the theme park is absolute aces, but no pool complex

you could stay at a Landals or cp nearbyish, but imo the pool complexes are not as good as Duinrell

oh, and a fyi- the Duingalows at DR are not great if you go 'comfort' <ahem>- I would go for the posh ones every time. Or even book through Canvas and go for a luxury caravan?

there's LOADS to do round Duinrell if you can drag kids off the slides- Delft, den Haag, Wassenaar itself is super cute. The beach is quite a long walk/cycle with littlies, but massive and sandy

MuddhaOfSuburbia Fri 09-Jan-15 18:49:47

ooh, and het Vennenbos is v nice, the accommodation is lovely

we tied it in with a trip to the Efteling, which is well worth doing- you get the p&q of the site coupled with the all round awesomeness of dE

Naoko Fri 09-Jan-15 19:00:31

I haven't been to het Vennenbos but I grew up in the area and there is plenty to do if you want to explore a bit! Eindhoven is closest and it's not that great, I'm allowed to say that as a native grin but decent for shopping I guess. If you want a nice town, Den Bosch ('s-Hertogenbosch) isn't far either and is a lovely medieval city. Your DC might enjoy Safaripark De Beekse Bergen (which also has accomodation of its own, I believe if that's your sort of thing). There's also lots of beautiful green spaces and nature conservation areas - it's a very nice part of the country (even if I'm biased ;) )

De Efteling is ace, though. It's a proper Dutch institution. Went as a child, adored it. Went as a teenager with school trips and with friends, had a blast. Went back as an adult, still loved it, and not just as a nostalgia trip either. I want to take my (English) DP when I get the chance. It's something everyone who has a tie with Holland should really see at least once.

Notname Fri 09-Jan-15 21:49:38

Thanks for the extra advice people smile Thereisnoroom we LOVED Duinrell and of possible we'll prob end up going again this year, but am interested to hear about these other options. There's so much to do in the area around Duinrell - lots of lovely towns: we really liked Leiden and Wassenaar which is the small town where the park is situated is lovely too (has a fab I've cream parlour which is dirt cheap but amazing). The seimming complex is great so we went everyday, 6yo DS particularly liked it but it was also good for 2yo DD. Theme park really good too and DS just enjoyed going on the playgrounds.

We cycled to the beach - fed Reid bed taking bikes if loss as its so easy to cycle round both within the (large) park and out and about. It's so easy cycling there as the tracks are off the roads so even DS could cycle without any worries.

Couldn't walk to the beach but the nearest is only 5 min drive away. There's other food beaches and beach resorts within 10-20 mins drive too. We went to three beaches and hey we're all good, with playground equipment in then which helped to keep DS and DD entertained.

We definitely recommend the premium duingalows booked directly with the park. They were v spacious, well equipped and like new. Annoyingly they're fully booked the week we want to go so will check out the canvas luxury caravans smile

Notname Fri 09-Jan-15 21:51:00

Sorry that should read 'def recommend taking bikes if poss'. Sorry about the other typos too!

PrimalLass Sat 10-Jan-15 10:52:46

What was the weather like?

hyperhops Sat 10-Jan-15 11:51:08

I'm also thinking of Duinrell and possibly efteling as well this year. Good to hear good reviews.
I'd also like to know what the weather has been like though...
Also has anyone stayed in a safari tent at Duinrell - what are washing faclities like? or should we just go for Dungallow?
Is a week too long - or would there be enough to do?
ALso how long would people recommend at Efteling?
Sorry for mini Hijack!

Notname Sat 10-Jan-15 19:02:35

Plenty to do for a week at duinrell. Could have spent two weeks there, as Los of places to visit in the area. We went 29th Aug and weather was great / sunny and about 24-26 degrees most days. But the preceding few weeks had been poor apparently and it was unseasonably good while we were there. Think it's generally similar to UK (tho we live in the North so used to pretty crappy weather!).

hyperhops Sun 11-Jan-15 11:48:09

thanks notname
can anyone clarify the rules for the slides in the pool? All my dc are over 120cm ,although not over 150. But some of the slides for over 120cm say "swimming certificate obligatory" none of the dc have a swimming certificate - do they ask for this to be shown for the slide? Also will this mean they will need armbands even though they are over 120cm?
TIA grin

Notname Sun 11-Jan-15 13:48:23

DS is 128cm and can swim but has no certificate. There was a couple of rides he was too small for I think (the over 150cm ones) but lots of really good ones he could do. A couple of times the life guards asked him to demonstrate he could swim (as he's only 6 so looks young) and they then gave him a wristband to show that he was allowed on the slides.

Notname Sun 11-Jan-15 13:49:12

And no need for armbands (at least for those over 120cm), little ones need them.

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