Honestly, I don’t think I could live somewhere without proper seasons. Because that would make me miss autumn, and that’s something I honestly couldn’t live without. I love how nature changes her colours, I love hearty dishes and fresh autumn walks. If you feel like going on a proper autumn walk when you’re in The Netherlands. I’ll show you 5 of the most beautiful nature parks to go to.
How to enjoy the Dutch autumn
- First of all, read my article The Netherlands in autumn: 15 must-do’s so you’re convinced that autumn is the best time of year to visit The Netherlands.
- Bring a waterproof jacket and some good walking shoes. We also don’t frown upon grownups wearing wellies. Go for it.
- Stay somewhere scenic. Forget about that member card you have from this big hotel chain. It’s autumn in The Netherlands and this calls for cosy B&B’s or even staying in a castle. Extra points if there’s a fireplace.
- Eat hearty Dutch food, like a game stew, cabbage and mash (boerenkool!) or split pea soup.
5 autumn walks in The Netherlands
De Loonse en Drunense Duinen
Nationaal Park De Loonse & Drunense Duinen is jokingly called the Sahara of Brabant. It’s a unique national park with trees, heather and dunes. You’ll be able to discover all this stunning magic in near the tiny village of Giersbergen, close to Tilburg in the south of The Netherlands. The unique landscape has also attracted some pretty eccentric flora and fauna, some you’d expect in ‘proper’ deserts, not The Netherlands, making a visit to Loonse and Drunense Duinen really special. There are several walks to take in this national park, a nice short autumn walk is the loop of about 4.5 km.
You’ll also find sand dunes really close to Utrecht, The Netherlands. At Beerschoten estate.
Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe
It’s a fact, everyone who visits The Netherlands should visit our largest national park, De Hoge Veluwe. It doesn’t matter when you’ll visit, but it’s really best in autumn. When you’ll go for an autumn walk, from the visitor centre in Hoenderlo, chances are you’ll be spotting deer, foxes and even wild boar. If you’re quiet and respectful that is. If you hear a very particular roar, that will be the burling of a red deer and it’s very typical to hear this in October. Visiting De Hoge Veluwe also gives you the perfect excuse to visit the Kröller-Müller Museum, one of the best museums in The Netherlands where most paintings of Van Gogh outside of Amsterdam are displayed.
Nationaal Park De Maasduinen
I’ve told you Limburg’s capital Maastricht is a great place to visit in winter (psst, read Winter in Maastricht) and Limburg’s national park De Maasduinen is where you go for an autumn walk. Once, both rivers Meuse and Rhein flowed through this area, enriching it with various landscapes. You can expect lakes, forest and heather planes.
Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland
Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland is not too far from Haarlem and is a national park of dunes that is so large you can walk for hours without even seeing the see. And there’s lots more to discover than just dunes. There’s also valleys, forest and small lakes. You can spot deer, wild horses and cows. There are several trails you can choose for an autumn walk through this national park.
A few years ago when I visited this part of The Netherlands in autumn I was severy corrected. I talked about being in the east of the country, while people there actually very much think of themselves living in the centre. If it’s not next to Germany, you’re not in the east of The Netherlands. Just so you know. Anyhow, Sallandse Heuvelrug was one of these national parks that really surprised me and made me proud to be Dutch. It’s a wonderful park with endless heather plains, small hilltops and a flock of sheep or two to keep you company during your walk.
5 Dutch autumn walks
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