Autumn Nature

9x heather fields in The Netherlands

Heather fields The Netherlands, 9 top places to spot heather fields in The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

The Netherlands are small and quite densely populated. But for a relatively small country, it has a very rich variety of nature. The beaches of Zeeland, the rolling hills of Limburg, the variety in Hoge Veluwe national park and freshwater delta of Bieschbosch are exquisite. Personally, I can’t stay away from Dutch nature reserves when heather fields are in full bloom and large parts of The Netherlands turn a deep shade of purple. If you’d like to see heather fields in The Netherlands, this is where you should go.

When to see heather fields in The Netherlands

From early August on a large part of The Netherlands turn a deep shade of purple once the heather plants start blooming. I think it can easily be compared to the blooming lavender fields of Provence, it’s that pretty. Every year, many people are waiting anxiously for the heather fields to bloom in August. As a large part of The Netherlands is covered in moorland, the spectacular blooming heather can be seen in many places: near the coast, in forested areas and in sandy areas. You probably never realised heather was so Dutch. Though I think the heather fields are one of 15 reasons to come to The Netherlands in autumn. In general you’ll be able to see heather in full bloom from mid August until the second week of September.

Where to see heather fields in The Netherlands?

Veluwezoom & Posbank

Heather fields, The Netherlands: Posbank | Your Dutch Guide

Heather fields, The Netherlands: Posbank | Your Dutch Guide

Veluwezoom is the oldest national park of The Netherlands and probably the most stunning place to see heather in full bloom. The visitors centre in Rheden is the starting point of dozens of walking and cycling trails. Spending a day in this national park is well-recommended. You may even spot some deer or wild bore!

Visiting Veluwezoom

  • Take a train to Rheden, the national park is just around the corner.
  • If you’re planning to stay the night in a beautiful national park, Boutique Hotel Beekhuizen is where you should go. Many walking and cycling trails start right at the hotel, and you’re able to rent bikes there.

Hilversum & Laren

Heather fields The Netherlands: Zuiderheide | Your Dutch Guide

Heather fields The Netherlands: Zuiderheide | Your Dutch Guide

Holland heather fields: Hoorneboegse Heide, Hilversum | Your Dutch Guide

Nature in Holland, heather fields in bloom | Your Dutch Guide

Zuiderheide in Laren (NH) is actually where I’d love to go for a walk in the heather fields. I used to work nearby in Hilversum and during lunchtime we would sometimes walk from the newspaper’s office to Theehuis ‘t Bluk on Zuiderheide. This small restaurant is actually quite lovely and a great place to start your walk across the heather fields. There are several trails, a visit to Zuiderheide is recommended for an hour or two. Alternatively, you can see heather fields in full bloom at Hoorneboegse Heide, close to the small airport of Hilversum.

Visiting Hilversum & Laren

  • Take the train to Hilversum to visit Zuiderheide in Laren (NH) or the train to Hollandse Rading to visit Hoornboegse Heide.
  • Want to stay nearby? De Blauwe Deur is close to the natural park and a great place to relax in nature.

Leusderheide

Heather fields, The Netherlands: Leusderheide | Your Dutch Guide

Leusden is a village close to Utrecht and Amersfoort with Leusderheide, the heather fields near the village, being its most important attraction. To visit Leusderheide you either park your car at Doornseweg, or take a train to Maarn and walk to Leusderheide. This walking trail ensures lots of heather, though you need to keep an eye out as it’s also a cycling and MTB trail.

Ginkelse heide

Heather fields, The Netherlands: Ginkelse heide | Your Dutch Guide

Ginkelse heide, between Ede and Arnhem, is not only a very special place to see heater fields in The Netherlands, but it’s also of historical importance. Ginkelse heide was the place where thousands of paratroopers from the allied forces landed during Operation Market Garden in 1944. Untill this day you can find WOII memorials in the natural park, like the Airborne Monument. If you’d like to learn more, visit the Airborne Museum at Hartenstein or follow part of the Liberation Route.

Visit Ginkelse heide

  • Take a train to Ede to visit Ginkelse heide. If you’re interested in the liberation route, best take a train to Arnhem or Oosterbeek.
  • If you’d like to stay and discover the heather fields of Ginkelse heide as well as the liberation route Hotel De Buunderkamp is a great pick.

Nationaal Park Dwingelderveld

Heather fields The Netherlands, Nationaal Park Dwingelderveld | Your Dutch Guide

Nationaal Park Dwingelderveld in the Drenthe province in the east of The Netherlands is one of the largest national parks in The Netherlands. During your walk you’ll be treated to forests, sand dunes and plains of heather fields. The national park is actually full of wetlands, but thanks to many boardwalks these won’t bother you during your walk.

  • To visit Drenthe you best rent a car, as that’s the easiest way to get close to Nationaal Park Dwingelderveld.
  • Explore the heather fields and other sights in Drenthe from Hotel Kuik, near the National Park, or Landal Exloo.

Texel

Texel, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Texel is one of the lovely islands in the north of The Netherlands, and the largest of the Wadden islands. All the dunes of the islands form a national park and is rich of heather fields too. If you visit Texel at the end of August or the beginning of september you can be sure to see some beautiful blooming heather during your walks or bike rides.

Visit Texel

Ameland

Heather fields The Netherlands: Ameland | Your Dutch Guide

Heather fields The Netherlands: Ameland | Your Dutch Guide

Since I also spotted heather fields on texel I shouldn’t have been too surprised to also spot some on Ameland, which is also part of the Wadden islands. Cars are allowed on the island, though it’s a much better plan to discover Ameland by bike, as it offers you acces to hidden beaches and the best views over the island. It was during one of my bike rides that I discovered some heather fields on Amelands, close to the Golf Club and cycling alongside the small airport to the beach.

Visit Ameland

Loonse en Drunense Duinen

Nationaal Park Loonse and Drunense Duinen, near Tilburg, is one of the most unlikely natural phenomenons you’ll ever see in The Netherlands. This national park consists mostly of ‘walking’ dunes. Lots of walking and cycling trails start at the visiting centre in Udenhout and will take you along heather fields, sand dunes and through forests.

Visit Loonse en Drunense Duinen

Heather fields, The Netherlands
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Heather fields, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Heather fields, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Nature in Holland, see the Dutch heather fields in full bloom August to September | Your Dutch Guide

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    dorothy adele
    August 30, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    It’s nice that you can occasionally get out of the city and enjoy the heather fields. Since they prefer sandy soil, they must be acclimated to survive drought.

    • Reply
      Esther
      August 31, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      I suppose that’s true, but the summer months also have been unusually hot this years (weeks and weeks of heatwave), so I guess that has something to do with it. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Christine Keane
    August 30, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    I feel like most of the world suffered a drier summer this year. I know my yard is looking way brown. I’m glad to see that the drier weather didn’t effect all the beautiful flowers! I do love seeing purple flowers. I honestly did not know these were called “heathers”, glad to learn something new 🙂

  • Reply
    Sharon
    September 1, 2018 at 12:51 am

    So glad you took a chance and looked for these fields. They are such a lovely color — really shades of colors. So beautiful!

  • Reply
    Jill Chapman
    September 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    I have to admit that when I think of heather the first place that springs to mind is Scotland. I didn’t know that Holland had fields of heather – and so beautiful. Glad you were able to take a break from work and enjoy some nature!

  • Reply
    Lolo
    September 2, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Such a shame how hot Europe got this year! So glad we personally spent the entire summer in the US, only to come home to fall come early! It’s sad though that the trees here in Germany have already died or are starting to change so early! I’m afraid we won’t have our “Golden October” this year! 🙁 Would love to see some Heather fields one day though! Hope they’re better next year!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 3, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    How Beautiful! It reminds me of all of the books I read as a girl talking about the moors and heather. I can imagine seeing it person is like nature romance at its best.

  • Reply
    Anda
    September 4, 2018 at 2:11 am

    I didn’t realize there was such a dry summer in Holland, because my relatives in Romania complain they had big floods there. I’ve never seen heather fields in bloom. I don’t believe we have this flower here, in California. It looks quite beautiful.

  • Reply
    Neeta
    October 28, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Esther thanks for this beautiful post. I was planning to do a road trip this weekend to the Netherlands and was wondering if this is a good time too, to see the heather fields or is it too late ?

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