Autumn is one of my favorite seasons especially if it’s a good year and you see lots of deep crimson, yellows and all the mixes of color in between. I never knew but apparently the brightness of the colors have to do with the amount of sunlight that there has been. We don’t have a Vermont here in the Netherlands but there are enough beautiful places to experience the changing of the season. Today I want to share three delightful autumn walks that are near Den Hague.
1. Landgoed Duivenvoorde – Estate Duivenvoorde
Just about a short 20 minutes from Den Hague is the estate of Duivenvoorde.
The estate and the castle of Duivenvoorde have roots that go back to the 13th century.
The estate always remained in hands of family until the 20th century (1960) when the last owner decided to establish a foundation. It’s been open to public since 1963.
Parking costs 3 euros for a day and you can also visit the castle and museum on the estate. Tickets are 13,50 for adults and 6,50 for children (children 0-4 free entrance). You can make a reservation online here. So far we have not visited the museum but have only gone for walks so I can’t give you feedback on the museum itself.
Beautiful view in Duivenvoorde
We have been here during the spring, fall and winter. My favorite time was during the winter when it had snowed and the whole estate was covered in white. Since that doesn’t happen often here in the Netherlands, it was quite spectacular.
It’s an enjoyable place to go for walks with your children in any season. During the fall the leaves change color and it’s a great place to relax and unwind.
Right next to the entrance to the estate there is “Pompoenerie Marie” that sells all kinds of pumpkins.
We never noticed it before but it was fun add to our day out. If you are looking for a place to have lunch after your walk, there is het Eiland van Ome Nick. We have never beent here before but I read a lot of good comments.
Clingendael park in Den Hague
Another autumn walk our family always enjoys is the Clingendael park in Den Hague. The Clingendael estate is a green piece of relaxation in the middle of Den Hague. We have been there many times and my favorite time is in the fall when all the leaves are changing color.
It’s is pretty large area with beautiful buildings, impressive trees and gardens, a tearoom and the stunning Japanese garden. There is a nice playground for kids (that our kids always enjoy) and you can also have picnics or just stroll around. Our kids love to run down the hill near one of the gardens.
The Japanese Garden
The Japanese garden is located in the middle of the Clingendael park. It is the oldest and largest Japanese garden in the country, from around 1910 and it was created by the last owner of the estate of Clingendael, Marguerite M. Baroness van Brienen. She lived from 1871 – 1939. She got the idea to create a Japanese garden and sailed a number of times by ship to Japan and brought back to the Netherlands several plants and bridges, etc
The park is very delicate and is only open twice a year for a couple of weeks. In the spring (around 30th of April) it is open for 6 weeks and in the fall (around 15th of October) for 2 weeks from 10.00 to 16.00hrs. It is best to keep an eye on their website to find the exact date of opening. Dogs are not allowed (unless as a guide dog) and strollers are not allowed either. This is to protect the garden so keep that in mind if you want to visit and have little ones.
We passed by last year while we were in Clingendael (not knowing about the Japanese garden) and it was so crowded! We had to wait outside and walk slowly in a row through the park. This year we went early on a Monday morning and we were the second ones to arrive. We had the park all to ourselves and really enjoyed it. It was quit a different experience, so my advise would be to go early and then after that go for a walk in Clingendael and have something to drink in the nearby teahouse. It opens at 10 and closes at 17.00hrs. They do close in the winter but I couldn’t find the exact date of that.
My last tip for a delightful autumn walk near Den Hague is a bit different from the first two in that it is a walk in the dunes. Westduinpark is located between Scheveningen and Kijkduin and is near the North Sea. It has dune valleys and dune high tops, forest and Scottish Highland cows that roam about (although we haven’t seen them here yet).
Right in the Westduinpark (West Dune Park) is also located the Hedgehog Shelter Den Hague.
The shelter is fully run by volunteers and they help sick and wounded hedgehogs. They take care of them, feed them and give them all the medical help they need and within a year all have to be put out back in the wild. The shelter is open everyday from 10.00 – 12.00 to receive hedgehogs that need help, and once a month they have an open day. So, last week on the 4th of November (between 14.00 – 16.00hrs) they had an open day and we went over to check that out.
The lady told us to be very quiet because hedgehogs are very sensitive to noise. She explained a lot about hedgehogs, and then let us see one.
The line behind us grew while we were listening to her. It was very interesting to hear and learn all about hedgehogs. From what they eat, how they mate, their hibernation period and the dangers and challenges the hedgehog have to deal with. The funniest thing I heard was that the volunteers can always tell which one is a male or a female. The males are always a little grumpier and more difficult, kind of showing their toughness, and the females are more easy going.
Next month on the first Saturday of December will be another open day. After that the hedgehogs will be hibernating until spring. The hedgehogs really need our help because their biggest enemy is, not surprisingly, us people. On their website they give ideas how we can help the hedgehog by for example, making our gardens more hedgehog friendly. Some ideas are, planting certain plants that they can hide under, leave some leafs in your garden, don’t use poison to kill slugs (they can eat it too), provide grass in your garden, etc. These printable are only available in Dutch however. Overal, it was very interesting and I’m glad we checked it out. It’s a tiny location so keep that in mind if you do get a chance to go.
Well these were the three ideas for delightful autumn walks near Den Hague. The estate of Duivenvoorde, the estate of Clingendael with it’s stunning Japanese garden, and the Westduinpark with the beautiful dunes, Scottish Highland cows and the hedgehog shelter. If you want to read about another great autumn walk in The Netherlands check out these posts. Let me know if you liked the article and tried out the tips, and until next time!