Up in Northern Holland there are attractions galore in an overlooked area of Europe as far as tourism goes. We mix it up big style and are confident that we are the only railway holiday company that even visits some of these places – read on
Our adventure begins when we meet at St Pancras in time to catch the mid-morning Eurostar direct to Amsterdam and change into Dutch railways to a place called Lelystad. Here we meet our coach and it’s an hours trundle up to Sneek. Arriving at about 18.30 we’ll get to know each other with a welcome meal (included) this evening.
We call this day our “Historic Triangle Circular” because using steam train, national railways, and coach we can link three delightful towns called Medemblik, Hoorn and Enkhuizen. This is a highlight day out, during which you can enjoy the dramatic drive over the Afsluitdijk Dam, visit the towns, ride Holland’s most famous steam railway and cruise across Ijsselmeer – wow!
With luggage on board our coach goes ahead as we take to the rails travelling from Sneek, via Leeuwarden and Meppel, to a place called Hoogeveen. A short drive away from here there are two absorbing attractions. We will relax with trains, tea/coffee, beers and Dutch cake in “peat country” near Erica. Enjoy a narrow gauge railway and learn the Dutch way of life at Veenpark and sample pancakes, in a pancake house, at Barger-Compascuum. We then drive north for an hour to Veendam which is in the middle of nowhere but boasts two railway stations and is our home for the remainder of the holiday.
The joy of this part of Holland (the most densely populated country in Europe) is that there are no crowds up here. Everything and everywhere, is easy going, by the end of today’s itinerary you’ll know what we mean. Our “local” day will introduce you to a steam driven windmill and bakery, a gorgeous little steamboat & canal trip, and the local steam railway (STAR). All great fun and very “local”.
We need to do something different today, so here we go, the highlight of the holiday we think! – to the German island called Borkum. A lovely boat trip to get there is followed by some classic Inside Track events, including our privately chartered steam train and hauled by “Borkum”, plus an island tour, and surprises organized and hosted by our lifelong friend, Wilfried. Another unforgettable day!
We return to London today via Rotterdam and Brussels, arriving back late afternoon, having spent the journey reflecting on a most extraordinary holiday.
Situated in the middle of a very quiet town – Veendam. The hotel is family run (The Appies!) and is a very happy place to stay! It is unusual but then most of Northern Holland is. The hotel features very pleasant rooms with TV, telephone and private facilities, and a very good restaurant for meals and snacks. It also has its own brewery so one can enjoy the fantastic selection on offer. On a pleasant evening nothing could be finer than dining on the town square.
A modern hotel and spa built beside a lake on the outskirts of historic Sneek. This place oozes class with spacious bedrooms, a large restaurant and bar overlooking the lake, and full spa facilities. Its situation makes it ideal for our historic triangle day to the south of the north!