A day hike in Westerschouwen Zeeland

During summer I always stay close to home. One of the places I love to visit then is the forest in Westerschouwen, Zeeland. 

Westerschouwen is the biggest forest in Zeeland and is located right in the dunes of Westerschouwen. So you can easily combine your hike with a beachday. What about hiking early in the morning and ending the day on the beach?

The forest isn’t a natural forest, the area used to be all sand, but in 1920 they planted pine trees and marram grass. When the area became more touristic they expanded the forest with broad leave trees. Nowdays it is a protected forest.

There are multiple ways to explore the forest at Westerschouwen. There are hiking trails, mountainbike trails, bike trails and horse trails. So there is a trail for everyone. There are also paved trails for people in wheelchairs.

The trail
We did the yellow hike, which is 8 km long, and takes you through the forest, by the lakes and the lookout all the way to the beach. The path starts at the Kraaijensteijnweg, Westenschouwen. There is a big parking lot at the end of the street. The path is clearly marked with yellow signs. Just pay attention at the end that you go off the trail onto the paved path back to the excursion barn. Otherwise you will keep hiking in circles.

Since the trail is in the dunes, there are a lot of paths that are just mulled sand. Besides the sand you will also hike up and down the dunes. Which can make it a challenging hike.

My favorite part of this hike are the lakes. Next time I will bring a picknick and have lunch here and hang out and hike back out at the end of the day.

I also loved the lookout, where you can see for miles. Make sure not to walk by it as it looks like a no entry zone, but the lookout is open for everyone.

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You can also combine the hike with a beachday, because from the parking lot it is only a 5 minute walk to the beach.

Oh and when you go early, there is a really big chance you will get to see deer in this forest.

Have you ever been to Westerschouwen?

Our neverending Wanderlust day hike Westerschouwen

Buitenplaats Beekhuizen, a weekend getaway in The Netherlands

Those days between Christmas and New Year’s are always the kind of days that seem to go by without a thought. So this year I decided to change things up and book a weekend getaway with Valerie. A special one for that matter. I decided to head back to the Veluwe, one of the most beautiful parts of The Netherlands.

The Pod at Buitenplaats Beekhuizen

I booked a pod nestled in the middle of the national park of Veluwezoom. A pod is a little wooden cabin. At Buitenplaats Beekhuizen you will find the pods and tents surrounded by the forests. I booked a stay from Friday until Monday. Upon my arrival it was already clear that this isn’t to long to stay here. There are countless hiking trails around and activities. You will have a hard time deciding what to do first.

The pods are small, but they are equipped with all the conveniences you will need. You won’t have a fully equipped kitchen though. You do however have a water heater, a coffee maker, a microwave and a fridge. If you do want to make homemade meals you can also book a cooking pod, but their is also a restaurant on side. As was as a breakfast service. The pods also have their own bathrooms. And my pod could even house up as many as four people.

Restaurant Woodz

The first thing you will come across when you enter the site is restaurant Woodz. The restaurant is small, but cosy. The inside area is made out of old shipping containers. Outside you will find fire pits and sheepskin blankets to keep you warm, even during the winter months.  And the food is amazing. There are even a couple of options if you are a vegetarian.

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Hiking

Buitenplaats Beekhuizen is situated in the middle of National Park Veluwezoom. Which comes with the bonus of lots of trails close by. There are hiking trails starting right outside your doorstep, one of which is the Herikhuizen route. Which we hiked the first day while we were there. A 10k route crossing the Veluwezoom National Park and it’s diverse landscape. From rolling hills, to heather fields and back into the forest. In my opinion the Veluwe is one of the most beautiful places in The Netherlands.


This route will lead you along one of the most famous spots of the Veluwe, the Posbank. As well as the nature observation point Herikhuizen, which is a perfect spot if you want to spot some wildlife. We even came across an Icelandic horse, which roam free in this area. But if you get up early you might even see some wild boars or deer.

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The second day we decided to hike the trail to the Carolinahoeve, a pancake restaurant, which is only accessible by foot. If you are lucky you will even come across some of the Scottish highlanders whom roam freely in this area. This is a 5k trail starting from the parking lot “Lappendeken” It is an easy trail, but even though The Netherlands is mostly flat, don’t be fooled by it, because here you will find some rolling hills.


It was the perfect weekend getaway in between Christmas and New Year’s. If you would like to book one of the pods, go over to the website of Buitenplaats Beekhuizen by clicking this link.

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Beach sunrise Breskens

Growing up in Zeeland means growing up besides water. We are surrounded by it, which also means being surrounded by beaches. Mostly during summer we tend to avoid the beaches, but this summer we are turning things upside down. So instead of going to the beach during the day time we go to the beach for the sunrise.

Our neverending Wanderlust Breskens-6845I have never been a morning person, but ever since I got up for my first sunrise I have been hooked. There is nothing better then to watch the sunrise and to see the world coming back to life. It is one of those things that will always be magical.


So the first of July we took Milow to one of the beaches close to our home, Breskens. There are big parking lots everywhere along the dunes, which you only have to pay for between 11am and 6pm. So you shouldn’t have any trouble parking your car.

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Breskens is home to a beautiful lighthouse. Which is open for visitors. The lighthouse was build in 1866-1867. And thus has been here for over a 100 years! It is the oldest still excisting cast iron lighthouse and it is still operating.

It is one of my favorite spots along the coast here in Zeeland.

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Which is your favorite coastal spot?

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April roundup

And another month has come to pass once again. Since we are so busy this year seems to fly by! It is also the reason why I haven’t posted  in a while. I can’t believe May is already half way through. It is the month I have been looking forward to for months, because we finally started to build our new home!

So what have we been up to in April?

The Keukenhof

I didn’t go to the Keukenhof just once this month, but twice! I had never been in the Keukenhof before. So this year I finally got the chance to go. Read all about my Keukenhof trip here:A daytrip to the Keukenhof

Owl and bird of prey shoot

I signed up for an owl shoot this month, which was a lot of fun. I even got to hold an owl! It was an amazing experience to watch the birds and the love of their owner for them. And the chance to shoot (with a camera) these beautiful birds.

Spain

We didn’t decide if we were going to either the Dolomiti in Italy or back to the Basque coast until the night we left. But we decided to go back to the Basque coast, which was amazing once again. I can’t wait to share all the new things we did there this year!

So what did you do in april?

A daytrip to the Keukenhof

There are those trips that you want to do at least once in your life, no matter how much of a cliché they are. Well for me that was visiting the Keukenhof. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Netherlands, and I had never been there. not even as a child. So this year I put it on my bucket list for 2018.

And I didn’t go once, I actually got to go twice in a week’s time.


The Keukenhof is known for it’s Tulip fields. Obviously you don’t need to visit the Keukenhof to see the Tulip fields, but there is so much more then just the Tulip fields at the Keukenhof.

In the Keukenhof you will find multiple greenhouse which store an amazing variety of flowers. I have never seen so many sorts of tulips together in my entire life. Besides Tulips, you will find a green house that only holds orchids, in every color imaginable.

Besides the greenhouse you will find flower beds throughout the entire parc. They even planted flower beds to form a Tulip from flowers.

The first day I went to the Keukenhof with a group of fellow photographers. When your main goal is to photograph you can easily spend the entire day there. If you only go to wander through the gardens you can probably get through the entire park in about half a day.

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Have you ever visited the Keukenhof?

 

 

 

 

 

The month of January

The other day I came up with this idea to do a review of the month, so you can have a little sneak peek in our live while we are not out travelling. We both have a day job, so we try to get out during the weekend as much as possible. This month has been full with all sort of activities. Let me tell you all about them.

Vakantiebeurs Utrecht

Every year we go to the ‘Vakantiebeurs’ in Utrecht, which is the biggest travel fair in The Netherlands. So of course this January we went there again and came home with lots of inspiration. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some of my pictures of the fair in my instastories.

We looked into trips to Japan and some destinations closer to home, like the North Coast of Spain and the Dolomites in Italy. Either one will probably be our destination for our spring roadtrip.

There is also a hall with lots of camping gear and this year there was a stand with rooftop tents, which we added to our list of gear we would love to purchase in the future.

Hiking

Ofcourse we also went hiking, this time we ventured to the Kloosterbos in Belgium, where we did just a small hike in the late afternoon and we were so lucky to come across 4 deer on our hike! I can barely believe it myself, since I had never seen a deer in this area before.

We also stayed close to home for our walks with Milow where we ventured into the forest as much as possible.

Photography

Ofcourse I can’t go an entire month without going out just to photograph, so I went into town to do some night time photography.

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Bruges
The last weekend of January Andy and I headed out to Bruges with one of my friends. We visited the brewery the Halve Maan. I had never visited the brewery before, but ofcourse I did have some Brugse Zot before, which is one of the house brands of the brewery. Did you know that they transport the beer underneath the streets of Bruges? I will tell you all about Bruges in another blog.

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As you can tell we had a busy, but fun month of January. Along with a lot of trips and fun activities we also had a lot of appointments for our new home, which they hopefully start building in June. Keeping our fingers crossed for that.

So what did you do this month? And would you like me to continue posting a review of our month?

2017 a review

Since 2017 has almost come to an end, I decided it was time to look back on our year. It has been a crazy year, that is for sure, but an amazing one.

2017 was the year that we sold our house and bought a piece of land to build our own home.

It has also been the year were we had to cut back on travel due to work, but even though we had to cut back on travel we did get out and travel as much as we possibly could. Even if that meant staying closer to home.

It was also the year that I decided to become a tourist in my own country, The Netherlands, because there are so many places that I had never been and still haven´t  been.

It was the year we fell in love with the Basque coast and in particular with the beautiful city of Zumaia.

So let me tell you about our top 5 moments of 2017.

1. Selling our house
We listed our house for sale in 2016 and we finally sold it at the beginning of 2017. For us it was a huge step, because it was our first home as a couple. We decided to take a leap and buy a piece of land, so we could realise our dream of building our own home.

2. A two week roadtrip to the Basque coast
This year we went on a two week camping trip to the Basque coast. We were planning on moving around, but we fell in love with the area near Ixtaspe so much that we decided to stay there for our entire vacation. It was a choice I haven’t regretted. We enjoyed all the delicious food, went on some of the most incredible hikes, and we just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful views.

3. A weekend get away to the Speulderbos

The last weekend of September we took a much needed trip to the beautiful Speulderbos in The Netherlands. Where I participated in a photography workshop about forest photography. The first day we were there we did a hike in the Speulderbos and the second day I had my photography workshop. We got so lucky this weekend, because the weather was so incredibly beautiful for the time of the year. We had sunshine, fog and no rain at all.

4. A day trip to Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez in France
In November I went on a day trip to the Cap in France to photograph. The weather was incredible and the views and the food were amazing. I had never been here, even though it is only a two hour drive from where I live. Hence the fact I need to travel more in my own back yard.

 

5. All the trips to the forest
In 2016 I started with photography classes. I have loved to photograph ever since I was a child, but due to study and work I never had the time to take photography classes. After I had finished college in 2015 I decided in 2016 to finally take those photography classes I had always wanted to take.

Since I love to be outdoors and I love to go to the forest, I found my love for forest photography in 2017.  Which leaded to a lot of day trips to the forest in 2017 and even a photography workshop. Pretty much all my spare mornings were spend in the forest and I loved every minute of it. Most of the time I will head out by myself, because I am seriously no fun to go with when I photograph, but I love to be out there by myself, just taking in all the beautiful things the world has to offer.

I hope 2018 will be an equally amazing year as 2017. It will also be a crazy year, since we will start building our home. I hope we get to travel as much as possible, but we already have a three week roadtrip planned. So I can´t wait for all the beautiful things 2018 will bring us.

I hope your year has been as amazing as ours and I wish you a happy new year!