Holland in autumn colours
After winning our social pole, as voted by our Stena Line travel lovers, we’ve decided to do a short article about autumn in the Netherlands. Autumn colours won for favourite thing about fall so we had to pick a few of our favourite ways to experience this season while the leaves are falling.
Autumn colours in Wonderlands
The Netherlands is stunning in autumn, sail direct to this wonderland, take in the scenes of leaves turning into beautiful shades of yellow, red and orange, all the warming autumnal colours – Pumpkin dishes, roasted chestnuts, Dutch beer, gin, coffee and local comfort foods.
Start a Dutch autumn adventure by exploring the Dutch landscape where you’ll truly capture the colours of autumn. If you feel like taking a walk or a bike ride along the beautiful Dutch Moorlands then take a tour around Heide or the national park Hoge Veluwe. With 5500 hectares it’s the largest national park in the Netherlands and is breathtaking during this time of year.
The Dutch forests are so enchanting during autumn, enjoy looking for of wild mushrooms and local wildlife. Exploring the moorlands, forests and meadows is the perfect autumn day time activity on a crisp dry day with loved ones – Make the most of the natural surroundings, look out for red deer, elk and wild boar. Capture the beautiful nature spots, the plants, trees, lakes and more. This type of mini-break is perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle and spending quality time with your nearest and dearest and is just a short sailing away.
As Dutch as apple pie
There’s nothing more Dutch than apples, apple picking and apple pie! Autumn is truly apple season in The Netherlands, it offers so many locations for apple picking where you can make the most of exploring the natural landscape. Visit Delft to a Self-Pick Apple Farm, Landgoed De Olmenhorst, Fruittuin van West (‘Fruit Garden of West’) just west of Amsterdam or the the organic farm De Oude Boerderij. Don’t stop at apple picking, there’s loads to see and do from pumpkin patches, cherry picking and more.
Finish off a trip to the forest with a stop to a traditional Dutch pancake restaurant. Start off with a savoury pancake, with cheese and other hearty fillings, then for dessert have a slice of apple pie with cream… Echt lekker!
Autumn in the City
If in the city and you still want to experience beautiful plants flowers and tranquillity during your trip, visit a botanical gardens! The Netherlands has several beautiful botanical gardens that are a must-see during autumn – If in Amsterdam, visit one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, Hortus Botanicus that even offers a guided tour. Utrecht ofefrs the De Oude Hortus botanical garden and in Rotterdam there’s Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum.
Autumn colours can be seen by night, in a lit up city, with the backdrop of famous Dutch architecture, music and ambience. From the start of November, museums in Amsterdam will open their doors for the Museumnacht Amsterdam (Museum night Amsterdam). Enjoy collections, exhibitions, live music, performances, special tours and plenty of things to do to get you into the seasonal mood, be sure to get you tickets and wristbands so you can experience this city’s events by night.
Rotterdam is fast becoming the next go-to “Dam” city – Not only is it one of Europe’s largest ports, it’s also home to interesting modern architecture, home to several pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants and hotels. Whether you want to dance all night or just relax with a cocktail, Rotterdam has it all for an autumn weekend break with friends.
An alternative city would be Utrecht where you can enjoy a stroll along the endless stalls with food, clothes for a little retail therapy followed by dinner and drinks in the heart of this vibrant city. You can definitely spend a rainy Autumn day in The Netherlands in one of the many indoor markets – Visit De Utrechtse Bazaar.
A taste of autumn
Just like London, the big Dutch cities like Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda offer fantastic choice of different cuisines and autumn is a true food lover’s season! So, what better way to spend your autumn day in The Netherlands with a food tour.
Try popular hearty autumn-winter meals like Snert, a green soup/stew like dish (which is more delicious than it looks) and is also sometimes referred to as, “erwtensoep” or “Hollandse erwtensoep”. A thick pea soup made sliced smoked sausage (rookwurst), onions, celery, leeks, and carrots, often served with rye bread and smoked bacon. Another warming hearty dish is, Fondue, surprisingly, though not seen as traditionally Dutch, it is a popular dish with locals and tourists. Indulge in huddling around a cauldron of hot melted cheese with a bottle of wine! You’ll find fondue restaurants in most of Holland’s big cities, notably Amsterdam.
An infusion of Dutch and Asian food, rijsttafel is a must. Rijsttafel literally translates to “rice table”, a tapas style small dishes of different spicy-sticky-sweet Indonesian cuisine, accompanied by rice.
For sweet treats, of course apple pie, dutch pancakes, oliebollen (doughnuts, layered with powdered sugar ). More autumn-winter sweet treats are crunchy spiced cookies called speculaas the ultimate seasonal treat, perfect to wash down with a cup of Dutch coffee.
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