Cycling in the Netherlands is the best way to explore the country. Cycle from one city to another or explore the surroundings of a city by bicycle. Let me be your guide cycling around. We start in Utrecht. I will take you on a quiet route through avenues, along lakes, swamps, vibrating veins, and via forest paths to the former royal palace Soestdijk and back to Utrecht.
Cycling in the Netherlands through the woods north of Utrecht
The trip, as you can rent a bike at each railway station in the Netherlands, described in the map above starts at Utrecht Central Station. Going through the center of the city you pass the Oudegracht, maybe the most beautiful canal in Holland. Going on you get to the Budget Camping in Voorveldse Polder. From where you go on to the Fortress Voordorp, a former military complex, which is a part of the Dutch Waterline. From there you follow a bicycle track along a lake, which lies in the Centre of The Nature Area Hooge Kampsepad. A popular place for bird spotting.
Cycling in the Netherlands to Lage Vuursche
From the lake, at Hooge Kampsepad you continue to Groenekan and you make a left turn directly after crossing the railway. Before continuing your trip you might as well enjoy a drink at the Village Inn at Groenekan or visit the pottery of Paul Werner before continuing. To continue to Lage Vuursche you take the Beukenburgerlaan. This alleyway brings you straight into the woods. Following sand and shell paths you pass restaurant the Mauritshoeve from where you continue to the farm Eyckenstein which has a fine farm shop with local products. Here you will get all you need for a good picnic. From Eyckenstein an amazing network of sandy bicycle tracks leads to Lage Vuursche. A touristic hotspot with a magnificent midget golf track and quite a few restaurants. Biking on and on you will hardly notice Castle Drakenstein where queen mother Beatrix lives presently. The Castle is hidden in the woods behind tall camera surveyed fences. Nearby is the festival site “De Kuil”. Here in the middle of the wood, the yearly lumberjacks festival is held at the beginning of August. “De Kuil” is also the home of the theater festival Vuurol which has multiple yearly editions. Moreover, it could be a challenge for you to follow the 10 km long mountain bike trail starting at “De Kuil”, and make a round trip through the woods.
Cycling in the Netherlands to palace Soestdijk
When you leave “De Kuil” in the woods around Lage Vuursche you follow a sandy bike trail through the woods along with the campsite “De Zeven Linden”. Going on you join the N 415 for a kilometer or so to get to the former Royal Palace Soestdijk. Now, in 2020, the Palace itself is closed to the public as it is being redeveloped, but you can visit the gardens surrounding the Palace and the “Needle of Waterloo”, a monument memorizing the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.
From Royal Palace Soestdijk to Utrecht by bike
Following the track from the Royal Palace in Soestdijk tot Utrecht you descend to an area well below sea level. You leave the pine forests on the sandy soils of Lage Vuursche and you follow a route through a low moor area east of the lakes of Loosdrecht. Here you will find vibrating peat between endless ditches. Storks and herons look for food in the grass and hunt for fish in the ditches. Here agricultural land is returned to nature. You pass villages with windmills and churches and if you want to spend the night here you could rent a cabin at the campsite De Twaalf Gaarden, put up your tent at Boerdrijcamping De Hofstede or book a room at B&B Hofstede Eijk en Hoef in Maartensdijk.To get to Utrecht from here is easy. Biking along you look out over an open landscape with meadows and cattle and in the distance you can see the skyline of Utrecht.