Review: Our Epic Dutch Holiday!

The McWilliam family left us this review of their multi-centre Dutch holiday staying in 4 of our featured holiday parks. It sounds like they had the most amazing time! They said:

“Thank you so much Little Clogs for helping us plan our recent holiday to the Netherlands.  We enjoyed a fabulous multi-destination break, visiting Efteling, Landal de Reeuwijkse Plassen, Duinrell and Beekse Bergen. We loved what variety we could experience in such a compact area – rollercoasters, beaches, safari, windmills, canals, swimming, cycling – and how child-friendly we found the country.  In fact, we have all come back with a serious case of envy in general for the Dutch way of life! At least one of my kids has asked me every day since coming home when we are going back to the Netherlands! We had such a great time that I thought I’d share some of our experiences in case they are helpful for other people.

Efteling entrance

First stop was Efteling for three nights. This was one of the highlights of our trip, especially for the kids. The range of rides and attractions to suit everyone in the family, the intricate theming, the relaxed atmosphere – everything combined to make it really magical for them.


Efteling Giant

We stayed on site in a treehouse at Loonsche Land, which I would highly recommend.  As well as getting into the park 30 minutes early, staying on site made for a more relaxed and immersive visit.  Plus what kid doesn’t want to sleep in a treehouse!?!

The treehouse was quite compact (equivalent to a family hotel room really rather than a house) but it was just right for us as we spent pretty much all our time in the park itself.  An amazing breakfast buffet at the nearby Loonsche Land Hotel was included, and there was such a variety of high-quality food available in the park itself that this was one place that we didn’t miss not being able to self-cater (even for our three very fussy kids!).  We are all vegetarian and worried beforehand that we might find it hard to track down suitable meal choices but it wasn’t a problem at all.

Efteling pancake

We then spent four nights at Landal de Reeuwijkse Plassen, which made a great base to relax after a busy few days riding rollercoasters. The kids loved spending time at the on-site adventure playground and swimming pool, or just feeding the ducks from our lodge. The lodge itself was spacious and high-quality, and the whole resort seemed very peaceful and laidback.  We made sure to choose a lodge with a washing machine so we could do some laundry halfway through our trip – handy if like us your kids have a habit of spilling ice creams on their t-shirts!

Landal de Reeuwijkse Plassen houses

We also used Landal as a base for some day trips. One of our favourites was Kinderdijk, a Unesco World Heritage site of waterways and 19 historic windmills. It’s about a 30-minute drive with pay parking on site.  There’s a viewing platform which is worth checking out to get an overview of the landscape when you first arrive.  You can then choose to either just walk along the canal to see the windmills or do what we did and pay extra for a ticket which includes a boat trip up the canal and lets you go into the windmills themselves.  We enjoyed getting to see the windmills up close so think it was definitely worth the extra fee.  Although we didn’t try it out, there’s also a cafe (complete with amazing views of the windmills!).  When we visited, there was also a stand making fresh stroopwaffles, which the kids did try out and got a big thumbs up!

Kinderdijk windmills

Another day we hired bicycles from Landal and cycled to Gouda. It was a really easy ride (all Dutch towns seem to be so well set up for cycling!).  It took about 40 minutes, through residential areas and along a canal, before reaching the town centre.  There were lots of beautiful old buildings and little bridges over canals, which we felt made it a really manageable way to get a taste of some traditional Dutch heritage without having to drag the kids round anywhere too big and bustling! The main square features a beautiful old town hall and is ringed by a variety of restaurants.  After eating overlooking the town hall, we continued to the Lego shop (the largest one in the Netherlands apparently).  There’s a room in the back with lots of bricks for building and a ramp for racing your Lego vehicles down, which entertained the kids for ages.  (And of course they couldn’t resist using their holiday money to add to their own Lego collection!)

Lego store Gouda

A few shops down is an amazing ice cream shop, offering a range of delicious flavours.  Powered up by ice cream, we were ready for the cycle back to Landal de Reeuwijkse Plassen again!  (We chose not to as we wanted to avoid the crowds, but if you visit on a Thursday you can see the cheese market in the main square. There’s also various other attractions that we didn’t have time for, including a waffle factory and the Gouda Cheese Experience. And of course, lots of opportunities to buy Gouda cheese!)


Next stop was three nights at Duinrell.  We stayed in a five-person Premium Plus Duingalow.  Described as a ‘tiny house’, it was indeed compact but well-equipped and comfortable. With a huge swimming pool and amusement park onsite, you can imagine that it wasn’t difficult to keep the kids happy!  If booking direct with Duinrell you get vouchers for free swim slots at the pool, which features loads of waterslides.  The amusement park is free to access any time – although not a full theme park it has a good selection of playgrounds, rollercoasters and other rides to keep everyone busy.

Wassenaar beach

Duinrell is also not far from the coast so we enjoyed a trip to the local beach at Wassenaar as well.  It’s about a 10-minute drive with pay parking on site.  There’s a couple of restaurants and a selection of snack bars selling take-away food and ice creams.  The beach itself is sandy, clean and perfect for a day out with the kids.

Beekse Bergen Savannah Lodges

Finally, we finished our holiday at Beekse Bergen.  We stayed in a Savannah Lodge in the Safari Resort, which was an amazing experience.  It overlooked the ‘Serengeti’ enclosure, which meant we could eat our breakfast whilst looking out at giraffes and zebras.  The lodge was decorated in keeping with the theme, with lots of nice little touches (such as safari hats for the kids to wear, for example).  Outside there was a seating area (with dining table and chairs) overlooking the ‘Serengeti’.  Inside there was plenty of space; the kitchen was well-equipped for self-catering; and there was even a sauna in the bathroom for relaxing after a long day.

Beekse Bergen Safari Resort

The Safari Resort itself was very well kept and had everything you needed for a short stay – shop, restaurants, play area etc (plus there were additional facilities such as a larger shop and a launderette at the Lakeside Resort).  We didn’t eat at any of the restaurants as preferred to self-cater but did order some yummy pizzas to takeaway one night.  We also made ample use of the lovely swimming pool, which the kids loved. If you’re looking at staying at Beekse Bergen, I’d definitely recommend booking at the Safari Resort if you can – it made the whole stay into an immersive experience.  We were lucky enough to have some sunny days while we were there, which made it even more like being on an actual safari!

Beekse Bergen Safari Park

Speaking of which …. the Safari Park itself was amazing too, definitely the best wildlife park I’ve ever been to.  It was really spacious and well thought out, with little adventure trails for the kids scattered around (mine especially liked being able to see the bears from a rope bridge!).  As well as walking round the Safari Park, there was also a driving safari – one of the kids’ favourite memories is having to stop for ages while a giraffe licked our car!  We also treated ourselves to the game drive (which was an extra charge but well worth it).  You’re driven round the driving safari in an open-sided 4×4 and go ‘off road’ to get up close with a selection of the animals, including giraffes and zebras.

Beekse Bergen Safari Park

We couldn’t believe how much we managed to pack into two weeks, and what variety the Netherlands offered within a relatively small area.  And there were still lots we missed or didn’t have a chance to do.  We will be back!  ”

For more info about the places where the McWilliams family stayed, or to book, please see the links below or drop us a line:


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