Timing is of the essence when it comes to seeing the tulip fields in The Netherlands at their best. This season was unusually warm so there was a very short window of opportunity for peak viewing.
The town of Lisse is located at the centre of the bulb growing area but by the time we arrived there most of the tulips had already been harvested.
We drove on to the nearby village of Hillgom where we were fortunate enough to see row upon row of brightly gorgeous coloured blooms. Such an amazing sight and another bucket list item ticked off!.
Another splendid horticultural experience to be had in that part of the Netherlands is at the Clingendael parkland in Wassenaar, just outside The Hague.
The grounds belong to the 17 Century Clingendael Manor House and are very beautiful in their own right but the “jewel in the crown” is the stunning Japanese Garden.
Created at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Baroness Marguérite van Brienen, the garden still has the same layout and design as it did when it was first built and contains various artefacts that the Baroness brought back from Japan. These include water casks, a bridge, pavilion and stone lanterns.
Because the garden is extremely fragile it’s only open for a few weeks a year so we felt very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time!
We were also fortunate to be in Delft when one of its ancient windmills – De Roos (The Rose) windmill – was open to the public.
There has been a windmill in this location since 1352 and a wooden mill was built there in 1679 which was used for grinding corn. This was replaced in the eighteenth century by a larger stone mill which is the one in existence today.
De Roos Windmill has seven floors and we were able to see an exhibition about the history of windmills in the Delft area in its attic.
We had to climb up a number of very narrow ladders to get to the top but it was totally worth it as the view from the top was wonderful.