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Escorted Rail Tours to Kinderdijk

Experience the authentic windmills and waterways of the Netherlands

The charming rural village of Kinderdijk lies in area of beautiful open countryside known as the Groene Hart (Green Heart) in the province of South Holland. Despite its proximity to the Netherlands' four largest cities, Amsterdam; Rotterdam; The Hague and Utrecht, the landscape around Kinderdijk is a tranquil and unspoilt plain, formed where the Lek and Noord Rivers meet.

That the Groene Hart lies below sea level is the factor that makes the village of Kinderdijk and its environs so special. In the thirteenth century, to counter the constant threat of the land becoming submerged by rising waters, large drainage canals were built. Their effectiveness was limited and by the eighteenth century a better solution for channelling excess water away from the Groene Hart was required. That solution was the construction of a series of nineteen windmills capable of pumping water from the land back into the rivers and out to sea.

The eight windmills at Kinderdijk were completed in 1738, and in 1997 the entire windmill complex in the Groene Hart was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. As such, it is a requirement that the windmills are maintained in their original state. Today a visit to Kinderdijk provides a unique experience to see these magnificent windmills, an icon of the Netherlands, in their original glory and stretching out a cross a landscape of pastoral beauty.

Visits to Kinderdijk offer guests the chance to visit an authentic Netherlands windmill to discover its history and learn exactly how it works. The Museum Windmill Nederwaard has been fully preserved in its original condition inside and out, and here visitors can explore the miller's living quarters and the mechanics of the mill before climbing to the top of the mill for outstanding views of the countryside and other windmills.

The Groene Hart features paved pathways which are excellent to explore on foot or by bicycle, but this landscape of peat and waterways also invites longer treks on which visitors may spot local wildlife which includes nine of the sixteen species of amphibians that inhabit the Netherlands such as the northern crested newt, moor frog and natterjack toad, rare birds such as the European Stonechat, Marsh Warbler and Purple Heron.

When a break from windmill exploration is required, Kinderdijk offers a few café's in which to obtain refreshments - and more windmill views - and there are also one or two souvenir shops at which Dutch cheeses, jewellery, postcards, clogs and, inevitably, model windmills can be purchased.

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Tulips CruiseTulips Cruise

Five-Star Tulips Cruise

Discover the magnificent floral displays of the Keukenhof Gardens and enjoy a talk onboard ship from television personality Charlie Dimmock on this wonderfully diverse cruise on the enchanting Belgian and Dutch waterways. 

On this tour we uncover the beautiful historic cities of Amsterdam, Ghent and Antwerp as well as the Battlefields of Ypres, the spectacular Keukenhof tulips and the Hoorn-Medemblik steam train. We also enjoy a talk from army veteran and battlefields expert Colonel Piers Storie-Pugh OBE on this memorable river cruise.

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8 days from £1,395 pp

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