Sports & Outdoors

Take a trip to Holland's beautiful De Hoge Veluwe National Park

De Hoge Veluwe National Park has everything for enjoying the great outdoors, from architecture to shifting landscapes filled with wildlife.

If your next holiday is to the Netherlands, we have plenty of recommendations for places you should visit, so you can see the very best of this wonderful country. This guide is for the nature and art lovers in particular, as this park captures both and celebrates the way they seem to inspire one another endlessly.

How to get to Hoge Veluwe National Park from Calais

Driving to Holland is faster than many realise. Many choose to take a caravan holiday in the Netherlands, thanks to the wide choice of sites.

From Calais, the drive to Hoge Veluwe will take just under 4 hours via the E40. There are plenty of choice stopping points along the way, including Ghent and Antwerp as you drive through Belgium.

Once you arrive, you can either park your car outside the entrance and buy a parking ticket at the ticket office, or you can take your car into the park (against a surcharge) and park it at Jachthuis Sint Hubertus or at the Kröller-Müller Museum.

People cycling into the distance on a sunny bike path through fields and trees

The history of the park

De Hoge Veluwe National Park began in 1909 when Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller bought the land. They spent time building the foundations, adding animals and plants, and creating an art museum until 1923, when an economic crisis halted their plans.

Luckily, in 1935, the land became part of a Foundation: De Hoge Veluwe National Park. The national government granted a loan, and the art collection was donated to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the government finished building the museum.

Exploring Hoge Veluwe National Park

Be sure to pack your walking shoes as you venture into the park to explore your surroundings.

Diverse landscape

The park is home to pine forests, sand dunes, moors, marshes, heaths and fields, it’s a real mix of landscapes. That’s what makes it so exciting. It also means a lot of different plants and shrubs can thrive here, each getting its perfect home. Look out for the rare marsh gentian flower and bog asphodel, which are both on the Red List of Threatened Species.

Wildlife spotting in the park

All sorts of species thrive at Hoge Veluwe including red deer, moor frogs, and wryneck birds. Some are at risk of extinction, so it’s important to respect their habitat as you explore. You might also see wild boar, badgers, and the rather sweet looking pine martens which jump between the trees.

Male red deer is standing on the grass in front of a herd and trees behind him

Cycling in Hoge Veluwe

Cyclists are well catered for as there are around 1,800 bicycles, which you can use for free, dotted around the park. You can find some outside the Kröller-Müller Museum and the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus. Head to the information desk at the Museonder, where they can provide a map of several biking routes through the 40 km of cycle paths available.

Walking and hiking

There are 42 km of hiking trails, with two routes signposted by paddenstoelen (mushroom markers) for you to meander. Marked observation points south of the Kröller-Müller Museum will tell you which wildlife species you might be able to spot too.

Jachthuis Sint Hubertus

Dreaming of their very own country retreat, Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller hired renowned architect Hendrikus Petrus Berlage to design Jachthuis Sint Hubertus in around 1915. He took the commission seriously, too, as he designed the grounds and interiors, right down to the cutlery! Inspired by an English country house, the rooms include a library, smoking room, boudoirs, and a billiards room.

The tower was added at the request of the Kröller-Müllers, to make the most of views of the surrounding countryside. You can book a guided tour through the house, which takes around 45 minutes and costs around €5 per person.

A unique Dutch building with a large tower and country house with yellow grass in the foreground

The Kröller-Müller Museum and sculpture garden

Kröller-Müller was an avid art collecter, so it’s thanks to her that there are 11, 500 art works on display here. The Kröller-Müller Museum is well-known for its large collection of Vincent van Gogh pieces (around 90 paintings and 180 drawings from his career). You can also see works by Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, and Piet Mondriaan.

The large sculpture garden covers 25 hectares, and you can find a wide range of modern sculptures, including some by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Jean Dubuffet, and Joep van Lieshout.

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For even more nature with a Dutch twist, try the Flower Route, which will take you from Haarlem to the flower capital of Naalwijk, with plenty of blooms along the way!

Start your journey from Folkestone, UK to Calais, France in just 35 minutes with LeShuttle. From there you’re ready to explore the Netherlands at your leisure.

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