Nature in the Netherlands

Are you considering putting put down roots in the most beautiful province in the Netherlands, Gelderland? Good call, we love it (although we might have a slight bias).

Gelderland is known for containing three cities that played a significant role in Dutch history: Arnhem, Nijmegen and Wageningen. And although that history – ranging from Roman settlement to heavy fighting in WWII and beyond – is mighty interesting, what draws most people to the area is just outside the vibrant city centres: the abundance of nature. Beautiful forests, national parks and rivers are what make the province of Gelderland such an attractive holiday destination for foreign and Dutch tourists alike, as well as a great place to live. In this article we’ll point you to some of the prominent natural gems that surround these three cities – you’ll want to visit these time and again!

Ask any ‘Arnhemmer’ – resident of Arnhem – which places to go and visit around the Arnhem area and we’re pretty sure these two will rank high on the list:

  • Park Sonsbeek
  • National Park De Hoge Veluwe

Park Sonsbeek
Sonsbeek Park is directly adjacent to the centre of Arnhem. It’s a very stately park in an undulating landscape with ponds, babbling brooks, monumental villas, grass lawns and forest galore. The people of Arnhem love going here for walks, weekend picnics and to visit the many cultural events and markets (such as the Christmas market) that are organised here by the municipality.

For more info on the wonderful nature reserves surrounding Arnhem, click here. (This website is only available in Dutch. Still, it will allow you to find the locations and names of reserves, which you can then use find more information!)

National Park De Hoge Veluwe
National Park De Hoge Veluwe is a world-famous natural park with over 5.500 acres of forest, heather fields and more. The different landscapes are home to a wide diversity of plant and animal species. Click here to read more about the national park, its activities and how to get there!

The Nijmegen area offers a wide variety of nature reserves that are lovely to hike and/or cycle through, such as ‘Millingerwaard’ and the ‘Duivelsberg’ (literally ‘Devil’s Mountain’). The ‘Reichswald’ that crosses the border into Germany offers nearly 583 acres of forest and is known for its wildlife and the famous WWII battle ‘Operation Veritable’.
To find out more about what the Nijmegen area has to offer, click here (Dutch website)!

Wake up and smell the flowers in beautiful Wageningen! The city doesn’t have just one but two enchanting botanical gardens. The ‘Belmonte’ and ‘De Dreijen’ botanical gardens used to be owned by the university of Wageningen for educational purposes and scientific research, but they’re now open to the public and a real feast for the eyes at that. Click here to plan your visit to the Belmonte botanical gardens.

Top tip of the week
As you might’ve noticed during your stay in the Netherlands, the Dutch love a good walkabout. And what better way to discover the beauty of Gelderland than going on a ‘klompenwandeling’, literal translation: ‘wooden-clog hike’. Don’t worry, most people don’t actually wear clogs on these walks, but the klompenpaden website offers all sorts of roundtrip hikes through the rural landscape of Gelderland. Happy hiking!