Biking in The Netherlands!
Posted: Apr 22 2016
As a family we love our bikes!
They are an integral part of our lives and we love it when the weather starts to warm up and we can go for long bike rides along the seafront here on the South Coast in the UK.
First chance we had, we had our babies on our bikes riding with us. Our son sat in a bucket seat in front of me (just behind the handle bars) for a good couple of years! Only until I couldn't squash him in it any more did he move to a bigger seat behind me. He loved it up there!
This Easter we decided to take our bikes over to The Netherlands to bike around the tulip strips (fields) and visit Keukenhof Gardens........what a gorgeous trip! The Netherlands was a great choice to combine our love of nature, flowers, biking and the outdoors for a wonderful short family break.
We would highly recommend taking your kids cycling in The Netherlands. The Dutch are so used to cyclists, that we never felt unsafe at all, even with our 6 year old who can be unsteady at times. And of course there are cycle tracks everywhere!
Our children are 6 and 9, the oldest is super confident (and very careful) on her bike and she loved biking along the tulip strips. Our 6 year old is confident (although can zig zag a bit) but thoroughly loved the biking and outdoor nature of our trip.
This was the first cycling trip abroad that we have done and it will definitely not be the last!
Cycling or biking (depending on how fast and serious you are) is the best way to see the countryside. Not only is it good for you, the health benefits are huge, the fresh air and sights you see are far better than travelling by car.
Recommendations for cycling in The Netherlands with kids:
- Take your own bikes if you can, especially the kids bikes, so they are familiar with them and there is no stress for them adapting to a bike they haven't ridden before.
- Do some research and be prepared with an action plan for the days cycling. Plan the most important thing/s you want to do early in the day when everyone is fresh and energetic.
- Take bike locks, helmets and good trainers or outdoor sandals for the kids to cycle in. Prepare for the season, even if its warm weather in Spring, you cant get a kid to cycle long distance in flip flops or unsuitable footwear.
- Take panniers for your bike carrier and be prepared with light jackets, sweater, water and lots of snacks......kids dont want to get wet and hungry, so if you're prepared you can keep the kids going all morning or afternoon....even all day if you are lucky.
- Stay somewhere self contained and comfy.......We stayed in a gorgeous little apartment in Leiden through Airbnb, which is a beautiful and picturesque Dutch town not to be missed. And it was a treat to go back to somewhere homely and comfy after a long day out and about.
- We thoroughly recommend walking around Leiden and definitely go to the market on Saturday mornings to stock up on amazing local food.
- Check out the gorgeous Keukenhof Gardens near Lisse if you can. They are stunning gardens and known to be the most famous gardens in Europe! Be prepared for the people though, they were packed when we went, but still absolutely gorgeous and a must see.
- The beaches along that coast are lovely and have some fantastic cycle tracks through the Dutch Dunes. These were great fun to bike and a completely different environment to the woods and tulips strips we cycled through......stunning scenery at all!
- Have fun! Although its best to be organised, dont put too much pressure on having to see everything and cycle for hours. With kids, you just dont know how long their energy will last, so go easy on them and relish in the fact that you are there and biking in The Netherlands! Amazing!
Hopefully this has helped any families that are thinking of taking their kids and bikes cycling around the Tulips Strips in The Netherlands. We would definitely recommend it, the kids love being outdoors and on their and if you dont push them too hard, then you can have a holiday which suits everyone. This was one of our best trips so far!