Have a wonderful time romping around in the woods, building huts, searching for insects and other minibeasts, get some fresh air on your bike or go for a walk with a well-deserved picnic on the way. It’s so good to be out in the countryside. We've put together 7 tips for unforgettable trips in North Brabant. Obviously we are asking everyone to follow the safety precautions that have been prescribed by the Dutch government.
A bike trip with the children is even more fun if it follows the tracks of an actual legend! You can go hunting by yourself on the revamped ‘Black Kaat’ route. Feel her breath in the wind, hear her squeaky voice in the woods, sample her character and immerse yourself in her conquests! The route is based on the legend of Black Kaat, who was active with a band of robbers in the Kempen region of Brabant about 400 years ago and it follows the cycle route network. The route is 36 km long and starts from the Achterste Hoef Recreation Park.
Have you heard of the Top Scenic Routes? It’s a selection of carefully planned countryside routes along the junction network, which take you past all the loveliest spots in Brabant. The 5 km walk through the Mastbos in Breda is perfect for children. You will be surrounded by 500-year-old trees in the Mastbos, one of the oldest cultivated woods in the Netherlands. It’s impressive, and just a bit magical. Walk beside the River Mark where you will come upon a real castle. You can make a stop at the Boeverijen adventure forest where there is plenty to climb on and jump around. You can take a break during or after your walk at one of the many picnic tables, or at the Ginnenkenmarkt market place in Breda, a square which has its own village pump and lively cafes and restaurants.
There is wonderful cycling and walking in De Maashorst, the leading primeval region of the Netherlands. Nature rules in this unique part of North Brabant. Trees, plants and insects are in charge here, just as they always were. Spot some European bison, wild bulls and Exmoor ponies, the original inhabitants of this area. The Docus the Badger (Docus de Das) adventure trail is especially for children. Enjoy an exciting adventure with fun play equipment. You can learn a lot about the countryside while answering the questions. For example, did you know that all moles are blind? The route starts from Charme Camping Hartje Groen, one of North Brabant’s leading campsites.
The Loon and Drunen Dunes National Park, close to theme park Efteling, is one of Western Europe’s largest sand drifts. It’s one huge sand pit, what child could want anything more! You can have fun playing in the sand, going for lovely walks, cycling and mountain biking. There are various catering locations in several places which make a perfect starting point for a discovery trip through the dunes. You can enjoy a delicious bite to eat or a drink at the Drie Linden Nature Gate in Drunen or at the the Roestelberg in Kaatsheuvel. Fun fact: Het Genieten recreation park with a wonderful outdoor playground, water playground and large terrace, all freely accessible, is just 200 metres from Roestelberg.
The world famous Mozesbrug (Moses Bridge) is at Fort de Roovere near Bergen op Zoom. You can walk through the water at the Moses Bridge without getting your feet wet! This ‘trench bridge’ is a modern artwork that has won many architectural and building prizes. Fort de Roovere forms part of the Zuiderwaterlinie (Southern Water Defence Line), one of a number of defences that formerly protected this country against its enemies. There are several walking routes in the vicinity and you can climb the impressive Pompejus Tower or play in the water playground. Here you can cause floods and put things under water, just like the locals used to do.
The Groote Peel National Park is located on the border with Limburg. An extensive, peaceful wetlands area known mainly for the many species of birds and its unusual history. There are several routes for children, depending on how many kilometres you want to walk, with ‘tree trunk bridges’ and lookout towers along the way. The Kabouterpad (Gnome Path) will delight the very youngest; they can go exploring wearing a gnome’s hat and a backpack. There are six tasks where you can go in search of real gnome tracks.
The Oisterwijk Forests and Fens are close to Oisterwijk, in the Heart of Brabant. This varying woodland area with attractive meres and secluded meadows is a beautiful natural area to walk through. There are three short footpaths from the Groot Speijck Visitor Centre which are perfect for children. And right behind the visitor centre there is the Speelnatuur (Nature Play) where children can play to their heart’s content in the woods.