Brabant gastronomic delight in the Land van de Peel

Rianne Leenders
By: Rianne Culture lover | Read time: 6 minutes
  • Stel wandelt over de Strabrechtse heide die in bloei staat

The Land van de Peel lies sandwiched between Eindhoven and the Limburg border. The Peel, with a national park and Natura-2000 status, is a hotspot for cyclists, hikers and bird-watchers. Let yourself be inspired for a weekend away to this hidden gem in North Brabant and explore the open countryside, castles, cosy villages and the unique city of Helmond. Proud Peel residents can be found everywhere you go, ready to pamper you with the region’s gastronomic tastes.

Day 1. Cycling through the Peel

This 60-kilometre route takes you via the junctions past many places of interest and gastronomic addresses.

This 60-kilometre route takes you via the junctions past many places of interest and gastronomic addresses.

At one time the Peel landscape was an impenetrable bog where peat cutters, farmers and tradesmen worked very hard, day after day. It is this rugged countryside that gave the Peel its unique history. Before you go exploring, visit the Klok & Peel Museum in Asten and discover the tale of then and now. Did you know that the Peel is known for the trade of bell casting? The Klok & Peel Museum has the largest collection of swinging bells and carillon (tunes played on the bells) in the world.

Fietsers bij Natuurpoort Vennenhorst in Land van de Peel Tuin van Museum Klok en Peel

The museum is located on the edge of the De Groote Peel National ParkDe Pelen cycle route takes you from here around the National Park, the Deurnsche Peel and Mariapeel; together, they are the remains of what was once a vast primeval landscape of living raised bog.

After an amazing first ride through the Brabant farmland, you arrive at cycle junction point 4 by the Toon Kortoomspark. The peat pit where author Toon Kortooms lived as a child is now a wonderful place to stop, with plenty to do. Enjoy lunch on the terrace with local products such as the typical ‘Toontjes’, gourmet sourdough sandwiches. Be sure to taste the Peelreusbier, a beer brewed at this location. Crossing through the garden of art, wander over to the field of turf with its authentic hut made of sod. There is also a small museum and a barefoot path for enthusiasts.

Your route through the Land van de Peel will take you from here through the authentic Peel labourers’ villages of Griendtsveen and Helenaveen. The canals, lift bridges and monumental gable roof houses make the view absolutely delightful.

The view of the Peel landscape is fantastic here.

The view of the Peel landscape is fantastic here.

Between cycle junctions 95 and 8, you pass Belfort de Vossenberg. Dismount here for a moment to climb the 22-metre-high observation tower. The tower is also a mini museum with each floor revealing a glimpse of a story about turf extraction, the countryside, war and art in the Peel. At cycle junction 6, dismount at the outdoor centre, Buitencentrum de Pelen, from where various (short) trails lead you through the Peel bog by way of wooden walkways, observation towers, bird watch cabins and rustic bridges.

Stel in vogelkijkhut in Land van de Peel Wandelen in het Land van de Peel over een vlonderpad

Cycling through the open landscape, you head back towards your starting point in Asten. It takes only ten minutes to cycle to a unique accommodation: Kloosterhotel Willibrordhaege, a monastery hotel. If you did not take your own bicycles along for your weekend away, you can rent (electric) bicycles at the hotel. In the evening, go by bicycle or car to the centre of Deurne (3 km). At the Haageind castle grounds, between a castle ruins, an old watermill and a beautiful park, enjoy a bite to eat and a drink in the attractive restaurant Het Dinghuis – with a terrace!

Day 2. Helmond

After yesterday’s bicycle ride in the country, today it is time to visit the city! It will take you 15 minutes to travel from Deurne to the imposing Helmond Castle. If you have not yet had breakfast, park at the Boscotondo car park. Just around the corner is the coffee shop Koffieboetiek Helmond, where you can start your day with a good cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast made with local ingredients.

Kasteel Helmond Expositie Museum Helmond

Did you know that Helmond Castle is the largest moated castle and one of the best-preserved castles in the Netherlands? Inside its thick walls you will uncover the almost 700-year-old castle tale, full of (city) history and intrigue about wars, fire and the many noble families that lived in the castle.

Rianne Leenders

“Right next to Helmond Castle is the Helmond exhibition space with impressive art and photography exhibitions. The two locations are part of the Helmond Museum, and your entrance ticket allows you to visit both.”

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