One of the largest drifting sand areas can be found in the Loonse en Drunense Duinen. A national park with a 270 hectare sandy plain and also beautiful heath and beautiful forests. There is so much to discover in this area, especially that it is super quiet in some places!
The Netherlands has 21 national parks. We have set ourselves the goal of visiting all these beautiful parks within a year. I make a report with beautiful photos of every visit. Do you want to see which parks we have already visited? Then take a look here!
A bit of history…
There used to be trees here, a real primeval forest. In the fourteenth century people needed the wood to burn, this created a bare plain where heather grew. The farmers let their cattle graze there. The soil was getting poorer and the sand was given plenty of space.
This was quite a problem for the residents around the area, because their village was in danger of disappearing under the sand! Trees were then planted again to hold back the sand, but a large part of the sandy plain is still there and also changes a little bit.
Big differences in temperature
The temperature here can vary by 40 to 50 degrees day and night. Little seems to grow on the plain, but appearances are deceptive. There are still plants and animals that survive here and there is a flock of sheep with its own Facebook page. In short; there is plenty to do!
We start our walk at the Bosch en Duin restaurant. Due to Covid 19, all catering establishments are closed. Although you can also pick up food and drinks here, we choose our own tea and sandwiches. We immediately see many families who have spread out the picnic blanket.
Close to the parking lots it is quite busy, although you don’t get that feeling on such a plain. As soon as you walk a little further it is very quiet and you only encounter a walker every now and then.
Junctions – knooppunten
When we were preparing ourselves on this visit we consulted many websites. There’s is shorter trail (Natuurmonumenten) and a Trage Tocht. But we made our own trail.
Via the junctions (knooppunten) we walk a nice round, partly over the sandy plain, but also along it. It is a varied journey. In particular the second part from node number 39 we like it best. Here the environment is varied and it is very quiet. We always notice how little ambient noise we hear. Now and then a bird and that’s it.
When we pause for a second time, a kestrel gives a show. Again and again it departs from a huge beech tree and scans the area for prey. Occasionally praying in the air, only to dive down quickly. A beautiful sight! More difficult to photograph, but I am quite satisfied with a number of photos.
The enormous wide plain in eveninglight
The view is beautiful. We really enjoy that enormous wide plain. The light at the end of the afternoon is soft and slightly pink. That makes the image even more beautiful! The National Park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen positively surprised us!
- Start and end point: Bosch en Duin car park, Udenhout
- Marking: route junctions, you can put together yourself
- Length: 16 kilometers
- Information: website of natuurmonumenten, the junctions or knooppunten route.nl, information about ‘trage tocht’ you will find at wandelzoekpagina.
About three months ago we became acquainted with the Loonse en Drunense Duinen. We liked that introduction very much. To get a good impression of this National Park we take another walk.
This time we will start at the Rustende Jager, in Biezenmortel. It is already quite busy with mountain bikers on this cold Sunday morning. Fortunately, the mountain bike routes are completely separate from the hiking trails.
We have mapped out our route again with Route.nl, an app where you use route points. In this National Park these route points are located in the middle of the sandy plain, along narrow meandering paths and that makes it extra fun. That way your walk is very varied.
We first walk a bit westward, and then walk east and north via the sandy plain. There is a lot of height difference here, which makes this National Park very attractive in our opinion.
The ground is still quite frozen, we see the ice crystals on the sand and the various mosses and grass.
The northern part of our route is close to Giersbergen, here we notice that more people are attracted by the beautiful winter weather. As soon as we are a bit further away from the parking places it is nice and quiet again.
We also liked this walk! And we have amazing views during our tea-break.
- Start and end point: De Rustende Jager, Biezenmortel
- Marking: route points (via the Route.nl app)
- Length: 10 kilometers
- Height difference: about 50 meters
- Information: on the website of Natuurmonumenten, on the website of the Rustende Jager and of course you can put together routes via Route.nl