Ramble past the country estates of Wassenaar

Wassenaar is a green oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of the southern part of the Randstad conurbation. Everyone interested in seeing more of the cultural heritage of the Netherlands can wander along the country estate route. This is a journey full of history with castles, winding paths, woods, meadows, bridges, gardens and parks that have been preserved in early landscape style.

Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen - Huygens Hofwijck
Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen - De Horsten Wassenaar

Windows to the past

This country estate zone is unique in the Netherlands in terms of cultural history and landscape. The majority of summer houses and country estates originated from the end of the 16th century along an important through road connecting The Hague and Haarlem. Surrounded by a landscape of sheltering forests, beaches, dunes, open polders and bulb fields, these historic sites provide fascinating windows to the past. Whether you stay on the route or wander off, one thing is certain: you will breathe in the peace and quiet and sense the past of the Counts of Holland!

Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen - Theepaviljoen de Horsten

A century back in time 

Tucked away in the greenery on the 'Koninklijke Landgoederen de Horsten' or Horsten royal country estate, you will find 'Theepaviljoen de Horsten'. This tearoom (and former firing range) is where you can enjoy a fragrant cup of tea with cake made on site or a savoury shepherd's pie. It's almost as if time has stood still for a century.

A country estate filled with stories

Country estate and castle Duivenvoorde form a unique ensemble, with roots going back to the 13th century. The southern wing of the castle is private, but the palace garden is open to the public and definitely worth visiting. With countless birds, bats and scampering squirrels, this historic place always feels lively. The non-native bulbs, plants and shrubs typically planted at country estates in the past and collectively referred to as 'Stinzenflora' are found here, too.

Nationaal Park Hollandse Duinen - Duivenvoordse en Veenzijdse polder - Laarzenpad

A polder landscape filled with history

The Hague, Wassenaar, Leidschendam, Voorschoten: they have almost grown together. Almost, because in the middle there is the protected nature reserve the Duivenvoordse en Veenzijdse Polder. It is a cultural historic treasure with thickets of small trees dating back to the Middle Ages, rivers and the Achterbos forest. A wild and rugged forest with ditches, a swampy floor and many fallen trees. From the edge of the forest you have a beautiful view of the open polder that lies beyond and in the distance you can see the outlines of The Hague. A unique contrast in combination with this historic nature.

Dwalen door de Wassenaarse landgoederenzone