Visit Holland's renowned castle Muiderslot on a boating holiday

Tuesday, 1 November 2011 9:42 PM

If you're planning a European short break where you can admire beautiful antique buildings, consider visiting Holland - and in particular Muiderslot - on a boating break. Muiderslot is the country's most famous medieval castle and well worth a visit, but there's plenty more to take in on the way to your destination.

A boating break is a great way to experience a number of locations, whereas on a more traditional break you may be based in just one place. Holland is full of interesting villages, towns and cities, so opting for a canal boat is the ideal way to get around - even if you haven't any longer than a week to spend in the region.

From a boat, you can take in the beautiful tulip-filled fields and admire historical windmills that so characterise the area, while calling in at attractions along the route from Woudsend in the province Friesland all the way to Muiden - home of the famous castle.

Travel through the northern lakelands of Holland, across the Loosdrecht region and past the idyllic Loosdrechtse Plassen. These lakes are popular among the fashionable crowd, who come here to make use of the yachting facilities. Why not stop off for a meal at one of the exclusive restaurants here and watch the sailing boats out on the water as you tuck in?

Once you've made your way through the lakeland area, head for the bustling capital Amsterdam, where you're sure to want to moor up and explore. Among the top attractions to visit here is the Van Gogh Museum, which houses the world's biggest collection of the Dutch master's works.

Anne Frank House is another must-visit, especially for those on a history holiday. The building is where the young girl kept a diary over the two years she and her family hid here from the Nazis during World War II.

Other top spots to call in at include the largest museum in the Netherlands - the Rijksmuseum - which has a display called the Masterpieces. The collection consists of various pieces by such names as Vermeer, Hals and Rembrandt, with pictures dating back to the 17th century.

If you'd like to see as much of the city as possible in a short time, why not hire a bicycle and make your way round on two wheels? Or, to make the most of this popular pastime in combination with sampling some of the capital's famous ales, hop on a beer bike, which has an affixed bar and a guide/driver.

The next destination along your boat route might be the city of Utrecht, which is home to various interesting buildings in its ancient centre, many of which were established in the early Middle Ages.

Wander round the museums and art galleries here before stopping off to admire Holland's oldest and tallest church - Dom Tower. The structure was built between 1321 and 1382, measuring 112 metres in height.

Another equally breathtaking landmark is Kasteel de Haar - the largest fortress in the region. The castle is complete with turrets and towers, as well as surrounding moats. Venture inside on a guided tour, call in at the little adjacent chapel or stretch your legs in the manicured grounds.

Your canal boat holiday will take you through Workum next - where you'll notice the dyke here is lined with quaint cottages - and onward towards Muiden and Muiderslot.

Be sure to moor up and make your way to this enchanting castle, which is Holland's most famous medieval fortress. The castle was the second to be built on the site and was put up in 1370 to replace the former structure, destroyed in 1296.

Surrounded by a moat, the structure also has lovely grounds, including a herb garden, and a charming interior with opulent furnishings and artworks decorating the walls.

During its lifetime, the fortress has been used as a courthouse and a national prison, as well as being lived in. One of the most famous castellans to have resided here is the writer and poet P C Hooft, who lived in the building from 1609 and 1674.

The author was one of a 17th century collective of prominent people in the arts and science circles, known at the time as the Muiderkring.

Boating holidays in Holland are ideal for a short break exploring, especially for fans of history. If you'd like to learn more about the region, book your getaway today!


Take your dog along on a boating holiday

Extras or essentials? How to make your boating break even more enjoyable

If you've arranged a short getaway by boat, you're probably looking forward to being able to relax and admire beautiful landscapes, visit medieval settlements and sample all kinds of local food and drink. You can make your break even more enjoyable though - keep reading to find out how.

Spot flamingos on Po Delta boating breaks

Explore the Po Delta on a boating holiday in Italy

If you're planning a family holiday in Europe that allows you to take things easy and admire beautiful surroundings, you can't go wrong with a visit to Italy's Po Delta. The area forms part of the nation's longest river and is brimming with flora and fauna, making it the ideal spot for getting close to nature.

Bond on a hens' holiday with a difference

Plan the perfect pre-wedding break with the girls

If you've been charged with organising a really special short break for a bride-to-be and her hens, you might be wondering where to start! Spa breaks and activity holidays are popular options for hens on tour but, for something really different, consider booking a canal boat getaway.

Canal boating - an ideal way to explore Holland

Explore Giethoorn on a Holland canal boating break

If you're planning a short and relaxing break to the Netherlands, consider boat hire in Holland as your means of getting around. Take in glorious landscapes and picturesque villages like Giethoorn, as well as larger bustling towns, ancient castles and quaint windmills.

Visit Portumna Castle on an Irish break

Why Portumna Forest Park is unmissable on short Irish breaks

The Emerald Isle is renowned for its rich natural beauty, and there are few places better for witnessing this firsthand than in Portumna. The market town in Galway is home to a vast wooded park, which comprises bodies of water, marshes, forest and open spaces.

Queen's Day in Amsterdam

Celebrate a special Queen’s Day in Amsterdam

April 30 marks a special day for the Dutch – Queen’s Day – a celebration of their monarchy and an official public holiday. People all over Holland celebrate Queen’s Day, although the best festivities can be found in Amsterdam.

Top five places to see the spring flowers

Top five places to see the spring flowers

Yesterday was the first official day of spring (even though it may not look like it outside), so we’ve picked five of our top favourite places to see the spring flowers. From the famous gardens at Kew, to tulip fields near Amsterdam, a cherry blossom festival in Copenhagen and an ancient bluebell wood in Wiltshire, here are our top picks.

Use a bike to see more on a short break

Get a taste of Holland when you explore by bike

If you're looking for somewhere close to the UK for a short, active break Holland is the ideal choice. Take to two wheels and you'll be able to explore some of the country's fascinating sights in just a few days, including the vibrant Amsterdam.

Coffee with a local in Amsterdam


This week is in Amsterdam drinking strong black coffee with local Machteld Ligtvoet, who gives us tips on some of his favourite local haunts – including where you can go to find one of the best views of the city.

Top five alternative Christmas markets

Alternative Christmas markets

Forget the likes of Germany and Eastern European favourites, Budapest, Krakow and Prague this year and why not head to some alternative Christmas market destinations for something a little different this festive season?