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!


 

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