Have you thought of taking your motorhome to the Netherlands?
When planning a European tour, many motorhome owners head for the mountains of Austria and Switzerland or the beaches of southern France, Italy or Spain. But you do not need to drive so far to enjoy a continental journey much closer to home. The Low Countries – and the Netherlands, in particular – have a great deal to offer.
Why the Netherlands?
If you don’t fancy another long journey after driving your motorhome off the ferry, the Netherlands offers a perfect solution. Take the ferry from Harwich in Essex to the Hook of Holland and you reach your destination as soon as you roll off the boat. The ferry crossing takes around four hours, according to a recent posting by motorhome owners on the website Out and About Live.
The time saved from driving long distances is time you can use to explore the country – the biggest reason for taking your motorhome to the Netherlands.
Or, take the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais and drive to the Netherlands – this takes less than four hours says their website.
You are almost certain to receive a warm welcome from the Dutch people you meet. They are friendly and family-oriented, with as great a taste for the outdoor life. Think Holland and you’re sure to think cycling family days out or pottering about on any one of the many stretches of open water.
Although Dutch, of course, is the native language, practically everyone you meet will have (very good) English as their second language – so striking up a conversation is never likely to be all that taxing. As anywhere, though, it always goes down well if you have at least a spattering of the country’s own language.
On the road
Although you’ll be driving on the right, the highway code is very much as you find it at home – although there are one or two differences to bear in mind, warns the Camping and Caravanning Club.
Although the maximum speed on motorways is 130kph (80mph) penalties for breaking this or any other speed limit are tough – and you might even have your motorhome impounded.
Unless otherwise directed, always give way to vehicles emerging from the right and remember that use of your mobile phone while driving is prohibited (but hands-free devices are allowed).
Roads and motorways are toll-free, but there are several different anti-congestion and low emission zones in different cities – so make sure you’re aware of the rules in place if you intend driving there. Sounding your horn in cities is also illegal.
Overnight in your motorhome
When it’s time to turn in for the night, you must park your motorhome on a recognised campsite – so-called “wild camping” is prohibited and strictly enforced with a possible fine of up to €500 per person, according to the website Caravanya.
Fortunately, therefore, campsites are plentiful, of a high standard, and affordable (according to some sources, prices are ranked the seventh cheapest in Europe).
Ideal for your motorhome tour is Delftse Hout campsite, near the city of Delft, with its typically Dutch architecture and famous for its ceramics. The 5-star site is surrounded by a beautiful park, has mostly grass pitches, is family-friendly and has English-speaking staff. If you thought the whole of Holland was flat, just visit the southern part of the country towards its borders with Germany and Belgium. Set in rolling hills, with stunning views across South Limburg, is the 5-star Camping Panorama Camping Gulperberg