Holland and Borkum Steam Railway Holiday
Here it is again! Inside Track’s holiday of the year and completely different from anything else we do! Up in Northern Holland there are attractions galore plus trips out on the Wadden Sea to the German Island of Borkum and aboard our own chartered Tall Ship. In fact we can safely say we are the only railway holiday company that offers a train/Tall Ship experience – please read on:
The fun begins when we meet at St Pancras in time to catch the mid-morning Eurostar to Brussels. From Brussels the fun builds as we travel by Belgian and Dutch railways to a place called Veendam – Northern Holland. Veendam is in the middle of nowhere but boasts two railway stations and its focal point is the Parkzicht Hotel, our home for seven days.
We call this day our “Historic Triangle Circular” because linked by steam train, national railways and coach we can spend time linking three delightful towns called Medemblik, Hoorn and Enkhuizen. This is a highlight day out during which you can enjoy the dramatic drive over the Afsluitdijk dam, visit the towns, ride Holland’s most famous steam railway and cruise across Ijsselmeer – wow!
The first of our “local” days will introduce you to a steam driven windmill and bakery (lunch included) – a gorgeous little steam boat and canal trip, the local railway lines to Roosendaal, Delfzijl and Winschoten and return to Veendam will be by vintage bus from the local transport museum. All great fun and very “local”.
The joy of this part of Holland (the most densely populated country in Europe) is that there are no crowds up here and everything, and everywhere, is easy going. By the end of today’s itinerary you’ll know what we mean. We will relax with trains, tea/coffee, beers and Dutch cake in “peat country” near Erica. Enjoy steam and narrow gauge railways before pancakes in a pancake house at Barger-Compascuum. We finish the day with the local steam railway (STAR), steaming back to Veendam. Our second very “local” day indeed!
We need to do something different today, so here we go – to the German island called Borkum. A lovely boat trip to get there is followed by some classic Inside Track events including our privately chartered steam train (including the Kaiserwagen) and hauled by “Borkum” plus an island tour and surprises organized and hosted by our lifelong friend, Wilfried. Another unforgettable day and the holiday finale.
Let’s go sailing – and if you have never sailed you are in for a lifetime experience. Our “Schip koh-i-Noor” will chug out of Harlingen Haven (itself an absolute delight) then once out on the Wadden Sea (flat and not deep!) we will haul up the sails, turn the engine off and sail into heavenly silence. We will sail to the awesome Afsluitdijk Dam (wot we drove over last Friday) and enjoy a buffet lunch and unlimited drinks/refreshments on board – like being on a cruise liner – wow!
We return to London today via Brussels, arriving back late afternoon having spent the journey reflecting on a most extraordinary holiday.
The Parkzicht Hotel, Veendam
Situated in the middle of a very quiet town – Veendam. The hotel is family run (The Appies!) and is a very happy place to stay! It is unusual but then most of Northern Holland is. The hotel features very pleasant rooms with TV, telephone and private facilities, and a very good restaurant for meals and snacks. On a pleasant evening nothing could be finer than dining on the town square.