Travel // Visiting the Tulip Fields, Holland

April 24, 2019

Do you remember our first trip to Amsterdam last Autumn? Where we fell in love with the city so much that we booked to go straight back before we'd even left? We wanted to combine our next visit with seeing the tulip fields that the country is famous for, and so booked flights for the middle of April hoping desperately that we'd time our trip correctly with the weather for tulip season! After lots of planning, it all worked out perfectly and was just the most incredible short trip ever. I'd love to share some photos and tips that we found useful if you're looking to visit yourself;

We booked our flights with Easyjet back in October for April and chose the cheapest times, it was just £25 each so around £100 total return, bargain. It's such a quick journey too with the flight duration being less than 40 minutes, so with an early start, we landed in Amsterdam {Schipol airport} by 9am and taking hand luggage only, meant we were in the queue for the car hire by 9.15! 

At first we hadn't quite decided the best way to reach the tulip fields from Amsterdam, we had two nights so could have gone on either the Sunday we arrived or the Monday. In the end though we realised it was better to go straight from the airport rather than travelling into the city first as the fields are beyond Schipol so it would have been silly to go into Amsterdam and then have to make our way back out and beyond to reach them. We originally thought we might cycle around them but with being 7 months pregnant and researching the distances involved, it worked out better for us to hire a car for a day {which was also a bit cheaper than 2 train tickets and 2 bike hires!}. It was about £40 for a day to hire a car, I just used a comparison site to find the cheapest company which for us was Sixt, I also opted for an on airport pick up rather than some which take you for miles on buses etc. It would have been really lovely to cycle around as it's so flat and there are so many cycle routes, but just be aware you'll probably cover a huge distance!

As for seeing the tulips, there are two main strips of growing areas in the Netherlands, one around Lisse/Leiden {which is closest to Amsterdam} and one called Flevoland. The most popular/easiest way to see them is at the world famous Keukenhof gardens which has acres and acres of bulb displays, but we'd heard that this gets really busy with coach trips and as amazing as it looked, we really wanted to see the bulb displays in fields rather than in a formal garden. So I looked up routes to drive around to spot the fields {this website is amazing for people uploading the latest tulip fields and this}. It's the area between Harlem and Leiden. One thing to realise before you go is that you can't enter most farmer's fields {which is more than fair enough when you think about the amounts of people visiting and the fact it's their livelihoods, it can also spread disease by trampling into the soil etc!}. So if you want photos actually in the fields, your best bet is to find a farm that will let you. 

Of course, it depends on the weather from year to year as to when the tulips will all be at their best, but as a general rule you want to go between mid April to the start of May. We went when it was still fairly early in the season, but it depends on the severity of the winter I guess.

I've followed Fam Flower Farm on Instagram for a few years now, it's run by two lovely ladies who share all the incredible flowers their two farmer husband's grow on Instagram. Their business is bulbs and they harvest and sell everything from tulips to dahlias. Every year they open up their farm to visitors to come in and take photos and visit their fields, you can come in daffodil season, tulip season and then later in the summer - at dahlia time. It's well worth booking ahead of time, they have people from all over the world and tickets get snapped up! We were actually too late to book onto a proper tour, but they let us take some 'unofficial' photos before their first bookings arrived which we were SO grateful for!! 

They own a number of fields around the area, so message you on the day or just before as to where to meet them {depending on which fields are in bloom at the time, the morning that we arrived they actually changed the location at the last minute due to a ground frost on one site}. We drove to meet Marlies & Linda and were amazed by the colours. 

Precise rows and rows of the most perfect tulip bulbs. All in the straightest lines, allll in bloom at once. With the wind turbines behind and the flat landscape all around, it just felt so Dutch! This was actually one of their smallest fields, so you can only imagine what the bigger scales must look like. It was just incredible and I'm not sure photos even do it justice - you know the kind of place that you're desperate to take photos of but equally just want to look at it properly and take it all in without a camera in front of your eyes to reallly appreciate it? As you can imagine though, we took a million photos. 

basket online here
headband online here

It felt extra special as a backdrop to some bump photos.

Just in flower heaven.

Marnie & Linda had picked these tulips ready for their guests later that morning {they give people props to take photos with like baskets/watering cans etc} so let us use them for a few photos first!

I edited out the wind turbines from a few of these photos!

At the end of the tulips were a few rows of hyacinths, which smelt incredible.

After leaving Fam, we drove around some of the other nearby towns spotting fields on the way. We'd bought a little picnic with us from England as didn't know what time or where we'd stop for lunch, in the end we pulled up by the side of a tulip field to eat and it was just perfect! 

Colours from the road.

We got so lucky with the weather, I'd hoped for a sunny day ever since we booked it and although it was a really cold wind, the sun was shining and the sky was blue! The perfect backdrop. 

Wind your windows down if you drive near the hyacinth fields to take that scent in.

Pastel perfection.

It's actually so hard driving around the area as you're just desperate to stop by each field to take photos! We could have driven around for hours taking it all in, and that's where cycling would come in better I guess, to be able to stop easier and take it all in even more. 

We were done at Fam fairly quickly and still had the rest of the day before the car had to go back, so looked up other places to visit nearby. There were towns like the Hague and Leiden which we were tempted with {although visited Leiden last time, and loved it, but didn't really feel like we needed to return} but we weren't sure how the parking would work and we'd be doing a lot of city walking over the next couple of days in Amsterdam, so in the end decided on the beach as it was such a beautiful day! The closest beach town to us, that we'd heard of and wanted to explore, was Noordwijk an Zee. 

From tulip fields to sandy beaches!

We had to pay for parking, something we always try to avoid if we can by parking outside a town and walking in, but even on a Sunday you have to pay here {I guess it's such a bike nation that they try to discourage cars, and for good reason!} so take coins ideally for a meter - we had to get some change from a cafe. 

It was the most incredible beach. We joked that it would be worth flying over to Amsterdam and driving to this beach just for the day in the summer haha, because it would be even quicker {even with the airport time} than driving to one and battling the M25 in England! In fact, that Sunday felt like such a holiday that we could have just flown home that evening and been perfectly content with an amazing time away. 

The town itself wasn't particularly special, a little run down/old fashioned like some of the UK beach towns in winter I guess but the beach was spectacular. 


We stumbled across some really cool beach bars, I didn't realise that was a 'Holland' thing before we found them and then talked to friends back home who had also said that they didn't realise just how cool some of them are on other beaches around Holland. 

If it had just been maybe 5/10 degrees warmer it would have felt like summer! I definitely want to come back to spend more time here.

Like Soho House kind of cool. Obsessed with the decor and the food coming out looked amazing.

I imagine this is a super popular spot in the summer.

I couldn't see a name on a sign but just looked up where it was on google maps and think it must be 'Lodge Noordwijk' or Branding Beachclub. In the summer they have lots of loungers they put out onto the sand.

Ibiza meets the Netherlands.

Bikes everywhere <3.

I know I always say it but just so, so much love for this guy.

Walking back through town, we came across a parade of cars decorated to celebrate the start of tulip season. It's a really big thing for this region.

And then we decided it was probably time to drop the car back to Schipol and start our Amsterdam part of the trip. 

Definitely a day to remember forever! And I'd love to go back sometime, it's just such a gorgeous region to explore and there's something that I really love about the Dutch way of living. 

If you made it this far through all of those photos then thank you for sticking with me! 

Have you been?

R <3 xx 

- a huge thank you to Fam Flower Farm for letting us in to take photos! For clarity - they didn't gift us their normal tour experience but I'll be forever grateful for them saving the day to let us take photos! 

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