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The Netherlands has many flower fields, and I’m not talking only about the spring flowers like tulips and hyacinths! At the end of the summer, the Netherlands turns purple: the heather fields are in bloom! It’s an event that many people are looking forward to, and rightly so: seeing the national parks and the dunes covered in purple is amazing!

After the failure of last year, when I went to see the heather fields too late in the season, and they were all dried, I made sure that this year I plan a day-trip at the peak of the heather blooming. You can see heather from half August to half September (although it depends on the weather), so I made sure this time to arrange a day-trip right at the peak of the blooming season. I went again to Schoorlse Duinen for the purple route, an 11 km route that goes through the forest and the dunes, along the most beautiful heather fields in the area. This time, I was not disappointed. I’ve seen so many heather fields to have material for a lot of day-dreaming for a while now! They remind me of the lavender fields, only that the heather bushes grow wildly and in no particular arrangement.

It was a long route, eleven kilometres on sand felt like much more, but it was totally worth it! The scenery kept changing along the way, from pine trees to oaks and bushes, from dense forest to open fields. It goes up and down and it’s the closest thing you get to a mountain here, in the Netherlands (although the tallest dune is only 54 metres!). We’ve spotted a few types of mushrooms, signalling another season I enjoy very much: the mushroom spotting in the Dutch forest. It was a wonderful day which we ended with a delicious dinner at the restaurant Kanunnik in Schoorl (spontaneous discovery and, luckily, a happy one).

How to get to Schoorlse Duinen by public transport: take a train to Alkmaar and, from there, the bus 151 to Schoorl, Idenslaan or Bovenweg stops — the closest to the information centre Buitencentrum Schoorlse Duinen, which is also the starting point of all the routes.

There are a couple of places in the Netherlands where you can see the heather fields, like the Veluwezoom-Posbank in the Gelderland province or Brunssumerheide in Limburg. If the Schoorlse Duinen are too far from you, you can check the ones that are the most convenient on the Natuurmonumenten website. Just don’t think too much about it, otherwise you will miss it for this year!

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