Friday 28 April 2017
We depart from London or Edinburgh (other airports may be available on request) on a direct flight to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. On arrival we are met by our local coach and continue to our hotel, the 4-star NH Noordwijk Hotel & Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst, where dinner is served in the evening.
Saturday 29 April 2017
This morning following breakfast we will visit the Kröller-Müller Museum which offers a unique combination of nature, art and architecture. The museum collection constitutes one of the most impressive overviews anywhere of Vincent Van Gogh’s extensive œuvre, and there are also important works by great artists including Picasso, Mondriaan and Seurat. Within the national park there is also one of Europe’s largest sculpture parks featuring exhibits by Rodin, Moore and Hepworth.
In the afternoon we will visit the gardens at Het Loo Palace near to the charming town of Apeldoorn. This was the medieval castle of Prince William of Orange and is now recognised as one of Europe's finest formal gardens. When the Dutch Royal Family decided that it would no longer use the palace in 1969 the Government opted to turn it into a museum fully restoring the formal seventeenth century garden to its original state. The palace's type of baroque garden is unique to the Netherlands. It is a late Dutch interpretation of the Italian-French garden dating from the first quarter of the seventeenth century. The exotic flowers and plants and the constant supply of fresh water for the fountains must have made the gardens of Het Loo a spectacular sight worth seeing even then. Lunch is available here (not included).
We return to our hotel for dinner.
Sunday 30 April 2017
After breakfast we depart for Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum, one of the world’s greatest museums, with over 8,000 items on display from an astonishing total collection of one million objects. Its collection of world famous Old Masters is second to none and includes a host of works from the Dutch Golden Age by artists such as Vermeer, Franz Hals and Rembrandt, including his 1642 masterpiece ‘The Nightwatch’.
In the afternoon you are free to explore the city at leisure, an opportunity to explore some of the many attractions of this historic and cultured city. Amsterdam is truly a haven for museum buffs - other museums in the city include the Van Gogh Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Theatre Museum, the Modern Art Museum and there is even a Tea and Coffee Museum. Visit the De Oude Kerk, one of the many spectacular churches in Amsterdam or stroll through the narrow streets which link the major canals. Here you will find unexpected little shops which specialise in everything from kites to beer. Alternatively we have arranged an optional one hour Canal Cruise through the narrow canals in the centre of Amsterdam - the perfect way to see this unique city (price to be confirmed).
We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.
Monday 1 May 2017
Following breakfast this morning we check out of the hotel and head to one of the most famous gardens in the world - Keukenhof. This is the bulb grower's magnificent display of all the different tulip, daffodil and hyacinth varieties. Over 6 million bulbs are planted annually and around 1 million visitors pass through it from mid-March to mid-May - it is truly breathtaking. We will also tour through the area surrounding Lisse including Noordwijkerhout and Hillegom where you will be astounded by the fields of colour which open up in front of your very eyes. At an agreed time we transfer to Schiphol Airport in time to check in for our return flights.