Duinrell is a caravan site in Holland with a theme park attached to it. If you are considering going to Duinrell then you’ve probably stumbled across it after reading Eurocamp’s sales brochure. Eurocamp are purveyors of camping holidays in Europe for the more impecunious middle-classes. Hence you will be rubbing shoulders with a wide variety of Deputy HR Managers and Regional Sales Executives, rather than their bosses.
From their glossy brochure the seed of interest will be sown within you, as it promises the placid interior of a static caravan for you, whilst the kids are off being sick on roller-coasters.
The brochures are correct in selling this place as a paradise for children because all the rides in the theme park are free to those staying on the caravan site. Also free is what is claimed to be Europe’s biggest indoor water-park. This is called the ‘Tikibad’. This is an old Dutch word meaning bad tiki.
Unfortunately the swimming complex is only free of charge to happy campers for the four hours between ten in the morning and two in the afternoon. Thus it knackers-up any other plans you might have had for the day that revolved around going to art galleries.
The Tikibad has an array of terrifying water slides and chutes guaranteed to rattle the bones, and loosen the anus, of anybody over the age of thirty-five that has foolishly entered into the spirit by accompanying their children on a slide. Therefore I’d recommend you take only one ride, just to remind you how old you’re getting, and then spend the rest of the time trembling and hiding from your children. This is easily done as the place is packed with the wobbling flesh of all European nationalities, especially when it’s raining outside… which it usually is in Holland.
One of the benefits of Duinrell is that you can let your children run off into a relatively safe theme park where they’ll be able to amuse themselves all day. On the down-side you’ll find that after days of relentless rides and fast-food you are going to be left with spaced-out adrenalin-junkies that have forgotten the more soothing merits of art galleries.
Consequently I’d say you should stay at this place for maximum of three days and then move on to somewhere a little less exciting. Thus you can then wean them back on to vegetables, bicycles and the thrills of Dutch seventeenth century genre painting.
Apart from the plastic buildings in the theme park there is a real ‘Duinrell’ village just over the road from the park. This is quaintly pedestrianised and geared up to sell any escapees from the campsite all the souvenir-tat they’ll ever need. If nothing else, make a mental note of the shop that sells umbrellas.
This is because Holland has a monsoon season that lasts from the 15th July right through to the 14th July.
Ahh, The Netherlands . . .
Waaaay too close to England for holidays there to be anything other than decidedly English in terms of attitude, clientele and weather.
Vive la Difference!