Windmills Oud Zuylen

Windmills, Water and Woodlands Tour

A varied tour through the area north of Utrecht


45 km, 4-5 hours
€30,- pp without bike hire
€40,- pp including bike hire

Windmills Oud Zuylen

Windmills, Water and Woodlands

A varied tour through the area north of Utrecht


45 km, 4-5 hours
€30,- pp without bike hire
€40,- pp including bike hire

A varied tour through the area north of Utrecht
Oudegracht (Old Canal) Utrecht
Oudegracht (Old Canal) Utrecht
Our tour starts in the historic heart of Utrecht. We cycle along the Oude Gracht (Old Canal). The Oude Gracht connects the rivers Kromme Rijn (crooked Rhine) in the south east and the Vecht in the north west of Utrecht. In Roman times the Rhine flowed through Utrecht. The location on the Rhine and later the canals are important reasons for the foundation, prosperity and growth of Utrecht. Along the "Oude gracht" below street level are many cafes and restaurants. Until the end of the nineteenth century the quays and cellars were part of warehouses.
Westbroek Windmill
Westbroek Windmill
The New Hollandic Waterline (Dutch: nieuwe Hollandse waterlinie) was a defence line from the 19th century. With a complex system of canals, locks and waterways large land areas could be inundated. The waterworks and locks are very visible near two picturesque windmills (Westbroekse molen and Buitenwegse Molen ) in Oud-Zuylen. Many areas around Utrecht are too far above sea-level and cannot be flooded. For that reason these areas were protected by forts and bunkers. Around Utrecht there are fourteen forts each with its own character. Our tour takes us to two of these forts. Fort aan de Klop (1821) is now home to a camp site and cafe. Fort Blauwkapel (1818-1821) almost at the end of our tour was built around the existing village Blauwkapel.
Fort Blauwkapel
Fort Blauwkapel
We cycle on the cobbled streets through this fort and village. Due to its unique nature, the Dutch government nominated the whole New Hollandic Waterline as an UNESCO world heritage site.
River Vecht near Oud Zuilen
River Vecht near Oud Zuilen
The tour follows the river Vecht which meanders through the landscape. Along the borders there are many country estates and castles. Most date from the Dutch golden age (the 17th century) and were used as summer residences for rich merchants from Amsterdam.
Slot Zuylen (Zuylen Castle)
Slot Zuylen (Zuylen Castle)
Slot Zuylen (Zuylen Castle) dates from the early 16th century. The beautiful building and surrounding gardens are now a museum which is also in use as an official wedding location.
Windmill De Trouwe Waghter (the Faithful Guard), Tienhoven
Windmill De Trouwe Waghter (the Faithful Guard), Tienhoven
After passing windmill De Trouwe Waghter (the Faithful Guard) we enter an unique nature area.
Tienhoven Lakes
Tienhoven Lakes
De Tienhovense plassen (Tienhoven Lakes) consists of marshes, lakes, wetlands, and peat mores. This area with its beautiful views is an important habitat for meadow, water and swamp birds.
Lage Vuursche in Summer
Lage Vuursche in Summer
The little village Lage Vuursche is surrounded by woodlands of the Utrecht Hill Ridge (Dutch: Utrechtse Heuvelrug). The Utrecht Hill Ridge is a 50 km long ridge of low sand hills that stretches from southeast to northwest over the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is the ideal place to have a traditional Dutch pancake for lunch. A visitor wandering among the 18th century houses feels as if time has stood still. The village has a royal status thanks to Princess Beatrix (the former queen) who lives in Drakenstein Castle.
Jersey Cattle, Eyckenstein Farm
Jersey Cattle, Eyckenstein Farm
Boerderij Eyckenstein is a biological cattle farm (optional visit). Jersey bulls are small and slow growing. Usually, bull calves are killed and disposed of. At this farm the bulls are raised with their mothers. They can grow and graze in various nature areas in the Utrecht province. Cattle keep their horns, which is very rare in the Netherlands!

This tour includes

  • Bike rental

This tour does not include

  • Lunch, food or drinks

Optional activities (not included in price)

  • Traditional Pancake Lunch in Lage Vuursche (meal and drink €12.50pp)
Windmills Oud Zuylen

Eyckenstein Farmshop

Windmill Zon en Rijn (Sun and Rhine), Utrecht

Traditional Dutch Pancakes, Lage Vuursche