Love the Netherlands but done Amsterdam, Keukenhof and clogs? Then come and discover another side to this friendly little country on this brand-new tour which showcases some of the delights of North Brabant and the truly amazing Castle Gardens of Arcen. Based in the very heart of charming 's-Hertogenbosch, discover this historic city bursting with its distinct joie de vivre, explore the extraordinary fortress city of Heusden and take a stroll through one of the country's most beautiful gardens. The 5-day tour also takes in Nuenen, the delightful village where Vincent van Gogh lived, worked and produced a quarter of all of his works.
Departure points to suit you...
Crusader Holidays uses an interchange system, taking place at either Beaconsfield Services (M40), South Mimms Services (M25/A1M) or Thurrock Services (M25).
Here you may have to change to your holiday coach and we are renowned for ensuring that this is smooth and efficient.
The holiday coaches typically depart from Beaconsfield Services at 11.15, Thurrock Services at around 09.30 and South Mimms Services at 10.30. Some customers find it more convenient to join direct at the interchange, please let is know when booking if this is the case.
*Due to increased operational costs, from Monday 16th October 2023 Dover, Folkestone, Canterbury & Ashford joining points will be subject to a £25.00 per person supplement on all 2024 UK Tours.
NOTE: Pick up points are a guide so please refer to your holiday confirmation for specific locations as details are subject to change.
NEW for 2024!
DAY 1 - After joining your holiday coach, you travel to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais, then continue to Holland via the auto-routes of France and Belgium and check into your hotel in the centre of 's-Hertogenbosch for your 3 or 4-night stay. Bed & breakfast daily with dinner included in the hotel on the first and last night of your stay
DAY 2 - 3 (or 4) - At leisure with two or three included excursions
Your hotel is centrally located in the capital of Noord Brabant, 's-Hertogenbosch (Duke's Forest), known as Den Bosch (the Forest). It's best known as the birthplace of 15th-century painter Jheronimus van Aken, who later took his surname from the town and is remembered worldwide under the name Hieronymous (or Jeroen) Bosch. Den Bosch is an ancient city, full of history and friendly people with a real joie de vivre lifestyle and atmosphere. There are many attractive old streets, a great cafe scene, magnificent fortifications and a fascinating century-old system of canals and waterways all within the city walls. Known as De Binnendieze, the restored waterways have been designated a conservation area since 1972. There are plenty of cafes and restaurant within easy walking distance of the hotel and you may like to try a local Bossche Bol (a kind of large profiterole) before you leave!
Fortress Town of Heusden (All tours)
Travel back to a bygone era and the picture-postcard little Brabant fortress town of Heusden. You can expect picturesque old streets, narrow alleyways, countless centuries-old, beautifully preserved buildings and facades with magnificent stonework as well as antique tile-roofed houses and a lovely yacht harbour - all wrapped in a fortified river-moat which still retains its triangular ravelins (island-bastions). You may like to stroll atop the fortifications for a view of the marina and the Meuse river or take it easy in one of the pleasant terraces that look out onto the main town square. The Visitor Centre, centrally located in the former town hall, houses a model of the amazing fortifications. A local English-speaking guide will take you on a 90-minute walking tour to show you the must-see sights of this beautiful fortified city and you will make a stop at a local bakery for a typical Brabant 'Worstenbroodje' (a kind of sausage roll) and a cup of coffee. Then an included one-hour boat trip (steps up/down) will let you view the town from a different perspective as well as admire the Dutch landscape with windmills, bridges, cows and birds. Head back to Den Bosch later on for some free time
Castle Gardens of Arcen (All tours)
In the picturesque town of Arcen, nestled between the Meuse river and the German border, lies a fantastic garden complex on a 32 hectare castle estate. Stimulate your senses, experience history, and discover a variety of unique gardens created around a historic country seat with its 17th century castle. Enjoy beautiful flowers and plants in more than 15 unique gardens, such as the Rosarium with over 8,000 rose bushes, the Eastern Water Garden or the Bamboo Forest. Soak up the scents and colours in the gardens with their many ponds and waterfalls. Each garden in Kasteeltuinen Arcen offers a new green experience. NB not all paths are fully accessible but the castle staff can provide an accessible route through the gardens if required. Complete your day with a visit to the monumental castle or maybe relax in one of the on-site restaurants with stunning views of the gardens.
Van Gogh Village - Nuenen (5-day tour only)
You don't have to be a huge art lover to appreciate a visit to the little village of Nuenen where Vincent Van Gogh lived and worked from 1883 to 1885. This is where the artist created one quarter of his work as well as his first masterpiece 'The Potato Eaters' and is today an historic location with no less than 23 sites and buildings of Van Gogh significance. Follow in Vincent's footsteps with a brief walking tour of the village conducted by an informative English-speaking guide and enjoy included entrance to the extraordinary Van Gogh Village Museum which opened in Spring 2023. You will be taken on an interactive journey into Vincent's world and thoughts and the unique Lightlab provides an immersive experience where you can experiment with light and colour to bring Van Gogh's artistic development to life. The museum is fully accessible with a lift. Round off your visit with a light lunch at the nostalgic Opwetten Watermill which Van Gogh painted in 1884.
Return Day - Drive back to Calais today and the return ferry crossing to Dover, arriving home during the evening
Hotel for 3 or 4 nights with breakfast
Dinner on the first & last night of your stay
Included excursions as stated
Heusden guided walking tour
Local Worstenbroodje & coffee - Heusden
Heusden Boat trip
Entrance to Kasteeltuinen Arcen including gardens & castle
Nuenen guided walking tour (5-day tour only)
Entrance to Van Gogh Village Museum (5-day tour only)
Light lunch at Opwetten Watermill (5-day tour only)
Golden Tulip Hotel Central, 's-Hertogenbosch Central Location
This historic 4* hotel is located in the heart of 's-Hertogenbosch, overlooking the medieval market square and has been run by the Rademaker family since 1905. There is an elegant brasserie style restaurant as well as a friendly bar and unique 14th century vaulted cellar breakfast room. A top floor fitness centre offers great views of 13th century St John's Cathedral. Smart and comfortable guestrooms feature free WiFi, flat screen TV, safe and tea / coffee making facilities. There is a lift
NB There is restricted vehicle access to this hotel and the coach drops off and picks up 100m from the hotel. Porters will assist with luggage between the coach and hotel