The North Holland Dune Reserve offers you a unique landscape for a beautiful bike ride. Here you will experience a combination of tranquility, views and if you get close enough to the sea, the sound of the surf. Ideal for clearing your head completely and refueling your energy.
The variety of plant and animal species makes the North Holland Dune Reserve a rare area in Europe. This nature reserve runs from Wijk aan Zee to Bergen, an elongated strip of about 20 kilometers with a width of 2.5 kilometers. This route takes you through the wooded southern part. At one of the entrances you will find a ticket machine where you can buy a day ticket (rate 2015: € 1.80 pp) with pin or credit card. The site of administrator PWN explains how you can buy a ticket using your smartphone.
The eastern part of the route leads you through the polders and parks around Beverwijk and Heemskerk. Nice to get a breath of fresh air, especially if you have the wind at your back. You pass two old estates. The first is Akerendam, a seventeenth-century estate founded by the Amsterdam merchant and shipbuilder Jan Bicker. It was a real country house: Like many of his wealthy fellow citizens, Bicker wanted to escape the smelly city during the summer. In the mid-eighteenth century, the country house was renovated in a French style.
At Heemskerk you cycle past Slot Assumburg. The castle probably dates from the thirteenth century, the current building was built in 1546. Although the castle looks solid, the walls are thin. This so-called bocage castle was therefore not used as a fortress, but as living space for the nobles. After 1867 the castle was empty, the paneling and utensils were transferred to the nearby Marquette Castle. Next to the castle is a beautiful garden, laid out in French Classical style, which can be visited.