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Country estates and gardens
During the Golden Age, many wealthy merchants owned beautiful country estates just outside of Amsterdam’s city walls as an escape from the bustling city centre. Today these spectacular manor houses and landscaped gardens offer an opportunity to find your own escape from the hustle and bustle with a quick trip. Pick up a brochure and a map of unusual gardens and country estates from one of the Visitor Information Centres, or check out one of the highlighted places below to get a taste of Dutch country life.
- Frankendael Estate lies within Amsterdam's borders in the Watergraafsmeer district, and is the only remaining 17th-century country estate. The park is easily accessible by public transport and boasts two historic gardens, a sunbathing area, and a marsh. The anchor is the Huize Frankendael, now a spot for cultural events and the restaurant Merkelbach; a French/Mediterranean restaurant in the former coach house.
- Country Estate Beeckestijn is the perfect destination for a relaxing day in the country. The gardens combine two different styles and include a rose garden, herb garden, geometric flower beds and a cherry garden all dotted with ponds, sculptures and 18th century architectural details. The manor house often serves as the backdrop for films and photo-shoots. Check the Beeckestijn website for exhibitions throughout the year.
- Duin and Kruidberg opened to the public in 2002 after 300 years of being in private hands. Set among the dunes of the national park Zuid-Kennemerland, it now houses a hotel, conference halls, preserved period rooms, and a Michelin-starred restaurant De Vrienden van Jacob.
- Thijsse's Hof is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands, designed by Dutch landscape architect Leonard Springer. Developed in 1925, the garden showcases around 800 species of plants that originate in the nearby dunes.
- Landgoed Olmenhorst is a green oasis in the bustling Randstad. A big draw in the autumn is self-picking fruit from the organic apple and pear orchards, complete with attractions and pony rides for the kids. The estate contains seven of its original buildings to explore.