Whenever I went on a trip to the Dutch coast with my family, we stayed in a holiday park where every house looked the same. But I was still a child and thus only cared about the beach. Over the years, I thought that there was barely something besides these holiday parks… until I resided in an old hunting lodge on the magnificent estate “Duinbeek” in Oostkapelle.
It was already the driveway that took my breath away. Lined with trees and flowers, it lead to a romantic manor house and the hunting lodge we stayed in. As we visited Oostkapelle in April, we had the chance to experience this amazing estate during spring, which made Duinbeek even more beautiful.
Duinbeek consists of a lovely little castle surrounded by water and a forest and the hunting lodge that we rented. The estate is the most special place I’ve ever spent my vacation in and it was also the most peaceful one. And sometimes, there were moments in which I thought I was thrown back to the 18th century when the estate was built.
I enjoyed walking around Duinbeek to discover all the beautiful spots the estate had to offer. There were great places to sit down and listen to the twittering of birds or to take photos of.
The whole estate was lovingly arranged so that it got even more romantic and authentic. Statues like this lion created a unique atmosphere and were just one of so many eye-catchers in Duinbeek.
The Hunting Lodge – Our Home
The hunting lodge is located right next to the manor house and because of its age it was charming and the most special house I’ve ever stayed in. At first, I had to get used to its age as the staircase was extremely steep and the first floor, which used to be the attic before, had to be accessed through a hatch that we had to close at night so that nobody would fall down the stairs and get hurt…or hurt the stuffed squirrel that was always starring at me when I climbed (or fell) down the stairs.
The house was partly decorated in the style of bygone centuries and if there hadn’t been a TV in the living room, I would have thought that I was thrown back to past days once more. But it was not only the decoration that made the hunting lodge a special place. Behind every door, there was something to discover. We had to find out whether this was something good or weird.
One of the highlights were the beds that were inside the walls. We didn’t use them as we had enough normal beds and frankly speaken, I would have been to scared to sleep in them as I was already a bit scared in my normal bed.
But during the day, I could forget about my scare when a group of deer appeared on the estate. Duinbeek is located in a nature reserve, which explained our cute neighbors.
Even during a walk in the woods we could still observe the deer and were observed by them too.
But not only the deer were fascinating. The nature reserve itself was beautiful and idyllic.
It took us a 15 minutes walk to get to the beach. On our way, we walked along little ponds and fed the ducks, which were always hungry and and happy about some bread.
And finally, we got to the beach, which was the most beautiful Dutch beach I’ve been to so far. It wasn’t too crowded although it was vacation time and we were extremely lucky as the weather was brilliant. So, we could spent a couple of days at the beach and even dared to take a swim in the water, which was super cold!
But I also enjoyed watching the seagulls or listening to music while I watched the waves, which was relaxing, if not even a bit meditative.
Only the sunset could keep up with this view. We often ate dinner in the little beach pavilion and when the sun went down, we had a beach walk. On our last evening in Duinbeek, I collected shells during the sunset and one of them, which was beautiful, has been decorating my window sill ever since I returned from the beautiful Duinbeek estate, the most special place I’ve been to so far.