In a busy city like The Hague it is nice to go for a nice walk in the woods and enjoy the peace and the weather. The Hague has multiple parks where you can enjoy a nice walk or a picnick.
Up until 1860 the park was part of a forested dune area. Sir Westbroek (director of Municipal Plantations) than offered the City to redevelop the park and use the excavated sand in other places in the city for accumulation. In the ’20 he finished his design for the park and the park was finished in 1926. In the honor of the by than deceased sir Westbroek the park was named after him.
The most beautiful place in the park is without a doubt the rose garden ‘Rosarium’. From the end of June till October more than 25.000 on about 350 flowerbeds will bloom in the park and is the decor of the annual Rose concours.
Park Sorghvliet is a part of the legacy of Jacob Cats (1577-1660). Jacob Cats was a board pensionary and a poet. He bought the ground to have a place to let go of all his worries. Throughout the years it has had several owners and the estate has grown from 600 acres to the current 25 acres. Since 1920 the estate has been surrounded by a monumental wall and is a national monument. Access to the park requires a visitors pass which can be bought at Bookstore Paagman or a VVV tourist information office. The passes are valid for a year and can be used by 3 persons at a time.
The estate has a beautiful forest with a few lakes and bridges. It is a perfect place to escape the busy city or unwind from the daily life.
Clingendael & Japanese Garden
The Name Clingendael references to the valley between dunes (clinge). Since the 16th century the estate has been called Clingendael. The park is a beautiful and peaceful place with a combination of culture and nature. It is a place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature, but also the beautiful buildings in the estate. The garden art of 1818 is still visible in the estate. The park is perfect for a afternoon walk or for a sunday picnick for the family.
Part of the estate of Clingendael is a Japanese Garden. The Japanese Garden has a variety of rare trees and plants. Because of the vulnerability of the garden it is only open for a few weeks every year (29.04 – 11.06 & 14.10 – 29.10 in 2017). The garden was created by the than owner, Marguerite M. Baronesse van Brienen (1871 – 1939) in the 20th century. She made several trips to Japan to inquire lanterns, water tank, bridges and other products. It is the only Japanese Garden from around 1910 in The Netherlands and therefore has a historical value.
Meijendel exists of three different areas, outer dunes, middle dunes and the inner dunes. On the seaside you will find the outer dunes. The middle dunes are recognized by higher vegetation, woods, the swamp and the reed country. The inner dunes consists of valleys and parabola dunes.
The park has a couple of routes for a nice walk, from 3 to 5 kilometers. The routes take you past to beautiful vegetations of the park and to the sea. You can meet the residents of the park like the birds and the growing population of deer. The little ones can klimb and play at the ‘Monkeybos’ or play at the water playground. The visitors center of ‘Dunea’ also organized several excursions and GPS and Geocaching.
For the most part the park has a free entrance. The areas ‘Kijfhoek’ & ‘Bierlap’ will require a fee, tickets are available at ‘De Tapuit’.
On the Estate Ockenburgh you can feel the history of the centuries. It is a place to unwind and take a walk, go for a picnic, go for a run or ride your horse. It has a spacious parking area and is also easily accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. The estate is part of the National Park Hollandse Duinen.
The estate has several areas which each has its own unique places to offer. Dogs can run around freely at the ‘Koeweide’. For a little peace you can visit the hyacinth forest and for a more rough terrain you can visit the old dunes underneath the century old trees of the Swiss party. After a walk through the estate you can visit Krasserie OCK for a nice thee or wine with some tapas.
Madestein is a recreational area which has something to offer for everyone, young and old. The little ones can go to the little animal farm, there is a sporting complex for the more active people and for the nature lovers there are a lot of different birds to spot in the area. The area also has small neighborhood gardens for the people who like to work in the garden.
Madestein has two lakes, a bigger and a smaller one. Both lakes have little beach areas with playgrounds. After a nice day of enjoying the weather and nature there is a café with a terrace besides the water. It is also possible to camp in Madestein. There is a camping ground (Campingground Madestein) with a fire pit and it is located besides the water.
Westduinpark & Wapendal
Westduinpark and Wapendal are protected nature areas. The Westduinpark is located between the city and the sea. The dune area in between connects the two beach resorts Scheveningen and Kijkduin. The length of the area makes it the largest greenarea in the city. The originated by centuries of sand, sea and wind and this makes it a lifely and alternately area.
Wapendal is mostly famous because of their Shedland pony population in the winter and the purple bloom of dune vegetation. Because of the vulnerability of the area it is not accessible, but you can enjoy the views from the walking paths that run past it.
Other famous residents of the area are the Scottish Highlanders and the sheep. These residents help with the maintenance of the dunes. The eat plants, bushes and trees, which helps with keeping the dunes open and varied.