In what seems to be the beginnings of a tradition, we started off May this year the same way we did last year – with a Eurocamp holiday in Europe. This year, however, we went to Duinrell, an amusement park with a campsite and other accommodations in its grounds, about an hour outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

What is Duinrell?

Duinrell is an amusement park in the town of Wassenaar. It also has a huge swimming pool complex called the Tikibad, which is inside but separate to the amusement park. Within the grounds of the amusement park are a campsite, bungalows, static caravans and a variety of other accommodation options, including Eurocamp.

If you are staying with one of the holiday companies, you have free access to the amusement park and reduced price access to the Tikibad. If you stay with in the Duingalows (Duinrell’s own accommodation, I believe) you also have limited free access to the Tikibad. You can simply visit either Duinrell and/or Tikibad as a day visitor, but there’s quite a substantial price difference in doing so.

Tikibad at Duinrell

What does Eurocamp have to do with Duinrell?

Eurocamp is one of the companies that provide accommodation in Duinrell. They offer ready tents (just turn up with your clothes and bedding, the beds, cooking facilities and fridge and other basics are provided.) and static caravans. There are other holiday companies, but that’s the one we have used, and if proximity to the amusement park and shop, bar and restaurant are important to you, Eurocamp is among your best options.

What’s there to do at Duinrell?

As I said, there’s an epic swimming pool complex with a variety of pools, a wave pool, current pool, kids pools and so on, but the main attraction for the Tikibad is the 2km plus of super tubes and slides with varying degrees of fear factor. Most of the slides have height limits, with children under 1.20 unable to go on them. Others have weight limits, and all children under 1m are required to wear life vests in the pool. (I’ve grabbed these [ics from their website, as I didn’t have a water camera with me.)

As for the amusement park, there’s loads to do. It isn’t the biggest park by any stretch of the imagination, but we found that by the time you’re dressed, had breakfast, strolled over for a few rides, come back for lunch (Eurocamp tents are conveniently close to the park), cleared up, headed back out for a few more rides, and generally just taken it easy, the days flew by incredibly quickly. While I suppose you could hop on the first ride at 10am and really gone for it, making the most out of a single day there, we didn’t feel the need to do so as we knew we had all week.

It’s one of the few resorts I’ve been to where you actually can spend a week just on site and not get bored with it at any point. We did spend one afternoon in Amsterdam, and another at the windmill in Leiden, but a few people we spoke to flew to Amsterdam, used public transport to get to Duinrell, and simply spent the week there. There’s certainly enough to do.

Duinrell Play Parks

One of the biggest hits was the play park, which stays open after the rides have closed. This was both popular and a great way to spend the evening!

What rides are there at Duinrell?

In terms of attractions Duinrell has what most amusement parks have, really. There are about 40 attractions, including a self-powered monorail, an ‘everlasting candle’ where you hoist yourself up into the air and when you get high enough, let go (this is one for the kids though), and then there are on the other end of the adrenaline scale, three rollercoasters, a spinning airoplane ride and a giant ‘Mad Mill’. So there really is enough to keep all ages quite entertained.  The website describes each ride individually, and there’s a place for visitors to upload their own YouTube videos of the ride, so that’s a great way to find out more about each ride.

The only thing I will say to take note of is the safety restrictions. Dutch people can err on the tall side, so there are upper limits of height on some rides, but they also require kids to be taller than you might find in other places – for example in our local amusement park my 5yo can go on the Jolly Roger – the boat that swings from side to side – but here, amid floods of tears, she was about 7 cm short by their height requirements for the Rocking Boat.

Also bare in mind that of the 41 attractions, some of these include a walk through (made-up) history of Duinrell’s mascot frogs.

Duinrell Amusement

Even so, there’s loads to do. Our favourites were probably the carousel in a giant pancake-serving conservatory, and the rollercoasters. We didn’t even get to do everything, either, missing out on things like to taboggon, The Watch Tower, and somehow we completely missed the Traffic Garden.

What’s different about Duinrell as an amusement park?

For starters, it’s beautiful. It’s essentailly an amusement park in a forest. There are so many trees, plenty of shade, and it’s simply gorgeous, with lots of space for leisurely picnics and simply chilling out.  There’s also ‘Adventure Mountain’ where (at extra cost) you can do archery, high ropes, wall climbing and such activities you wouldn’t really expect to find in an amusement park. Not even including the path up Adventure Mountain which is an oasis of tree-climbing gems!

What about other facilities at Duinrell?

I can really only speak to the ones we used near the Eurocamp site. The facilities were modern and clean. Bizarelly they seemed to clean the bathrooms early in the morning, which I’d imagine is the busiest time of day in a campsite bathroom, which mean that either the male or female toilets would be closed during that morning ‘rush’ and you’d walk out a cubicle to find a man standing shaving. A bit strange, but probably more of a shock to the poor man coming out the toilet as I opened the shower door in nothing but a towel!

Aside from that, they were kept very clean and well stocked on toilet paper. In the corner of the shower area there was a small sign for a ‘family shower’ which was fantastic – a normal shower cubicle, but with two showers inside! Genius! No more hopping around in the cold while you quickly try to wash your offspring. They can hang about in the water while you shower under the nozzle right next to them. Utterly brilliant.

There’s also a ‘children’s bathroom with high sinks so you don’t break your back washing your kids in the baby bath, open showers with a knee-high ledge for the kids to stand on, and small toilets for them to go to. My kids loved this, though my 7 year old preferred to use the grown-up showers as she has come to require privacy in washing, which is fair enough.

There was a water and electricity point between each set of tents, so it was easy to fill up quite palatable drinking water, though there’s also a washing up area and a laundromat behind the toilets.

Eurocamp ReadytentsAlso a very short walk from the Eurocamp tents area, was Duinrell Plaza which houses a superstore where you could find pretty much everything you needed for your holiday. Some of the prices were a little inflated compared to those in the local supermarket (Leiden has a Lidl, Wassenaar has bakeries and other shops) but that’s to be expected, and on basics like milk, bread, eggs, I found it worth just buying there.

The Duinrell Plaza also hosts three restaurants – including a pizzeria – and a pub with a mini-bowling alley.

In Duinrell park itself, at busy times, there are also vendors selling traditional Dutch poffertjies, churros, potato on a stick, candy floss, pancakes, chips, and more.

What’s not to like about Duinrell?

The things that I didn’t like much about Duinrell were mostly to do with the Tikibad. It was an extra E5 per person, for  two hours of swimming, or E7 for a full day – except a ‘full day’ pretty much means as long as you can stay inside without needing to leave because you can’t leave and come back. We didn’t have money on this trip for restaurant meals, so we hadn’t planned on paying for a meal in the swimming pool cafe.

What can you do near Duinrell?

If you do suddenly remember that you’re in a foreign country and want to see a bit of the area around you, a drive around Wassenaar and Leiden is highly recommended. It’s absolutely gorgeous. In fact, you can hire bikes and ride around the area too – it’s just beautiful.

There is a beach a few miles down the road, but we didn’t actually see it. We drove along a road with the most unusual desert-like folliage, and came to the beach parking where they wanted E5 or  E10 to park (I can’t remember exactly, just that it was more than we wanted to pay just to hop out for 2o minutes), but we had no intention of spending hours there, just wanted to have a look, so we didn’t get to see what the beach itself was like.

The town of Wassenaar has a beautiful windmill –Windmill de Windlust – you can explore on Saturdays. *

Leiden also has a gorgeous windmill  – Museum De Valk – which is closed on Mondays*

There’s also an amazing looking place called Corpus – Journey through the Human Body,but visitors have to be a minimum of 6 years old.

And if you want to go a little further afield to really experience Dutch culture and history, visit  Zaanse Schans

I’m sure there’s plenty more, these are just the ones we visited or that stood out to us.

For more information or to book your stay with Duinrell park, visit Duinrell.com

To find out more or book your stay with Eurocamp, which we highly recommend, visit Eurocamp Duinrell.

And finally, to read more about why we recommend Eurocamp, here are 5 Reasons To Choose Eurocamp For Your Next Holiday

*Please check their websites for up to date and accurate information. This information is correct at the time of publishing.