Camping Duinrell is a fantastic site and is superbly situated in a woodland area with a brilliant tropical waterpark and its very own theme park.
The site is perfect for families of all ages. There is loads of space for the kids to play outside, there is an excellent supermarket and plenty of restaurants. The tropical pool is the star attraction for a small charge each day. The Water Park, with indoor and outdoor pools, sports a selection of waterslides to suit the most daring as well as the more nervous. The free Theme Park has rides for little ones as well as rides for teenagers and mums and dads. Splash, Falcon, The Water Spider and Rick the Frog all deserve a mention.
Camping Duinrell is a quick walk from the village of Wassenaar which has a selection of shops, bars and restaurants. The nearest beach is only 3 miles away and is well worth a visit as is The Efteling Theme Park in Kaatsheuvel and the lovely old city of Leiden.The Dutch capital, Amsterdam is only 30 miles away and is a must. Delft is just down the road from the park and makes for a great day out too.
Camping Duinrell has a variety of activities on offer for young and old - tennis, table tennis, bike hire, mini golf, 10 pin bowling, trampolining, badminton, volleyball and go-karts.
Read Megan's review of her Canvas Holiday to Camping Duinrell
Holland, to be fair isn't exactly the most exotic of places for a teenage girl to visit after probably failing miserably her AS Levels! (I won't know till August 19th)
From what I had heard, it was dreary, dull and very flat, with bicycles around every corner and literally no hills. However, the concept of having a week from school, away from Wales, with my best friend, having a catch up seemed like the best idea to come around in a long time.
The day we arrived didn't send me into a frenzy of excitement as to what the week ahead would hold. It seemed pretty much like Wales Ã¢Â€Â“ rainy and cold. However, with the whole place a sea of orange as the country got behind their team in the midst of the World Cup phenomenon, it was easy to see that this was clearly a very passionate nation. Already shattered from the journey, arriving at the campsite I couldn't particularly be bothered to look at where I was going to be spending the week Ã¢Â€Â“ probably in the rain, where every night we would play a game of Boggle and I would comfort eat myself to obesity.
The campsite, not quite as good as other sites I have been to before but nevertheless still pretty good, was easy to navigate your way around. So within the first hour or so we could find our way to the Plaza and even, being daring, back to the caravan without taking a wrong turn and having to trek our way back to the Centre. The Plaza was the place where we spent most of our time. We seemed to be super-glued to the chairs soaking up the sun Ã¢Â€Â“ not so much the first two days, seeing as it was raining......ALL the time. It was a lovely spot to sit in the chairs, have a chat, have a nap and in my case, sunburn. That would teach me for judging the Holland weather on the first day of arrival.
The Canvas deluxe mobile home was pretty much like a mini house, only a lot more snug. The king-size American-style fridge made it possible to fit in lots of food and the mini plasma screen with a DVD player meant that all the 'gleeks' in the family were able to spend many a night watching episodes of Glee Ã¢Â€Â“ which kind of goes against the whole concept of camping. The living area was open and spacious, leaving little room for the bedrooms. The beds were comfortable, I found, but the small gap between the two made it near enough impossible for 2 teenage girls to look in the mirror or even get dressed at the same time. There was also not a lot of closet space so by the end of the week, I pulled out my clothes to find them all creased and crumpled Ã¢Â€Â“ I really should learn how to fold clothes properly.
I didn't use the showers in the caravan very often, despite the fact that there were two - I much preferred going to the shower blocks as there was a lot more room. The couple of times I did use the caravan showers, I felt extremely claustrophobic and not a lot water came out ...making it hard to enjoy a nice shower. The shower blocks, on the other hand, were good, it has to be said. The first time, we walked in cautiously expecting smelly, run-down, jam-packed, tiny cubicles but instead found clean, open-spaced, quiet blocks and were pleasantly surprised, especially by the jolly music playing while we showered.
We hired bikes for the second day and for a relatively cheap price for the day, it seemed like a reasonable deal. So, bikes a-ready we cycled round the campsite grounds where after a nasty fall and a grazed stomach we decided to mission out and see what Wassenaar had to offer us. However, because of the typical lack of hills it got pretty boring and we ended up cycling along a straight path for about an hour which did not particularly fill us with much joy.
After giving our bikes back, we found ourselves friend-less and without anything to do. A trip to The Theme Park was in order. Of course, being two teenage girls it was very easy for us to spend about half hour trying to work out how to get in but once we found it, we were pretty smug with ourselves and trekked through the park. This trek was not a happy one.
We seemed to pass by loads of kiddy rides, none of which appealed to us much. And after spotting a rollercoaster and making our way towards it only to see a bunch of 5 year olds clambering into a caterpillar-headed car, we seemed to have come to the end of the road. But in turning the corner, our spirits were lifted when we saw a vertical hill and a long queue of excited teenagers and adults. This was The Falcon. We joined the queue and after receiving plenty of dirty looks for no apparent reason we found ourselves at the front, with the perfect view of the most beautiful man ever, who we promptly talked about for 2 days straight and who we never saw again. As well as the Falcon, The Mill offered us endless fun and we ended up going on it at least three times in a row, nearly dying laughing as our heads got stuck backwards and we couldn't move Ã¢Â€Â“ yeah, we're 17... However, it has got to be said, the best ride in my opinion, were the mono-rail frog bicycles where you cycled round on a high wire. It was some serious fun.
The Theme Park was a laugh but I have to say that after going on the same 4 rides about 3 times each every day it did get a little tedious. However, seeing as it was free to campsite residents, it allowed us to enjoy the rides without feeling like we were wasting money. I think that it is a park more for the little ones who would enjoy the amazing playground featuring gigantic slides and complex see-saws (which we did actually quite enjoy despite a rather painful burn mark from the slide, so I can't exactly say much.)
The Tiki Water Park
As well as the Theme Park, the Tiki Water Park, the biggest in Europe, was the perfect place to go and act like a little kid and cool down on a boiling hot day. Despite not going very often, the few times that we did, we had amazing fun. With endless slides to choose from and whizzing down them at a speed so fast, it was terrifying, there was no time to be bored. The great variety of slides made it an exciting experience and gave us the opportunity to push ourselves to try the ones which looked dangerously exciting.
As well as the slides, the pool also offered lots
of different things, so there was always something for everyone. I personally liked the Lazy River, which we went around sitting in a rubber ring (which took us about half the length of the river to actually get into). It was relaxing but quite annoying when you went so slow that the people behind you kept banging into you but still, despite that, it was lovely to sit and relax in a rubber ring going at a leisurely and calming pace.
A Perfect Week
All week was mainly about us doing absolutely nothing Ã¢Â€Â“ and it was perfect. We sat in the chairs in the sun, we trekked around the Theme Park and we got lost on our way to the 'town which is only 5 minutes away.' Funny story really - after following directions from the family, we turned in completely the wrong direction and eventually arrived two hours later, stressed, boiling and very agitated. There was not a lot to do in the nights so we found ourselves wandering aimlessly looking for something interesting. We first tried the 'Irish Bar' but an Irish bar which does not sell Guinness is not really an Irish Bar. Seeing as it was football season, the bar was mostly full of old men jeering at the screen or little kids yelling at the players. This wasn't quite our scene so after watching ten minutes of a match we made a quick getaway.
In the end, we spent our nights chilling on the chairs by The Plaza where we eventually found some friends who we spent our time with. After finding one set of friends we felt a lot less lonely and anti-social. The campsite which we thought was teenager-free and full of families with younger kids actually had a vibrant night life and we found ourselves talking to massive groups of German and Dutch people... I knew 2 years of learning German would come in handy one day. We wondered where they had all come from but we were in no place to argue as we just wanted some company other than a froggy bicycle which was becoming quite repetitive dare I say.
Despite being a family holiday, I barely saw my family all week and they seemed to think I had gone on some sort of hunger strike. They seemed to be amazed at something they found in the Dutch Supermarket on the site, which they pestered me each morning to eat for
breakfast. Me, I was quite happy with my bowl of Chocolate Shreddies and glass of breakfast juice - not very adventurous I know. However, this new find, which I tried after getting home, was 'amazing'. Who needs chocolate spread on toast when you've got Ã¢Â€Â˜chocolate sprinklies'?
The Best Holiday Ever
Although not perfect to begin with, my stay in Holland turned out to be one of the best holidays I've ever had. Despite not actually doing anything productive at all the entire week, the campsite still managed to entertain and provide us with a place to completely relax and have fun. The first two tedious and depressing days where the rain was pouring, we were wearing hoodies all the time and we had no friends still made the holiday what it was. The campsite, the theme park, the Tiki Water Park, the town, the people we met, made it, hands-down, an amazing trip and one that I won't be forgetting about any time soon.
By Megan Carr Age 17
(Megan and family travelled with P&O Ferries on the Pride of Dover from Dover to Calais and they stayed in a Deluxe Mobile Home)