Bruges and the Dutch Bulbfields with Shearings – DAY 1

Preparing to tiptoe through the tulips

If on the excellent BBC quiz programme “Pointless”, 100 people were asked to name a British coach operator then Shearings would be high on the list.

Keukenhof Garden Providing value for money travel, home and abroad, this company has been around since 1919 and is now one of the largest coach operators in Europe. Lancashire based and nothing wrong with that (my dad was from St Helens), though I personally prefer Yorkshire! Over the years Shearings have won countless travel awards.

Last year wife Babs and I took our first cruise and loved it. Our favourite  hobbies are travel and gardening. So this year we have chosen a four night short hop over the sea combining our two passions. Shearings Bruges and the Dutch Bulbfields will hopefully whet our appetite for longer and more far flung coach holidays in the future.

Most silver travellers will remember the novelty rendition , by Tiny Tim , of “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” way back in 1968.Well in mid April, Babs and I will not be tiptoeing but walking through the tulips in Keukenhof. Probably walking fast as we are only visiting for the day and there are almost 80 acres to see and 15 km of paths.

Keukenhof Garden So what and where is Keukenhof? Well, situated near Lisse in The Netherlands, it is the world’s largest flower garden open for only two months – mid March til mid May – every year. And it’s one of the world’s most photographed places.

One of the wonders of the modern world – horticulturally speaking at least. These gardens are an intoxicating, riotous blend of spring colour and fragrance. Seven million bulbs are planted every Autumn. Imagine the backache after planting these! And as you would expect it’s a showcase for the Tulip – Holland’s national flower.

“Knee deep in flowers we’ll stray, we’ll keep the shower away “. Well hopefully for the day we are visiting.

So what else have we got to look forward to on the trip? Well it’s a fascinating mix of towns and country, bricks and greenery.

Ghent Homely Ghent. Jaw-droppingly beautiful. Its historic centre rumbles with trams. Cobbled squares and narrow lanes are perfect for mooching along.

Food galore. Waffles and homemade confectionery and chocolates. A  diabetic’s dilemma .Should I have one … or two … or three? … well life’s too short anyway …ok … I’ll have another.  And crisp Belgian fries from the chippy vans, with a large dollop of mayo.

Bruges is invaded every year by at least three million visitors. This medieval city , dubbed the “Venice of the North “, has it all too. Architecture that has a wow factor . Weekend flea markets and over 50 shops packed to the rafters with chocolate, local beers, souvenirs and foods Designer shopping in abundance too. Like Ghent it is easily explored on foot or water.

It promises to be a great trip.

We are sorry to advise that the Specialist Leisure Group, which includes Shearings, entered administration on 22 May 2020. If you have booked a holiday with Shearings, or you have any questions please visit the Shearings website.

See also

213 people found this helpful
16881

Share Article:

Dave Harcombe

Travelling pharmacist

Leave a comment

*

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

Explore China with our guide tailored for travellers over 50. Discover ancient wonders, vibrant cities, culinary adventures, and landscapes…
Rich in exotic wildlife, tropical forests, white-sand beaches and lost civilisations, Belize really is a diverse pocket of overlooked beauty….

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.