Going Outdoors,  Netherlands

Visit the ‘Strabrechtse Heide’ next to Eindhoven!

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One of our favorite family trips is a walk in nature. Going outdoors is so important for kids, and it’s great to relax and clear your head. 

Even if the children have a lot of homework on the weekend, we try to spend a few hours outdoor. Away from the digital devices and a moment to connect. These are often the moments when the kids come up with their stories and the things that keep them busy.

It is nice to discover the Netherlands, but we also ensure that we have some beautiful places around our living environment that we can go to. You will find some great places around Eindhoven to explore. On this website, we will add more things to do around Eindhoven. 

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far view

Strabrechtse Heide (Heath)

One of the places we have liked to go since we are back in the Netherlands is the Strabrechtse Heide. This is a nature reserve in the south of the Netherlands in the province of North Brabant. The nature reserve is located in the municipalities of Heeze-Leende, Someren and Gedrop-Mierlo and close to Eindhoven.

On the Strabrechtse Heide, you will mainly find beautiful views. It is a large open area with fens and heath vegetation. To maintain and improve this area, they place sheep on the fields. You will undoubtedly encounter these herds during your visit.

Due to the vulnerability of this area, only subtle forms of recreation are allowed. But you can still enjoy hiking, cycling, or discovering the area on horseback.

What is Heath (Heide)

Heath is a shrubland habitat found mainly on free-draining infertile, acidic soils characterized by open, low-growing woody vegetation. 

Fens on the Strabrechtse Heide

You will also pass many fens during your walk or bike ride. The Strabrechtse Heide has the largest fen in the Netherlands called Beuven. This fen is also known for the many birds and the particular vegetation.

Two other unique locations on the Strabrechtse Heide are the Hoenderboom and the Galgenberg. 

The Hoenderboom is of historical importance. Five municipalities used to meet here: Heeze, Maarheeze, Someren, Lierop, and Mierlo. Due to municipal reclassifications, this number has fallen to two (Heeze-Leende and Someren). There is a copy of the boundary marker that used to be here on site.

In the middle of the Strabrechtse Heide is the Galgenberg, a beautiful small piece of open drifting sand, which is maintained by management measures to preserve the typical flora and fauna. Among other things, ‘spurry’, ‘fine-leaf sheep fescue’, and ‘grey hair-grass’ grow there.

head view December

Best time to visit the Strabrechtse Heide?

The heathlands in the Netherlands are often at their best in August and September. That’s when the heather is in bloom and turns a beautiful purple. During this time, you have to go here for a walk and to make beautiful pictures, but also during the other months of the year, it remains an excellent place for a lovely walk or bike ride.

Another great idea is to visit this area at the beginning or end of the day. A sunset is always fantastic, especially in an open space like this.

sunset view

Where to start your activity?

The Strabrechtse Heide has 3 locations to start your walk or bike ride.

1. De Plaetse

De Plaetse is a starting point located in the municipality of Heeze.

De Plaetse is the dutch name for an old Frankish heath village. A user-space for farmers where cattle used to be collected to go to the communal heath as a herd. De Plaetse has been recreated with the characteristic triangular square surrounded by a number of buildings, such as the sheepfold, and a haystack. In the middle of De Plaetse you will find a dug round pool. This had four functions; a drinking place for the cattle, extinguishing a fire, a washing place for cattle feed, and a wool washing place.

On the Plaetse is the sheepfold where the herd of 400 Kempen heath sheep is housed. This breed of sheep was almost extinct, but thanks to a targeted breeding program, the breed has been preserved. In addition, there is a heather garden here where a number of characteristic plants have been brought together as they occur on the Strabrechtse Heide. There is also an insect garden, where beehives, an insect hotel, and an insect wall can be found. Of course, there is also a flower garden that attracts many butterflies.

You can visit Heidecafé de Strabrechtse Heide for a drink or something to eat. This Heidecafé is part of Kempenhaeghe, a progressive center of expertise in the field of epilepsy and neuroscience. From Tuesday to Friday, Kempenhaeghe clients are busy at and around the Heidecafé. They work in the kitchen, in the service, and also in the landscaping.

In addition, they are busy in the work shed ‘het Schob’, which you will find next to the Heidecafé. Kempenhaeghe’s clients make the most beautiful products here, mainly from natural materials. If you’re curious, be sure to go visit there!

Various cycling and walking tours start from De Plaetse, are indicated by colored posts, and vary in length. But also other walks pass this place.

Address for Parking lot: de Plaetse 71, Heeze
Google maps: De Plaetse, Heeze, Nederland

sheep farm

2. De Strabrechtse Hoeve

This starting point is in the municipality of Mierlo.

You can park your car at the Strabrechtse Hoeve and enjoy a snack or drink. Here you will also find a camper place to spend the night for € 15,- per camper.

If you only want to go for a walk, there is a parking lot closer to the Strabrechtse Heide.

Address for Parking lot: Heezerweg 22, Mierlo
Google maps: Strabrechtse Heide Parkeerplaats, Mierlo, Nederland

Adress for De Strabrechtse Hoeve: Aardborstweg 19, Mierlo
Google maps: De Strabrechtse Hoeve, Mierlo, Nederland

3. Vennenhorst

Vennenhorst is the closest to the Beuven, the largest natural fen in the Netherlands. You will find this starting point in the municipality of Someren.

From here, you can also start walks in adjacent nature reserves. Along the way, you have the chance to encounter Highland cows.

Address for Parking lot: Bosrandweg 6, Someren
Google maps: Vennenhorst (google will find Boscafe De Soete Inval, Someren, Nederland)

kids walking outdoors

Additional information and tips!

  • Dogs are allowed on the Strabrechtse Heide if kept on a leash.
  • On 2 July 2010, a part of the Strabrechtse heide was hit by a wildfire in which approximately 200 hectares of forest and heathland went up in flames. The fire was fought by hundreds of firefighters. It took several days to put out the fire. Nature is now recovering, but you can still see the traces of the fire.
  • Do not forget to bring a lunch so that you can eat it during your walk on one of the many benches that you will encounter along the way.

More tips for places to visit in the Netherlands

How to make your visit to Keukenhof gardens an amazing day

Great tips to make your trip to Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip fields a great success.
Photo Angelique owner ourexpatlife.com

Hi, I'm Angelique

My mission is to help you get used to your new country a little easier.

I know from experience that moving to a new country and getting used to the culture can be a real challenge. 

I have experienced that all the help you can get in your new country will help you adjust to your new life easier. The Netherlands is our home country, and we have the experience as expats.

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Ps. Don’t forget to download my FREE list of places to visit in the Netherlands for many more ideas to explore your new country.

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