Navigation system address: Staelduinlaan 19, ‘s Gravenzande. This is the address for a garden centre (Tuinmeubel Reus). Parking for the woods is just across the street from the garden centre entrance. Parking is free.
Actually, the entire domain is strictly on-path and on-leash. Locals tell me that they have been fined, and that the game-keeper actually lives in the woods.
What is so special about it?
There aren’t that many people walking there yet (it has not been opened to the public that long) so, for the time being, that might be the place to try if you fancy a quieter walk.
There are loads of left-over bunkers. It might not sound like a plus, but I find it a welcome novelty, departing from the usual park landscape. For a bit of trivia: the bunkers are from the second world war, and the site was used as army training grounds until recently.
Most of the site is a conservation area for bats, with explanatory signs scattered all over. I guess that has educational value for the kids if you are into that sort of thing (as I am).
The depth of trees is thick enough that you could call this woods, rather than a park. Don’t expect Nottingham forest either, mind.
It has a couple of shallow streams, but not much to look at frankly.
Some areas have little hilly peaks and troughs. You are not allowed to tread off the paths but it is still nice to look at.
In places, you can see uprooted and felled trees that have fallen on each other and just been left there. I find this gives the landscape a very dramatic effect.
What to look out for
The bunkers might not be everybody’s idea of a natural backdrop.
The ENTIRE area is on-leash only, and it does get checked.
You are not allowed to walk off the paths.
The trees are a little too young for my taste, but each to their own. They are more saplings than fully grown trees in my mind.