Please tell me that some of you tend to get a little over snap happy when travelling too? I’m utterly ridiculous; when I visit any kind of landscape I have this sort of strange repetitive routine of stopping every two steps and exclaiming ‘This! THIS is the view!’ while taking another 30 photos (much to the chagrin of whoever I’m with), and when I visit any kind of city I will happily take 89 photos of the same doorway.
Now despite the fact that this leaves me with what starts to feel like an impossible task when it comes to sorting them, and despite the fact that I’m not a talented photographer I’m just a massive keeno, it does also leave me with quite a few nice snaps from each trip. I often feel a little bit sad about all the photos that never see the light of day, even on the blog. If you’re writing about somewhere you’ve been, the likelihood of including more than a few photos of the same attraction is pretty slim, and yet some places are so beautiful or so varied that it seems a shame for them to be ignored and forgotten about on a USB in the back of a drawer.
That’s why I wanted to spend an entire blog post purely sharing some of the photos taken at Keukenhof from my trip to Holland last month, along with a few observations from my visit there. Turns out I really like taking photos of flowers, so if you like bright colours or anything floral this will be right up your street, so fill your boots.
So there’s a lot to see.
7 million bulbs are planted every year to populate Keukenhof, in well over 1000 varieties; lots of which being tulips, of course. We started out in the historical garden, which features varieties dating back to the 16th Century, but unless you’re really interested in history and/or gardening you’ll probably want to move on to the more showstopping areas quite quickly – while it’s interesting, there’s a lot to get through.
The park is divided into various areas by 15 kilometres of path, featuring several ‘Inspirational gardens’, including a ‘Hipster garden’ (which oh my god I wish I’d had time to see properly) and of course a Delft Blue garden (this is Holland after all).
It’s not just tulips
Our somewhat naff start to spring meant that not everything was flowering when we were there, but the flowerbeds outside aren’t your only chance to see pretty blooms. There are four pavilions in different corners of the park, each with different flower shows going on. One of my favourites was this one, which featured some of the most beautiful and utterly pristine wedding flowers I’ve ever seen.
You have an eight week window to get there each year
Keukenhof’s theme for 2018 was Romance in flowers – hence the not-quite-ready flowerbeds in the shape of people kissing in the photo above – but it changes every year. Next year (which will be its 70th anniversary) is set to be ‘flower power’, which sounds excellent if you ask me.
It’s a shame that I’m posting this now really, because Keukenhof – the most beautiful spring garden in the world (their own words, but it is beautiful) – is actually closed for 2018 now, and won’t open again until 21 March 2019. It’s open just 8 weeks every year, leaving just a small window of opportunity for a trip there, and welcomes over a million visitors in that time, three quarters of which from abroad. That’s completely mad when you think about it; it’s close to 18,000 visitors a DAY. Given that I’d been daydreaming of waltzing around in some sort of silent floral dreamland (and also given that I don’t like people that much), there’s no wonder I thought it was busy.
Do not tiptoe through the tulips, even lightly
Speaking of which; if you’re here for shots devoid of people, you’ll need to be the first through the gate in the morning I imagine. We arrived around lunchtime and it wasn’t unpleasant (it’s a big place after all) but it certainly wasn’t quiet. If you’re looking for a bit more space between you and the next flower-admirer – yes please – or you’re looking for flower fields rather than flowerbeds, you can always take a boat tour between the nearby flower fields, or cycle in the vicinity. Unfortunately the flower fields weren’t in full bloom when I was there due to a particularly long winter, although you can just see a red one in the photo above. Oh, and also – you shouldn’t be walking through the fields, the Instagram photos location tagged as Keukenhof where you can see the subject is stood in a tulip field are an inconsiderate lie.
You’ll have to let me know what you thought of this somewhat structure-less ramble of a post; I’m not sure I’ve done a travel post like this before, but I just wanted to have somewhere to put more of the photos. I’ve got a lot of travel photos from pre-blogging days trips that I’d be quite keen to resurrect without having to do a ‘travel diary’ or ‘city guide’ type thing, which would seem a little out of date now. Keukenhof was such a pretty place to visit, and if you like photographing flowers it really is your dream attraction. Have you ever been – and did you enjoy it?
I was a guest of Stena Line and Visit Holland for this trip. All opinions, photos, and excessive photo-taking are very much my own.