Little Clogs are a travel company based in Altrincham in the North west. They specialise in family holidays to the Netherlands.
The company is run by two mums - Laura and Jane, we decided to get to know them a little bit more and find out about the hidden gems of the Netherlands.
Why do you specialise in The Netherlands and Belgium?
These are both very family-friendly countries which people tend to associate with city breaks. The idea for Little Clogs came when Laura’s children were one and two and she was looking online for a last minute toddler holiday. Everything seemed to be Spain or Portugal with hotel accommodation and unsuitable flight times so they ditched that idea and spent a week on the Belgian coast with family instead (Laura’s partner is Belgian).
So many people Laura chatted to were surprised to learn about the beaches and family-friendly places to stay and so a seed was sown!
Laura and Jane have been friends for over 20 years and had always dreamed of having a business together. Jane lives in the Netherlands with her Dutch husband and their three children and has an amazing insight and experience of holidays in the Netherlands herself.
What's so special about these countries? Why would we want to go there?
Both countries are famous for their city breaks and real life stereotypes (Belgian waffles, chocolate, chips, Dutch canals, cheese, a laid back attitude, pancakes, clogs, windmills, tulips and Miffy etc) but they also have some stunningly beautiful nature and are incredibly diverse (in Belgium you have the beaches and Dutch-speaking North and the rolling hills and French-speaking South.
In the Netherlands you don’t have to travel far to see beautiful beaches, dunes and islands, the tulip fields, a desert or go on safari.
Easy travel- they are very easy to get to- either by a very short flight or by ferry/channel tunnel. Driving is straight forward and as they are relatively small countries you can see a lot in a short amount of time. It is also easy to have a multi centre holiday where you can experience different locations and environments without having to travel for long periods.
These countries are awash with child-friendly places to stay and places to visit. There are attraction parks that are specifically centred around younger children but where there are full on family attraction parks the younger children are never overlooked, with the focus being on the whole family.
Children are welcomed everywhere
There are some really unique places to stay and so many different accommodation types; eg at Beekse Bergen you can stay in luxury safari lodges overlooking the giraffes! On other parks you can rent a treehouse, a lodge tent with dishwasher and bath or a luxury farmhouse with a private chef!
It’s also worth adding that in the Netherlands we can take advantage of different holiday patterns when prices are cheaper. Eg Dutch schools don’t have Easter holidays, or May half term and schools tend to go back around the third week of August so the last week of August is usually a good time to travel. These are interesting and unique places to visit, wholesome and in many ways educational too. And just on our doorstep!
What's great for kids if we were to take them there?
You would find plenty of space for children to explore. Families are welcomed wherever you go and you don’t feel restricted to ask if children are allowed in cafes, restaurants etc. Often spontaneous activities can be spotted for children in places you don’t expect. There are plenty of free family activities and endless local attractions which are suitable for the whole family. Accommodation wise the holiday parks are of an extremely high standard and all have pools, indoor and outdoor play areas, and plenty of activities aimed at children.
All the places we feature have been chosen because of their suitability for very young children but most this does not mean that they are not suitable for the whole family. We wanted parents of young children to know they could book a holiday that was stress-free and where all the safety factors within the accommodation had been catered for. We also feature parks which have activities ranging all the way up to 20+ so there really is something for everyone, of all ages and tastes. (some of the Dutch ones have impressive water slides and theme parks too). Most of the holiday parks we feature have unique children’s themed accommodations which come with toys, games, children’s sized furniture etc.
In brief what is great is that you have holiday parks with excellent pools, play areas and activities for children, high quality child friendly accommodation and lots of family places to visit and beautiful nature all on your door step.
I've been to the Netherlands and there's all different landscapes including some beautiful beaches - do you think people don't realise how great it is?
Yes, definitely! People tend to associate these destinations with city breaks and don’t realise how perfect they are for families. It really is a bit of a hidden gem. Eg you have the World Heritage Wadden Islands at the north of the country, beautiful beaches which go on and on, woodland and cycle routes between pretty villages, cheese market towns, tulip fields, sand dunes and a Dutch desert (the largest inland sand dunes in Western Europe can be found really close to Beekse Bergen and Efteling in the south of the country). Also did you know there’s a whole village set on water called Giethoorn, a Dutch Venice.
What would be your top three places to visit in The Netherlands?
This is very difficult, can we pick four?! These would be Beekse Bergen, Hof van Saksen, Efteling and Duinrell. These are the most popular and all have their own unique selling points!
Beekse Bergen adjoins the largest safari park in the region where there is a luxury safari resort with a pool, play areas, bar and restaurant, kids activities and accommodation with direct views of the animals. Beekse Bergen holiday park has a sandy lake beach and toddler friendly attraction park on the beach. It also has a separate pool and loads of play areas.
Hof van Saksen resort is regarded as the most upmarket holiday park in the Netherlands. It is in the north of the country about 30 mins from the city of Groningen. It has unique children’s academies, lake beach, pools and the largest indoor waterslide in the world!
Duinrell Is only 30 mins from Amsterdam and a 20 minute bike ride from a beautiful beach. On site is has a family friendly theme park and an impressive water park with indoor and outdoor pools, water slides and a whole separate area for younger children.
Efteling Bosrijk: Efteling Is the most popular family attraction in the Netherlands, a traditional and enchanting fairytale theme park based on the characters from the traditional Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen books. The fairytale forest is a paradise for young children whilst the older ones can enjoy the thrills and spills of the rollercoasters. Efteling has several holidays parks and hotels and we love Efteling Bosrijk. You can stay in woodland or lake houses just a short walk from Efteling, enjoy all the on park facilities and listen to bedtime stories told by the Sandman himself.
If we came to book through Little Clogs, what would you do for us?
We offer genuine, honest advice, price comparisons and share our own knowledge and experience of these destinations.
If we don’t know something we’ll go out of our way to find out for you. We pride ourselves on really listening to our customers so that we can get their holiday just right for their own interests and needs.
We really enjoy guiding and supporting our customers in their holiday choices. We only feature holidays that we have personal experience of where possible and when we haven’t visited, trusted friends and family have. We truly believe these are perfect family destinations for family holidays and it is our drive to share this with others that inspired us to set up Little Clogs. We don’t recommend anything to our customers if we don’t believe in it ourselves.
What makes Little Clogs different from other travel agents?
Whilst we offer a bespoke travel service our business model is not technically a travel agent, we are more a marketing agent. This means that we act as an affiliate for the places we feature and we receive a small commission when bookings are made via our website.
Our services are completely FREE and we sometimes get exclusive discount codes which we pass on to our customers. Otherwise the price paid is the same as going direct but we add value with our knowledge, experience and personal touch!
We hope our Little Clogs community values our help and knowledge enough to book
through our site, helping us to keep our business going AND growing!
Written by Laura and Jane from Little Clogs holidays.
You can also read Alison's story of her Netherlands Road trip - with parts booked through LittleClogs here: https://www.seatkickers.co.uk/post/a-netherlands-roadtrip-with-two-kids
And if you want to join in the chat, please come join our Seatkickers community on Facebook