Purple as the Provence: Heather in Limburg

When visiting the Netherlands, you will want to see the tulips, the windmills, Amsterdam, the art and much more (here are my tips for a few days in Amsterdam). When you venture off the beaten path and go into the rest of the country you will find some pretty amazing people, sights and places. One of them is the Brunssummerheide (sorry this one is in Dutch).

Heather in early Bloom
Heather in early bloom - middle of August

Where is it?

The town of Brunssum is about 2 hours south east from Amsterdam, and about a 20 minute drive from Maastricht or Aachen (DE). It is literally on top of the old dutch coal mines and as you drive around Brunssum you will see reminders of the old mines. You are in the hilly part of the country, and we are all very proud of those hills. They are quite picturesque, and if you like this area make sure to visit Valkenburg, Gulpen, and for example Vaals where you can walk in 3 countries in 5 seconds...

Many bike routes run through the Brunssummerheide and if you like to ride your bike, see if you can  plan a bike ride through the Heather fields.

What is Heather?

Well, according to Wiktionary, Heather is a small evergreen plant with spiky leaves and small purple, pink or white flowers. In the case of the Brunssummerheide, they are purple. In late summer, generally in August and September the Heather blooms, and totally colors everything purple. Entire slopes are dusted in purple.

When should I go?

Well, to see the full bloom, late August is a nice time. They days are typically nice and warm, so it makes for a nice walk. And the Heather is at its purplest. You do have to hope that it isn't too hot, as the heat shortens the season and it may turn brown pretty quick.

Purple Hills and Blue Sky
Purple Hills and Blue Sky

Also keep in mind that days are very long in August, and you will have harsh light in the middle of the day. So try to go early and see the dew or mist on the Heather, or stay a little longer to catch the warmer light at the end of the day.

Some Tips

The restaurant is not bad. It has a nice outdoor seating area. But make sure you bring your own bottles of water, or just empty bottles, as the restaurant does not sell bottled water. If you bring empty bottles, just fill them in the bathrooms. This is Holland, you can just drink from the faucet.

Parking: the main entrance, which leads to the restaurant via the Schaapskooiweg (https://goo.gl/maps/HwrhnY98X6AWFP36A) has a relatively small parking lot. So come early for this one. One way to go may be to go to the Roode Been, and use the Ouverbergstraat to another small parking lot, or the Toeristenweg (https://goo.gl/maps/pzZmWpJiWwABE9XGA).

Just Been There Art

Look at or buy art inspired by this trip. If you like this trip, but can't go, or you too have just been there, this unique art may rekindle fond memories of your own trip. Click the image for a link to the online store. Note: you will be leaving this site and connect to the artists site.

Day Trip in the Heather Fields by Christine Ong-Dijcks
Day Trip in the Heather Fields

All art copyright by: Christine Ong-Dijcks

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