Suggestions for last leg of my trip

I am a solo travler with a roundtrip ticket to Amsterdam - arriving July 10th and departing July 24th (5:00 PM flight). I have most of my trip planned but am trying to decide how to close it out. Here is my itinerary so far: -Arrive in Amsterdam July 10th - stay three nights (10, 11, 12) -Train booked to London - stay six nights (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) -Train booked to Brussels - plan to head to Bruges for 2-3 nights - no hotel locked in yet.
-Not sure where else to go - I would only have one night if I stay 3 nights in Bruges. I am thinking about the Rhine Valley for a day but maybe I don't have enough time to fit it in with the train travel. Does anyone have any ideas as to the last leg of my trip? I love to hike, bike, walk, and I love the water. Are there any hidden gems that I am am missing that would fit in to my travel plans? Thanks in advance!

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3509 posts

There are lots of towns in Belgium and Holland that are worth visiting. The Hague has a great beach. Delft is charming. And Ghent, to name a few. 3 nights in Bruges sounds like a lot to me. From London, you could spend a couple of days in Bath or the south coast. Or 3 days in the Lake District.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9116 posts

I would say go to the coast in either Belgium or the Netherlands. On of my favorite little beach towns is Domburg, in Zeeland province of the Netherlands. But this may be a little hard to reach without a car. The Belgian coast is easily accessible from Brugge. My favorite town is De Haan, although Middelkerke, De Panne and Knokke are also nice. The largest town, Oostende, is a little too Atlantic City for me. Even if the weather is too cool for a swim, these towns can still provide a pleasent surrounding to while away a day or two.

Posted by Sue
Ypsilanti
22 posts

Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe I will go with 2 nights in Bruges and figure out somewhere else to go from there. The Rhine Valley sounds nice but I wouldn't mind spending more time in Belgium or the Netherlands either.

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

Gent or Antwerpen, both relatively short and easy train hops from Brugge. However, I recently overheard a conversation in a hotel in Brugge. A guest who had just arrived asked the gentleman at the hotel Reception where she and her husband should day trip to nearby. He replied: "But you are in Brugge!" :) Tip: The exceptionally nice Hotel Adornes in Brugge has a good number of bikes on site that are available for the guests to use free of charge. I took one out and had a wonderful ride to some windmills and along a larger canal not far from the hotel. Also great buffet breakfast. The hotel is a few streets away from the most touristy part of the city (so it's very quiet), and facing right onto the intersection of 2 canals, with some good restaurants and a very old historic pub within a block away.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4769 posts

The coast is such a quick and easy trip by train from Brugge and it is lovely up there. I love walking the beaches at Oostende. Agree with Tom that the city isn't a huge tourist attraction, but the chocolates are still delicious, and the boardwalk/promenade that goes all the way down the coast is worth walking. Lots of dunes, old gun emplacements and bunkers to see along here too. Antwerp would be another good spot to visit. Brugge is lovely, but one day there is enough for me, 2 would be tops. I know some people really love it here, but it is quite touristy, and getting to some other towns is worthwhile to get more of a feel for Belgium.

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

It's just that Sue lives in the state of Michigan, the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," including not far from the humongous Lake Huron, the 2nd largest of North America's Great Lakes, with a surface area of 23,000 square miles. I was thinking she might like to see something different than big water, which she can probably see plenty of at home. No question, though, the North Sea beaches in Belgium are quite huge and wonderful, even if it was very windy when I was there recently. CORRECTION: I did - in a late-night haze - mix up Michigan with Minnesota. Turns out Michigan has 62,798 lakes! And, in response to the reply below, there's nothing wrong with checking one's facts before posting. Beats stating strong personal opinion as though it were fact.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7973 posts

Rose: 'Lake Huron, the 2nd largest of North America's Great Lakes, with a surface area of 23,000 square miles.' Wiki: 'By surface area, Lake Huron is the second-largest of the Great Lakes, with a surface area of 23,000 square miles'

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1969 posts

Is there a contest going on? I think Minnesota has been mixed up with Michigan. Having just returned from Michigan and having gone to Belgium last year, I guarantee you that they are different. You can't go wrong no matter where you choose to spend your day. There was a recent post about a natural park with an art museum full of Van Goghs in the middle of the woods. They have free bikes for visitors to ride. There's also a living museum close by. It's in the south of the Netherlands near the German and Dutch borders.
Hoge veluwebnational park.

Posted by Sue
Ypsilanti
22 posts

Thanks for the tip on Hotel Adornes in Bruges! I checked it out and am in the process of booking it. It sounds great!! It is true that the lakes in Michigan are very beautiful and therefore, us Michiganders are probably picky about beaches. That is why I'm torn with heading to the coast or the Rhine or finding something altogether different for the last leg of my trip. But thanks for the suggestions! I'll continue to think on it and since the rest of my trip is planned out, maybe I'll "wing it" in the end!

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

Sue, at the Hotel Adornes, on the side street that the hotel faces out onto (across from the door to the bike storage), there's a large-ish white-washed building that's actually quite old. It used to be a monastery. The monks had the duty of checking the water level of the canal. If you walk 1/2-3/4 of the way across the bridge over the canal just outside the hotel's front door and look back toward the hotel, then down on the inner wall of the canal next to the bridge, you will see the relief carving of a monk holding a pole. It's something most people don't see or understand unless it's pointed out and explained. It's a bit of interesting fun to read the past history of a place by discovering little things like this. Have a wonderful time in Brugges. Try to see the Hans Memling paintings in the Sint-Janshospitaal museum.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2603 posts

Sue... being from Michigan and also loving the water I do have to say there is nothing much that can compare to Oval Beach in Saugatuck (Lake Michigan), however while the water and dunes and dune grass may appear the same, if you give me a town where the people speak another language I can always find a reason to love it. I have a number of favorite European beach towns and always try to make time to hang out at the Sea.