See & do

Mills in the peat meadow area

A bike ride through the peat meadow area in the northwest of the province. You cycle or drive with the e-chopper past seven windmills, river the Vecht with its leafy country houses, castle Loenersloot, polders, puddles, capholes and laying fields. Would you like to visit a mill? When the flag is out, the mill is open. The route starts at Van der Valk Hotel Breukelen!

03, 84, 02, 33, 31, 30, 29, 50, 49, 48, 44, 38, 59, 16, 60, 81, 64, 63, 06, 07, 05, 03

Creation of the peat meadow area

For a long time this environment consisted of peat wilderness. Between the 10th and 13th centuries, drainage ditches were dug to make the area suitable for arable farming. Dewatering settled the peat and a few centuries later the peat land had become too boggy for arable farming. The farmers switched to animal husbandry and the production of milk, butter and cheese. From the 14th century, cities grew and the demand for fuel grew. Wood was scarce and peat [dried peat] was a good alternative. Large areas of peat bog were excavated. The peat was left to dry on laying fields. Elongated puddles, the cap holes, remained in between. Due to high water and currents, the cap holes became wider and more and more peat soil disappeared into the water. This is how lakes were created. When the Dutch were able to dry the peat puddles with windmills from the 15th century, part of the land was reclaimed. It was no longer a peat soil, but a clay soil.