Both Holland and Belgium are renowned for their exceptional coastlines and many of their campsites are located close to beautiful sandy beaches.
However, both countries are also worth exploring inland, especially for their historic towns and their mainly gentle countryside perfect for cycling and walking. All sites mentioned accept tents and caravans and many hire out ready-erected tents, mobile homes and cabins, sometimes through British companies.
By Camping Expert John Lloyd
Sites for families
A large family campsite in Belgium, south of Ostend, Kompas Camping in Nieuwpoort has heated pools, a children’s pool, tennis, mini-golf, an adventure playground, a children’s farm and a restaurant and bar. It also has access to a reservoir where watersports are available.
A roomy site close to a beach in the popular holiday area around Middelkerke, Camping De Lombarde in Lombardsijde has several seafront restaurants and a casino. Activities include tennis, table tennis, boules, basketball and fishing. The restaurant and bar open in high season and at weekends.
Duinrell Holiday Park in Wassenaar near Den Haag, is one of Holland’s most family orientated campsites, even featuring its own amusement park (free to campers) and the Tiki Pool, Europe’s largest waterslide park. The park also has themed restaurants and countless sporting activities. Worth a visit are Den Haag and elegant Scheveningen.
North of the cheese town of Alkmaar, Droompark Molengroet is near a watersports complex offering sailing and windsurfing. Site facilities include a heated swimming pool, a children’s play area and children’s farm. On the Ijsselmeer nearby are picturesque Hoorn and Enkhuizen, home to the open air Zuiderzee Museum.
Sites for couples
A metro ride from central Amsterdam, Gaasper Camping, occupying a park that includes gardens, woodland and a watersports lake, has a restaurant, cafe and supermarket. Laced with canals, Amsterdam has plenty to discover, including museums and galleries, and a colourful nightlife.
Camping De Roos beside the River Vecht in Ommen is a tranquil campsite in eastern Holland. It’s a nature lover’s paradise. Sports facilities include a football pitch, volleyball and basketball, table tennis and boules, while swimming is possible in the river. Bikes can be hired for exploring countryside close to the German border.
Camping Blaarmeersen offers easy access to the delightful medieval town of Ghent via pretty footpaths and well-organised cycle tracks. Facilities at this municipal site, next to a sports complex offering watersports, minigolf, tennis, squash and roller skating.
Camping de Zuidduinen, Katwijk is situated in a nature reserve amid coastal dunes. It’s a friendly site and impressively quiet. The site also has a restaurant, as well as table tennis and boules, and there are good hiking and cycle trails. Katwijk, a cheerful resort, is close to Leiden and the Keukenhof bulbfields.
Sites for single-parent families
Between Katwijk and Leiden, friendly Camping Koningshof is popular with families. Not too big, it has good facilities, including a heated outdoor swimming pool and paddling pool, plus an indoor pool and solarium, an adventure playground, tennis courts and fishing pond. There’s also a restaurant/bar, and take-away.
On the island of Noord Beveland in the Schelde Delta, Camping de Molenhoek is quieter than some of the coastal sites farther north. There is plenty for children, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant, and you can hire bikes for exploring places nearby like Veere, Middelburg and Goes.
Catering well for children, Wilhelm Tell camping park is a small site in wooded countryside in north-eastern Belgium. It has indoor and outdoor pools, with slides and wave machine, Jacuzzi, bar/restaurant and snack bar. Cycle and hiking trails access the Hoge Kempen National Park.
Near Knokke-Heist, by Belgium’s border with Holland, Camping Holiday is popular with young families. A tramline (De Kusttram), running 68km from Knokke to De Panne, is the longest in the world, while Het Zwin nature reserve is renowned for birds and wild flowers.
Want to go camping in France? See our guide to campsites in France.