Keukenhof Gardens, Holland (review published 2008)

The website says it’s the most photographed place in the world.
Can you guess what it is? The Eiffel Tower, perhaps? Or what about Buckingham Palace, the Great Wall Of China, the Colosseum, Disneyworld in Florida or Egypt’s pyramids?
In fact, you may be surprised to learn that it’s Keukenhof Gardens.
And its boast is even harder to believe when you consider that the Netherlands attraction is only open to the public for two months of the year.
But my doubts disappeared last April when I visited Keukenhof and found more snappers than are usually camped outside Brad and Angelina’s place.
Keukenhof, in Lisse, midway between Rotterdam/Hook of Holland and Amsterdam, is the largest spring garden in the world. It covers 32 hectares and has 15km of footpaths.
It’s a riot of colour with seven million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other spring bulbs creating imaginative designs as they flower.
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There are daily demonstrations and seven themed ‘inspiration gardens’ showing what can be achieved with the right combination of greenery and materials.
For children, there’s a playground, maze and animal paddock.
A good day to visit is the day of the bulb region’s annual flower parade, called Bloemencorso (next year it’s on Saturday, April 25).
About 40 floats plus decorated cars pass Keukenhof in the afternoon on their 12-hour, 40km route from Noordwijk to Haarlem.
However, it’s also the garden’s busiest day of the season. It’s not overcrowded but the queues for the toilets can be very long.
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For more information visit the Keukenhof website
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