Loving the busy city scene that comes with living in The Hague but looking for a wander in the great outdoors? Well, you’re in luck! There is a wide range of hiking routes and nature spots right on your doorstep.
We’ve got the ultimate guide for nature lovers, whether you are wanting a hike through the forest, or a ramble through The Hague’s beautiful gardens. Whether you have just moved to the city, or are a local looking to spice up your daily walks, you’ve come to the right place!
1. Westduinpark: where forests and dunes meet in The Hague
This is one for those that like a challenge, Westduinpark is known for its natural beauty and hilly terrain. Lying on the west coast of The Hague, it can be found between the beachy shores of Scheveningen and Kijkduin. The area used to be a favourite hunting ground for the royal House of Orange, nowadays its main inhabitants are Scottish highland cows that roam freely through the dunes. 🐮
As the city’s largest nature reserve, Westduinpark makes up 235 hectares of open space along with the Bosjes van Poot. It’s perfect for the outdoor adventurer as it offers a range of hiking, walking, and cycling routes. If you’re looking for a historical hike, you can follow the extensive system of underground passageways and bunkers left from the Second World War. Otherwise, you can follow the Nederlands Kustpad (The Dutch Coastal Path) for a beautiful hike with a view of the sea.
|📏 Walk distance: 13+ kilometres (round trip).|
🚲 How to get there: 20-minute cycle from the centre of The Hague.
📍 Starting point: Kranenburgweg.
🗺 Route: There are many routes you can take around the Westduinpark, but we recommend starting in the Bosjes van Poot to easily get in from the south of the city.
2. Park Clingendael: English landscape in the Netherlands
Sitting between The Hague and Wassenaar, Park Clingendael is one of the most beautiful country estates in the country. Known for its blend of English and Dutch landscaping, the national park is also home to a Japanese Garden. Accessible all year round, this park makes a great day trip with its open landscape and winding walking routes.
This park provides paths for the leisurely wanderer, as well as experienced hikers. Take a stroll through the picturesque grounds passing embassies and stately homes, or extend your hike out to the rugged dunes of Meijendel or Westduinpark that frame The Hague.
|📏 Walk distance: 15+ kilometres each way.|
🚲 How to get there: 20-minute cycle from the centre of The Hague.
📍 Starting point: Embassy of the United States of America.
🗺 Route: We recommend you take the scenic route through the park, past Duinzigt, and perhaps extend the walk towards Meijendel if you’re feeling adventurous.
3. Meijendel: the more dunes the better
After a lovely lunch in Park Clingendael, you might decide to walk it off in some slightly wilder scenery. If this sounds like the perfect afternoon to you, you’ll love Meijendel, just across the freeway on the western side of Clingendael.
Meijendel is the largest area of dunes in South Holland, stretching across Scheveningen, The Hague, and Wassenaar. As well as duney scenery, it boasts miles of forests, beaches, and water features. Because of its close proximity to the bustling city, it’s a favourite for Hague dwelling hikers.
|📏 Walk distance: 10+ kilometres (round trip).|
🚲 How to get there: 15-minute cycle from the centre of The Hague.
📍 Starting point: Duinzigt.
🗺 Route: As you come out from Park Clingendael, you head north through Duinzgit towards Museum Voorlinden. From there you can circle back around, heading towards Duttendel to get back into the city centre.
4. Scheveningen: The Hague’s very own beach
What could be better than a city with a beach? Maybe cocktails on said beach. But if you’re not feeling a drink, there is plenty to do on this kilometre-long span of sand. This is the perfect spot if you fancy a sandy stroll, or want to watch the sunset beyond the sea (we would highly recommend doing this, even in winter.)
From the harbour to Oestduinpark, there is a nice short route for a midday stroll. If you are looking for a more challenging trail, you can extend your hike out to the Meijendel area, where you can follow the coastline all the way to Noordwijk.
5. Scheveningse Bosje: a forest in the centre of The Hague
Would love a walk in the forest but don’t want to trek too far from the city centre? Scheveningse Bosje has got you covered. The bosje is located in the Scheveningen district of The Hague. It is part of the Cityduinpark initiative, aimed at connecting various green areas of the city. Perfect for a stroll while you’re on your lunch break or a longer hiking route if you’ve got more time to spare.
|📏 Walk distance: 8 kilometre (round trip).|
🚲 How to get there: The edge of the natural area is less than a 20-minute cycle from the centre of The Hague.
📍 Starting point: Zorgvliet.
🗺 Route: Starting off at the edge of this gorgeous estate will lead you into the inner city forest. Working your way up to Wesbroekpark, you can end your hike by relaxing next to the water.
6. Palace gardens: a very royal walk
These gardens are a great spot if you fancy a short walk. Originally known as the Princess Gardens, this is the King’s backyard. Next to the Noordeinde Palace, the gardens are the perfect place for an afternoon stroll or for a spot of sunbathing. If you want to take advantage of a sunny day and have a picnic, you can even buy picnic baskets at the Hofkwartier (Court Quarter) if you’re feeling fancy. 🎩
7. Malieveld: a walk with the best pancakes in The Hague
Don’t have time to venture out of town? Malieveld is the place for you. With ten hectares of lawn space, it’s the largest outdoor space in the centre of The Hague. Not only is it the site known for hosting multiple music festivals and holiday events, but it also houses the famous Pavillion Malieveld. Standing since 1941, the eatery is known for its range of traditional Dutch pancakes and sweet treats, from poffertjes to Old-Dutch waffles.
As well as a great spot for pancakes in the park, Malevield poses as the perfect place for experienced hikers to break off from the leisurely strollers. If you’re looking for more than a midday wander, it’s a great starting point for a long walk through the Haagse Bos.
8. Haagse Bos: a wander through fresh forests
Originally part of Malieveld, the Haagse Bos forest sits right on the park’s border. It’s one of the oldest forests in the Netherlands and is closely linked to the history of The Hague. Being about 100 hectares in size, it stretches from Malieveld to the municipality where the King used to hang his hat, Wassenaar. It’s perfect for a run, a walk, or maybe even a paddle.
|📏 Walk distance: 5+ kilometres (round trip).|
🚲 How to get there: The entrance of the forest is within walking distance from Den Haag Central station.
📍 Starting point: Boslaan, in the southeast corner of the Haagse Bos.
🗺 Route: A full loop of the forest will set you up for at least a 5-kilometre hike. We recommend you start in the south, so you can end your hike by taking a visit to the royal residence of Huis Ten Bosch in the north of the forest.
9. Wassenaar: a town fit for Kings
Think the town of Wassenaar is beautiful? You’re in good company. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima lived in the Eikenhorst estate in Voorschoten until 2019, which is only a stone’s throw away. The village itself houses a classic Dutch windmill and is perfect for a gezellig day trip, but it’s also surrounded by woodland areas ready for the seasoned rambler.
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South of the town centre of Wassenaar, you can find a vast stretch of forests and nature reserves around the Langoed De Horsten area — perfect for the avid hiker. This luscious patch of natural beauty stretches almost 10 kilometres, including the designated hiking area of Molenpad. There are so many hidden gems to discover, including a nordic hut blasting classical music for the pleasure of passers-by.
| 📏 Walk distance: 15+ kilometres (round trip).|
🚲 How to get there: The edge of the natural area is under a 20-minute cycle from the centre of The Hague.
📍 Starting point: Van der Valk Hotel Den Haag.
🗺 Route: If you want to get the full range of the natural beauty of this area, we recommend you head north towards Park Langoed Ter Horst which you can follow to do the full route of the Royal Estates of Den Horsten.
10. Zuiderpark: Go for a walk, a swim or a skate
Another spot that’s perfect for a lunchtime stroll. One of the most popular parks in The Hague, Zuiderpark has been providing fun for the whole family since the 1920s. But serious walkers can pick up the pace as a loop around the park will set you up for a good six-kilometre hike.
Not only does it contain a state of the art skate park, but also has great facilities for children. A prime place to take the little ones for a walk, Zuiderpark contains a nature playground, where kids can let off steam while getting to grips with the natural landscape. Whether that’s playing in the mud, or building a treehouse in the forest. There is also a stream that is safe to walk in, so get those wellies out!
|📏 Walk distance: Walk distance: 6+ kilometres (round trip).|
🚲 How to get there: The entrance of the park is less than a 20-minute bike from the centre of The Hague.
📍 Starting point: Melis Stokelaan.
🗺 Route: Taking on a loop of the park will give you at least a 6-kilometre ramble. If you head west through the park, you can visit the Kinderboerderij Herweijerhoeve (a petting zoo) where some farmyard animals can distract you from the daily grind.
11. Vlietland: visit the Randstad’s riviera
If you want to get away from the crowds and are a watersports enthusiast, we present Vlietland. The park is a 20-minute cycle from The Hague, making it the perfect location for a day trip. With 300 hectares of space, it’s the largest water-based natural area in the Netherlands. If swimming is not your thing, never fear, as Vlietland is surrounded by forests and spots for sunbathing (when you’re lucky enough to catch the Dutch sun).
|📏 Walk distance: 20+ kilometres route (roundtrip).|
🚲 How to get there: 30-minute cycle from the northeast of The Hague.
📍 Starting point: Leidschendammerhout.
🗺 Route: If you head north towards De Vogelknip you can hit both of the main lakes and the surrounding forest area.
So there we have it — you are now armed with 11 hiking routes and nature spots near The Hague. If you’re tired from all that walking, there are loads of other cool free things you can do in The Hague (a good alternative when you get a typically Dutch rainy day).
Know any other good spots for a hike around The Hague? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: Frank Holleman/Unsplash
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2021, and was fully updated in September 2021 for your reading pleasure.