Dutch Quilting and Spring Highlights Tour
Quilts, flowers & Delftware - an inspiring spring tour to the Netherlands
This multifaceted tour combines a trip to the Patchwork and Quilt Days show in Rijswijk with visits to Keukenhof, the most beautiful spring garden in the world, the charming city of Delft with its famous porcelain factory and the world famous museum of the Dutch Golden Age, Mauritshuis.
Quilt making has a long history in the Netherlands. The oldest reference to a Dutch quilt dates back to the 13th century, but the tradition really began to flourish in the 1600s when the Dutch East India Company started trading chintz from India in exchange for spices from the Far East. In the 18th Century, quilting became a popular pastime for many Dutch women and their creations played an important part in the development of quilting across the world.
The Patchwork and Quilting Days event in Rijswijk is an annual celebration of contemporary quilting and patchwork. Featuring displays of beautiful quilts illustrating the huge variety of styles and techniques being used today, as well as showcases of fabrics, patterns, materials and tools, this is a must-visit show for quilters and textile crafters of all kinds. Our programme gives you plenty of time to explore the inspirational stands and stock up on supplies to take home and use in your next project.
The 2020 event runs from 16th - 18th April
Keukenhof’s annual festival of spring flowering bulbs is one of the world’s most spectacular floral events and this tour offers a once-a-year opportunity to witness the garden’s seven million bulbs in flower.
Each year the world’s leading floriculturists meticulously choreograph the planting of new bulbs to create breathtaking displays of floral artistry and the air is full of the heady scent of tulips, anemones, daffodils, freesias and hyacinths.
There are more flights of floral fancy in the sculpture garden, while the exhibition pavilions showcase particular species. Tulip lovers should head for the William Alexander Pavilion, for example, while orchid aficionados are in for a treat at the Beatrix Pavilion. And if the site of all these flowers makes you want to try your own hand at floral design, you can pick up plenty of useful tips at demonstrations taking place each day in the Orange Nassau Pavilion.
The canal-ringed city of Delft has a rich history; synonymous with the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer and the iconic blue and white pottery that bares the city’s name, it is also the burial place of William of Orange. Our tour gives you ample free time to explore the medieval streets and cultural highlights.
History and Culture
Vermeer Centre – see the studio where Vermeer painted The Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft, along with high quality, full size images of the artist’s entire oeuvre.
Oude Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk – the magnificent old and new churches dominate the inner city. Visit Vermeer's grave at Oude Kerk, with its leaning tower and famous stained glass windows, and see where William of Orange was laid to rest at Nieuwe Kerk.
Museum Prinsenhof – immerse yourself in the history of Delft at this museum set in the former court of William of Orange.
Shopping and eating
The old city has plenty to tempt shoppers. The streets surrounding the Market Square - Oude Delft, Choorstraat, Voldersgracht, Wijnhaven, Hippolytusbuurt and Vrouw Juttenland - are filled with art galleries and one-off fashion and vintage boutiques.
Food-wise, there is something for every taste and budget. Two highlights are Visbanken, which was involved in the fish trade in the Middle Ages and is still the best place to go for a traditional Dutch herring or mackerel sandwich, and Het Gulden ABC, best known for serving ‘poffertjes’ (Dutch pancakes) to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
No trip to Delft would be complete without a visit to Royal Delftware. Established in 1653, it is now the city’s last remaining 17th century earthenware factory and its iconic Blue Delftware is still painted entirely by hand following centuries-old tradition.
Our programme includes a one hour tour that takes you on a fascinating journey through the brand’s 400 year history. Discover Royal Delftware’s links with Vermeer and the Dutch Royal Family in intriguing themed rooms which include a recreation of Vermeer’s dining room furnished with original Delftware from the period.
Carel Fabritius Het puttertje, 1654; Johannes Vermeer Gezicht op Delft, c. 1660-1661; Johannes Vermeer Meisje met de parel, c. 1665 All courtesy of Mauritshuis, Den Haag
Located in the heart of The Hague, the 17th century Mauritshuis Museum is home to the best Dutch paintings from the Golden Age. Among the 841 artworks on display are masterpieces such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt and The Goldfinch by Fabritius.
This cosy hotel in the heart of the city is full of character, art and antiques and boasts a bar overlooking the oldest canal in Delft. The 66 comfortable and peaceful guest rooms make the perfect base for sightseeing.
Please note, this is a sample itinerary based on the 2019 tour,
AM: Flights depart UK & Dublin airports
Arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, meet your Tour Manager and the rest of the group
Transfer to Delft and check in at Best Western Hotel
Orientation walk with the Tour Manager
PM: Free time to explore Delft
Welcome dinner at the hotel
Breakfast at the hotel
AM: Coach transfer to Patchwork en Quiltdagen Show in Rijswijk
Mid PM: Depart show for a tour of the Royal Delft Pottery
Evening at leisure
Breakfast at the hotel and check out
AM: Coach transfer to Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague
Early PM: Coach transfer to Keukenhof
Late PM: Depart Keukenhof for the airport and return flights to the UK & Dublin
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or, for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate, go to www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.
Our ATOL number is ATOL 6545. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.
Request a Call Back / Email
* PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WISH TO RESISTER FOR 2020*
Flights from Birmingham,
Flights from Bristol
Flights from Dublin
Flights from Edinburgh
Flights from London Heathrow,
Flights from Manchester
- Return flights to Amsterdam
- 2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation at the 4* Best Western, Delft
- Arrival dinner at Best Western, Delft
- Local transfers
- 1 day entrance to Rijswijk Quilt Festival
- Entrance to Keukenhof
- Entrance and 1 hour tour of The Royal Delftware Pottery
- Entrance and guided tour of Mauritshuis
- Porterage service per person at the hotel
- Services of an ECT Tour Manager
- Travel disruption insurance