Doornenburg CastleOctober 24 in the Netherlands
In contrast to nearby Germany we've hardly seen any castles in the Netherlands but today we are parked up across a field from one. Doornenburg provides 3 places for vans on 'grasscrete' side on to a quiet road. The drive here took us along the ridge of a wiggly dyke that displayed a 2.2m width limit. Martha Motorhome happens to be 2.32m wide so we were rather nervous but there didn't seem to be any other way to reach our destination. We couldn't see any pinch points and vehicles as wide as us or wider were coming from the opposite direction so we persevered and breathed a sigh of relief as we approached the sign telling us we could park overnight.
The pitch and therefore the van slopes to the right but using the chocs on this side would make it difficult for Poppy to jump in and turning Martha round would mean that Vicky couldn't gaze adoringly out of the side window at the two beautiful black horses, so Will decides to put up with the awkward angle.
Vicky spends the day doing odd jobs around the van and makes some more progreas organising our visit to the UK while Will heads to the canal with his fishing rods. He's getting good with all this practice!
After a quiet night we nip over the road to explore the castle, stopping on the way to say hello to the horses, one of which Vicky is pretty sure is a Dutch breed called a Groningen. His black coat shines and his thick mane falls over his arched muscular neck. It is testament to his even temperament that he just jumps a little when Vicky accidentally electrocutes him while leaning over the live wire to stroke him!
Doornenburg's fortification started life as a manor house in the 9th century before being converted into a castle in the 13th. Its tall rose brick walls, topped with pyramidal steeples surround an open courtyard and are themselves surrounded by a moat. Prior to the 2nd World War it underwent restoration, only to be completely destroyed by a British bombardment in 1945. A full rebuild was necessary, so although the layout is old, the structure is young. The small café was closed and there wasn't anybody else in sight so we amused ourselves with a short stroll around, taking in the vaulting horse, the anvil, large metal catapault, firepit, wooden stocks and stilts. We crossed a timber bridge to the chapel, added in the 15th century, but it too was closed. It was fun to look around and it helped distract Vicky from some of the guilt she felt for electrocuting the poor horse!Read more