Breathtaking nature and stunning lakes

National landscape: The Green Heart

In the centre of the Green Heart lies Nieuwkoop, hidden and beautiful. The Green Heart offers cyclists and hikers opportunities to explore a region that only a few have discovered before them. This area is a historical landscape. Canals with green banks run through a patchwork of meadows and swamps. On small paths you can follow in the footsteps of farmers, royalty, merchants and Dutch painters.

The nature of Nieuwkoop

Whenever you think of Nieuwkoop, you think nature. Unique nature in that. The Nieuwkoop Lakes are a protected part of the Dutch landscape. This means that not everything may be accessed by the public, because it’s a place where rare birds breed, or vulnerable plants grow. However, there is more than enough nature for everyone to explore. Nieuwkoop is famous for the painters of the Haagse School, who came here because of the mesmerizing natural environment and the extraordinary lighting. To this day, many artists are inspired by this unique area.

Nature reserves

- The Nieuwkoop Lakes

Sailing on the Nieuwkoop Lakes, you’ll find out about all the things this beautiful nature reserve has to offer. From a small, exciting waterway to the big open lakes, this wonderful place can also be discovered by foot. Over the recently renovated Meijepad, along rough paths, through meadows or on the magnifcent Lusthof  De Haeck, cyclists can explore various routes around or over the lakes. Whichever way you want to explore the lakes, you’ll be amazed by their beauty. Read more about the Nieuwkoop lakes here.

- De Groene Jonker

In a short amount of time, this area has now been inhabited by bird species such as the spoonbill which ’haven’t been found locally for a very long time. A true recommendation!

- Lusthof de Haeck

Lusthof de Haeck is a protected walking area near the Nieuwkoop Lakes. There is a route that takes you along winding paths to forests, lakes and fields full of spices, yellow fleur-de-lis, marsh-marigold and orchids. Many kinds of birds live here as well. Amongst others are rare buzzards, robins, wrens, reedwarblers and purple herons. The paths are only partly surfaced, so good walking shoes are a must.

- Ruygeborg

A fairly new nature reserve in which birds such as the spoonbill, bluethroat and purple heron look for food. What’s special about this area is that it’s still developing. It’s expected to grow into a small-scale, varied reserve. Ruygeborg connects the Vinkeveen Lakes and the Nieuwkoop Lakes. Especially for birds this connection has proven to be of great importance; the spoonbills have already learned to make use of this unique place.


The visitor’s centre of Natuurmonumenten is located in the town of Nieuwkoop and is the ideal starting point for a fun day on the Nieuwkoop Lakes. Discover the area from a boat, or by walking or cycling. Throughout the entire year, activities are organised for people of all ages, inside and outside. Browse through the shop or visit the ever-changing displays. For more information, visit the website of Natuurmonumenten or find their activities in our agenda.