Wind blasted sand dunes in the middle of Dutch suburbia.
It is starting to feel more and more like spring here in Slovenia with nature waking up after a long sleep, so I thought it was time for a travel post. One of the places that made it on to my travel list when I went to the Netherlands for a month during my PhD in 2022 was this one: the Lange Duinen sand dunes in Soest.
Soest is a town near Amersfoort and the region is home to two dune lands, simply called the Long and Short dunes. Both rather unexpected sandy areas were formed when the sand was pushed south during the last Ice Age and are amongst Dutch geological monuments. I decided to take a walk through Lange Duinen on a Sunday afternoon and for me it was a very nice experience. Although it might seem like there’s nothing special about a stretch of sand and there are of course many more impressive deserts in the world, I thought it was a rather unique sight to find a whole proper dune land in the middle of Dutch suburbs, complete with funky wind-shaped trees.
Impressions of Lange Duinen
The dunes are very easy to find and walk to from the Soest-Zuid bus station (about 15 minutes) and it’s certainly a strange feeling to turn a corner and suddenly walk into a land of sand instead of a park or a woodland area. The locals treat it the same though and you’ll see many people walking their dogs and kids playing in the sand. However, don’t believe all those stories of crazy amazing trees with floating roots in Soest – although the trees are interesting and funky due to wind and sand erosion, I could find only one tree with proper floating roots right in the middle of the open area and it is the one that everyone on the Internet seems to have taken a photo of. So, if you are into a relaxing walk through the sand and some funky trees, it is a great place to enjoy and perhaps have a picnic in, but if you are expecting a big natural spectacle, you will be disappointed.