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.
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.
Wednesday 15th April
AM - Flights depart UK
PM - Arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, meet your Tour Manager and the rest of the group
Transfer to Delft and check in at Best Western Museum Hotel
Orientation walk with the Tour Manager and free time to explore Delft
1900-2000h - evening meal at a restaurant close to the hotel
2000-2130h - talk from guest speaker Herma de Ruiter
Thursday 16th April
Breakfast at the hotel
0915h - coach transfer to Patchwork & Quiltdagen show in Rijswijk
1500h - coach transfer to the Royal Delft Pottery for a guided tour
Early Evening - return to hotel and evening at leisure
Friday 17th April
Breakfast at the hotel
0930h - check out and coach transfer to Mauritshuis Den Haag for guided group tour
1200h - coach transfer to Keukenhof, arriving 1300h
1800h - depart Keukenhof for the airport and return flights to the UK
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.
All flights are with KLM.
Flights from Birmingham
Outbound KL1422, depart 0915h - arrive 1130h
Inbound KL1435, depart 2105h - arrive 2120h
Flights from Bristol
Outbound KL1050, depart 0920h - arrive 1135h
Inbound KL1057, depart 2200h - arrive 2210h
Flights from Edinburgh
Outbound KL1278, depart 0910h - arrive 1145h
Inbound KL1293, arrive 2110h - arrive 2135h
Flights from London Heathrow
Outbound KL1008, depart 0955h - arrive 1225h
Inbound KL1033, depart 2030h - arrive 2055h
Flights from Manchester
Outbound KL1072, depart 0900h - arrive 1115h
Inbound KL1083, depart 2115h - arrive 2135h
Prices include 1x 12kg hand luggage and 1x 23kg hold luggage
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Flights from Birmingham, £805
Flights from Bristol, £835
Flights from Edinburgh, £845
Flights from London Heathrow, £785
Flights from Manchester, £805
Single room supplement, £80 per night
Land only price, £635 (join the tour at Schipol or at the hotel)
- Return flights to Amsterdam
- 2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation at Best Western Museum Hotel Delft
- Arrival dinner at a local restaurant
- 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
- Presentation from guest speaker