Den Ilp, Netherlands
Den Ilp Reviews
Ribbon development villagetype Apr 21, 2008
This small village of not even 1000 inhabitants is a good example of the ribbon development, which is typical for the Northern and Western parts of Holland.
Bordered on the west side by the recreation area "Het Twiske" and on the eastern side by the protected wildlife area "Het Ilperveld", Den Ilp from south to north has a length of appr. 3 kilometers, and has in its "centre" (the part where the school and the cafe are) two small side streets of which one leads to the recreation area "het Twiske".
The ribbon shape is caused by the habit of building houses alongside the major ditch, the common way of tranportation since ancient times in this marsh area, either goods or people.
It used to be habitated by fishermen and small livestock farmers, not the richest people, but since the increase of prosperity starting in the 1960's the village became of interest for townsfolk seaking for space and quietness. Those people start to build their homes on the open spaces the village had plenty of.
Nowadays there are several smaller boatyards, the place is ideal for boats with low depth, the ditches are pretty muddy. All those ditces and smaller lakes still offers a great choice of freshwaterfish, so it is a great place for anglers as well, but not without permit ofcourse.
When you are thirsty there is the café (or pub) De Drie Zwanen (The three Swans) which foresee in your needs, here you can have coffee and cake, or a beer, or any drink you like.
There also is a Saunacomplex with saunacabins, steam rooms, and hot pools.
For artlovers there is the gallery of the late Anton Heyboer, runned by Petra, who was one of his wives (he had five at the same time, however he was legally only married to one).
In December many of the gardens and frontyards of the houses of the 3 km long village are beautifully illuminated and decorated with thousands and thousands of lights and big ornamental statues, the cafe organizes special evening-tours with horsedrawn carriages.
Once or twice a year the actors of the local dramatic club shows their skills. And there is a nice brass instruments orchestra, a fanfare.
A local food speciality is smoked eel, and then in fact the ones caught in the ditches around the village, the so-called "Polderaal" (polder-eel)
In the nearby recreation area "het Twiske" many playing facilities are there, big grassfields to play ball games, a great number of hiking routes, some of them marked, bicycle paths, and ofcourse here as well: lots of water for rowing a boat, or have a swim.
Scuba diving is practised in the lake the Stooterplas in the centerpart of the area, in the nearby village of Landsmeer a fill-station for air tanks is found.
The lake is 40 to 50 meters deep, therefor it takes too long too freeze entirely in our "mild" winters, making it a resting place to thousands of ducks of all kinds in wintertime.
The nature area "Het Ilperveld" is only accessible by small boats, therefore it is really peaceful. It is breeding area for a great number of birds, such as Godwits, Oystercatchers, Bitterns, Lapwings to name a few, and also smaller birds such as Sedge-warblers, and Marsh-warblers.
And ofcourse the birds of the water, a.o. Mallards, Moorhens, Coots, Grebes.
Anglers can "hunt" for Carp, Pike, Tench and many other fish.
Part of the Marsh area - Waterland travel blog
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