If you think the Netherlands is just cities like Amsterdam and flat polders filled with tulips, think again. In the East of the Netherlands there are huge areas of sandy woodlands. If you cycle north of Wageningen for just ten minutes you are in the woods, and you can then cycle, off-road, for hours, with large areas of forest, heathland and inland dunes. You are in the Veluwe, an area popular with Dutch tourists, but little-known outside the Netherlands. For part of the area there are few restrictions on where you can go. You do not have to stick to waymarked tracks (although they do exist if you prefer that). There are restrictions south of Wolfheze (where there are vulnerable areas with rare plants and animals) and the Utrechtse Heuvelrug (the moraine area west of Veenedaal and North of Rhenen), where mountain bikers are restricted to the official routes apparently because of the high recreative pressure on the area. The military zone of the Ginkelse Heide has restricted access and in parts of the Renkumse Beekdal mountain biking is not allowed. Look out for the signs!

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