Menu
Join our newsletter to receive updates.

Kasteeltuinen Arcen Gardens

By - May 3, 2010 (Updated: June 6, 2018)

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND MORE INFO IN MY DISCLAIMER.

Arcen Castle Gardens near Venlo in the Netherlands

This spring I discovered a new gorgeous garden in the Netherlands called Kasteeltuinen Arcen (The Castle Gardens of Arcen). Although my visit was a bit early in the season to see the gardens at their best, Arcen has quickly become my new favourite garden destination.

A few months ago I ordered a book called The Garden Lover’s Guide to the Netherlands and Belgium (Buy on Amazon US, UK). While flipping through, I was blown away by the illustration of Kasteeltuinen Arcen. Andrew and I decided we would visit Arcen gardens the day after our Keukenhof tour.

Kasteeltuinen Arcen Gate

Kasteeltuinen Arcen Gate

Arcen Castle dates from the 17th century and is built in the Baroque style. Its architecture however, is overshadowed by the 42 hectares of magnificent gardens. The property (which is a total of 450 acres) was purchased by the province of Limburg in 1976. In the 80’s the castle and gardens were restored and opened to the public.

As you first enter Arcen gardens, you walk into a traditional, formal garden. There are clipped hedges and neatly groomed flowerbeds. Apparently, there are 10,000 roses of 500 different species. Because we were visiting in early spring, many of the plants were not yet in bloom. The abundance of plantings and rose bushes definitely whetted my appetite to return later this summer and enjoy the flowers.

Entering Arcen Gardens

Entering Arcen Gardens

Formal Gardens at Arcen

Formal Gardens at Arcen

The next section of the gardens is a beautiful grassy area, dotted with ponds. Geese and ducks make their homes here and a circular path allows you to wander through. The daffodils were still blooming along the banks of the canals adding a splash of yellow to the brilliant green grass.

Daffodils bloom beside the canals

Daffodils bloom beside the canals

Then we came to one of my favourite areas – a beautiful woodland garden. In the shade of the trees azaleas, violets, fritillaria and astilbes bloom. There are also little streams and waterfalls flowing beneath blooming cherry trees. It is a gorgeous secret garden.

Strolling through the woodland garden

Strolling through the woodland garden

Stream in the shade garden

Stream in the shade garden

Primroses in the shade garden

Primroses in the shade garden

Fritillaria meleagris also known as Snake's Head Fritillary, Checkered Daffodil, Chess Flower, Frog-cup, Guinea-hen Flower, Leper Lily.

Fritillaria meleagris also known as Snake’s Head Fritillary, Checkered Daffodil, Chess Flower, Frog-cup, Guinea-hen Flower and Leper Lily. I just love these flowers!

At the farthest end of Arcen gardens is a huge glasshouse containing a tropical garden. Inside is a treetop walkway and large koi pond.

Inside the tropical greenhouse

Inside the tropical greenhouse

Feeding the koi

Feeding the koi

The koi and waterfowl aren’t the only animals in Arcen gardens. In addition to turtles, storks and black swans, there are also squirrel monkeys and lemurs. We entertained ourselves for ages watching a baby lemur learn to climb, with the help of his community.

Lemur Baby getting a boost

Lemur Baby getting a boost

On the far side of Arcen are the theme gardens, filled with decorative architecture, statues and artworks. You can visit gardens from around the world: Japan, Italy, Thailand and more.

Thailand? Bali? No Arcen in the Netherlands

Thailand? Bali? No Arcen in the Netherlands

In the Bamboo garden

In the Bamboo garden

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

There is also a playground area for children (and those of us that are kids at heart.) Andrew was thrilled to discover a 26 hole mini-golf course that was free to play and had some very challenging holes.

Being a kid in Arcen

Being a kid in Arcen

Andrew plays mini-golf

Andrew plays mini-golf

Arcen gardens are so much more than flowers. Wandering through this park is like strolling through a garden wonderland. Around every turn is something new and beautiful to discover. I can’t wait to return at see it at its best in the summer.

I apologize for all of the photos but it’s just such a great place that I couldn’t narrow them down anymore. So here are a few more. Enjoy!

Exploring the theme gardens

Exploring the theme gardens

Buzy as a bee

Buzy as a bee

Galanthus commonly known as snowdrops

Convallaria majalis commonly known as lily of the valley

Primrose

Primrose

Purple Hellebore (another of my favourites)

Purple Hellebore (another of my favourites)

Kasteeltuinen Arcen is located in the picturesque village of Arcen, 10 Km north of Venlo, in the province of Limburg. It’s an easy daytrip from Belgium or a great weekend getaway destination.

Love castles, palaces, and ruins like in this article? Us too! Don’t miss the full listing of Castles we’ve visited in Europe and beyond.

If you like this, you might like:

Alison Cornford-Matheson
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison Cornford-Matheson
- 2 months ago
Go top
Pin105
Share64
Tweet
+12
Stumble
Flip