Noordwijkerhout and De Zilk
With the largest area of colorful flower bulb fields of the region, Noordwijkerhout calls itself ‘Heart of the Bulb Region’. The village has more than 16,000 inhabitants.
Like Hillegom and Lisse, Noordwijkerhout has also been formed on a beach shore. Strandwallen (Beach Walls) are remnants of the old dunes that formed after the ice age. In the area that is now called Langeveld, the first inhabitants settled. During the Roman era there lived a Germanic tribe; the Caninefaaten. This name is honored by one of the four carnival associations known to the village, the Kaninefaaten. Before the Middle Ages there was a road from Noordwijk (then Northgo) to ‘den Grooten Hout’, a forest east of Noordwijk. At a hunting lodge that was standing there at that time, the village of Noortiger-hout originated. The name of the county of Holland, which descends from Holtland (Houtland, in English: Woodland), indicates that the area must have been very woody. In the municipal archives, documents were found from 1231 which show that the legacy of Count Gerolf was divided between his two sons. One of them got Nortich (Northgo) and the other Nortich in den Houte in other words Noordwijkerhout.
For centuries, the inhabitants of Noordwijkhout lived largely from arable farming and livestock farming. They experienced a lot of trouble from large numbers of dune rabbits who ate the crops. Alternative sources of entry were sought in shellfish fishing, by poaching or by beachcombers. In the seventeenth century a lot of flax was cultivated and processed in Noordwijkerhout. Rich notables from neighboring cities built outbuildings in the 17th and 18th centuries, which also caused additional income and employment. In the second half of the 19th century began the digging out of the old beach walls. The sand was used mainly for the lime sandstone industry but later proved very suitable for flower bulb cultivation. After 1950, the surface of bulb fields in almost 20 years was almost doubled by converting grassland into bulb ground. In recent years, many bulb farmers are starting to grow their bulbs in greenhouses.
Noordwijkerhout is about 5 kilometers from the North Sea. However, the village has no beach because the boundaries of Noordwijk have more or less enclosed the village. Yet, many people of Noorderwijkerhout (Dutch: Noordwijkerhouters) consider the Langevelderslag as their “beach” as they sing in their national anthem. The Oosterduinsemeer, which Noordwijkerhouters call Lake Como, offers space for water recreation. The village has several campsites and hotels and there are many hiking and cycling routes in and around the village. At the village center De Zilk you will find the entrance to the Amsterdam Waterleidingduinen. A beautiful dune area with the largest deer population in the Netherlands. In spring Noordwijkerhout and De Zilk are surrounded by colorful bulb fields.