Why you shouldn’t overlook the Netherlands for your next school geography trip

Last updated: Sep 6th, 2019

Whilst it’s easy to be dumbfounded by the waterfalls of Iceland, the Berber villages of Morocco and the volcanoes of Italy, the Netherlands deserves a place on your school’s bucket list. The landscapes might not be as spectacular, but its sweeping coastal scenes and unexpectedly charming cities offer more geography than you think. And the innovation behind the environment is simply revolutionary.


They’re the masters of water management

With its low lying topography and reclaimed land, the Netherlands is extremely vulnerable to flooding, making flood prevention a big priority. And they’re masters at it:

  • Windmills played a vital role in early water management by draining the land
  • Innovative engineering projects protect the coast, such as storm surge barriers of Delta Plan and softer strategies like the dunes and beach nourishment
  • Rivers are managed through the Room for the River Project, giving the river more space to manage high water levels

Nearly a third of the country lies below sea level

They’ve been reclaiming land from the sea for years

As one of the most densely populated nations on the planet, the Netherlands has become an expert at reclaiming land from the sea. It’s a constant battle against water which requires a fine balance between hard and soft measures. But by building protective dikes and polders, the Dutch have been carving out their country and reclaiming marshland for agriculture for years.



There’s more to Amsterdam than you think

Renowned for its impressive museums, historic monuments and bike-loving locals, Amsterdam is culture personified. Simply gazing up at its gable houses, or down at its labyrinth of canals, is enough to lull you into a haze of ‘ooh, isn’t this nice’.

 But amongst all the cultural draws, Amsterdam is an excellent example of urban management, from renewal and regeneration to its integrated transport system. Home to arguably one of the best and most reliable public transport systems, the Dutch prove how efficient they are on getting around; making one of the world’s most densely populated nations one of the most accessible.



The Dutch are innovators at heart

The Port of Rotterdam: the gateway to goods

The Port of Rotterdam plays a vital economic role in the world of globalised trade, and the country’s impressive waterways continue to play a part in the transportation of goods throughout Europe. As Europe’s largest port, it’s home to the world’s most modern container terminals and largest sea-going vessels, which handle hundreds of millions of tons of cargo each year.


It’s a stone’s throw away (almost)

Don’t fancy the long journey? The Netherlands is a great close-to-home destination that can easily be reached by coach from the UK – reducing the carbon footprint associated with flying. That means you can spend less time travelling and more time exploring, because that’s what a geography trip should be all about.



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