Countryside living, on the water, 40km from Amsterdam centre

Traditional 100+ year-old Dutch "Dyke-house", at the edge of a village. Unobstructed views over the countryside, including traditional Dutch windmills, and literally a hop skip and a jump into the water.

This house was originally two houses, so there`s lots of space. Downstairs, the modern kitchen has a wonderful light and bright view of the water. The large dining room has a country-style table that can seat 8 strangers or 10 good friends. A cozy living room, with TV (with Netflix, BBC1 and BBC2, and other international channels). The main bathroom is on the ground floor too.

Upstairs there are four rooms, but only three are in use as bedrooms. One of these (with a single bed) doubles as a study, and another with a small double bed (20cm wide) has an ensuite toilet and washbasin. There`s another washbasin in the dressing room, which is adjacent to the master bedroom. The master has a king-sized bed, and lots of space. Together with the study/single bedroom, it enjoys a smashing view of the countryside.

The canal outside the house is a "ringvaart". Water actively moves through it, so it`s suitable for swimming etc. If you are a confident boater, you can use our boat with an electric motor (or oars!) and there`s also a kayak. The nearby pub rents stand up paddle-boards.

When it's chilly outside, there's gas central heating. Our electricity comes from our own solar panels - though we're also on the grid. There is a washing machine, but not a dryer. An outside line, and drying racks do the job for us.

About the location

Lots of lovely cycle routes around here. We will have 3 bikes - one electric - available for you. We`re just a few km from the edge of the Beemster - the first area that the Netherlands reclaimed from the water, and now a World Heritage Site.

The village of Ursem has a small but very well supplied supermarket. There is a great bakery 5km away - in a windmill. In season, we buy most of our fresh foods from farm shops or `Honesty Box` fruit and vegetable stands within a few kilometres. Bigger shops in Avenhoorn, 6km, and a very full selection in Heerhugowaard. Alkmaar is the closest thing to a big town with shopping streets etc.

The village has a pub and a snack bar. Food is available at the pub/restaurants `Halfweg`, less than 1km away, and the `Gouden Karper` - 2km from here.

If you want to explore the Netherlands, the closest train stations are Heerhugoward (8km) or Hoorn (14km). From either, it`s about 35 minutes by train to Amsterdam Central Station, and of course the rest of the country is within reach too.

There is an hourly bus service, weekday daytimes, between Ursem and Heerhugoward train station. However, unless you are very comfortable using bikes, you`re probably going to want to have a car for exploring this area, or just getting to the train station.

Closer by than Amsterdam, and really worth a visit:

Alkmaar - it has a touristy but still interesting cheese market on Fridays, and its old town centre is lovely on any day.

Hoorn - a sea port that competed with Amsterdam to become the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company. As it lost, a larger part of its medieval centre is preserved. Ih is home to the excellent Museum of West Friesland, and the Museum of the 20th Century. You can also take boat rides from here on the Ijsselmeer - formerly the Zuiderzee.

Enkhuizen - Very pretty small fishing village that was wealthy in the early 17th century. The Museum of the Zuiderzee is an open air `living` museum that uses actors in costume to show how life was, before the sea was cut off, creating the fresh water Ijsselmeer. And for extra joy, you can get there by boat from near Enkhuizen train station.

Type of swap

  • Home Exchange
  • Non Simultaneous Exchange
  • Housesitting Wanted
  • Open to Offers
  • Long Term Exchange
  • Housesitting Offered
  • Weekend Exchange
  • Rental Offered

Conditions of exchange

  • Non smokers only
  • Children welcome

Ursem (HE34667)

North Holland,   The Netherlands

  • 3 bed   (sleeps 5) 2 bath

Preferred destinations

  • Open to offers
From May 2023 onwards

Dates available

Open to offers

Swap duration: 1 - 2 weeks

Meet the member

Adults: 2      Children: 0
Experienced Exchanger

Membership expiry date: 02 Apr 2024