P&O Ferries: National Mills Day


dutch-windmill

Every year on the second Saturday of May, the Netherlands opens up around 600 of its windmills for the public as part of National Mills Day.

In 2012, Nation Mills Day will be hosted on the weekend of the 12th May.

It’s normally safe to gamble on great weather during mid-May, and with the flat terrain that Holland is famed for we recommend taking your tour by bike. Last year, National Cycling Day was combined with National Mills Day as a bid to get more people on two wheels, and it went down a storm.

A family cycling holiday across open stretched country this summer could be a wonderful way to bond, relax and get some exercise at the same time. Plotting your course will be a breeze thanks to the National Mills Day maps which will be given out to participants.

Windmills in the Netherlands have a long history, dating back to the 18th century. They helped build Holland’s infrastructure, and many innovations in mill technology happened there first before spreading across Europe.

There are currently around 1150 functioning windmills in Holland, and the ones open for free entry this May will fly blue pennants to signal to passers-by.

Windmills have been developed for various industrial purposes; they don’t all just grind corn. You’ll be able to find out about the workings of watermills, how saw milling works as well as the mechanisms of mills designed for land drainage.

From Hull to Rotterdam you can catch a P&O ferry, an overnight trip will land you just a short drive away from the nearest mill. If you want to rent a bike out there then you could even start cycling from the port city.

Image credit: JASON ANFINSEN

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