The well-wooded hamlet of Schuddebeurs (Schoddebozze to locals) is near to Zierikzee on Schouwen-Duiveland. Here you’ll find authentic country estates from days gone by. A onetime favourite place for the residences of the merchants of Zierikzee. From the mid-16th century onwards, prosperous townsfolk built their country homes here. Many a farm was converted to an estate.
Many of them have since disappeared, with only their names living on in the archives. Some villas, such as Mon Plaisir and Weelzicht (weel = lush), have survived. They are now private houses, ensconced in the woods. The national forestry agency manages these forests.
Springtime is special at Mon Plaisir, when this peaceful oasis welcomes a colony of some 30 pairs of grey herons (in Dutch, they’re called ‘blue’) nesting here with their young. If you creep quietly through the wood, you’ll hear the rattle of their beaks, as they perch on their nests high above in the trees.
Another special aspect of these woods is the Bos van de Toekomst (Woods of the Future). People could pay to plant a tree to commemorate something special, like an anniversary, death or birth. It’s full of memorial trees, which lends it an exceptional character.
Buried in all the greenery is the Hostellerie Schuddebeurs inn. You can spend the night here in an old historical bedroom or – and! – take a meal, The restaurant menu includes seasonal and local dishes, all year round. Bon appetit! Et bonne nuit.