10 km – short walk
In view of the strategic location between Leiden and The Hague, as well as the easy accessibility by road and waterway, Voorschoten was very attractive to wealthy townspeople to build country houses with wide, extensive parks. Starting from the end of the 16th century, the rich started to buy up farmsteads and convert them into country houses. Existing castles were used for the same purpose.
At the zenith of the country estate culture, early in the 18th century, there were over twenty country houses in this region, after which their numbers started to decrease. Today, only a few country estates are left; green oases in the midst of residential districts. This concerns predominantly 19th-century landscape parks, some of which are open to the public.
This walk will take you along the border of the agricultural area and the residential districts of Voorschoten. Ter Wadding, by the northern edge, provides a good impression of a landscape park with an 18th-century country house. Berbice and Beresteyn form a coherent green area, and Bijdorp demonstrates that the country estate zone stretched all the way to the southern edge.