To do

Ulrum in the northwest of Groningen is part of the municipality of Hogeland, which also includes Pieterburen, Kloosterburen and Lauwersoog. Northwest Groningen is characterized by a semi-open landscape with a lot of water (sea, lake, canals). The region has an ideal infrastructure for hikers, cyclists and bird watchers, and water sports enthusiasts will also find everything to their liking. The history of the landscape is easy to ‘read’ because of the many dyke ridges, watercourses and many mounds. The province has a lot of monumental heritage, including churches, farms and mansions. The Lauwersmeer National Park, with its many walking and cycling routes, mountainbike trail, Scottish Highlanders, Konik horses and fairytale corners with wild orchids, literally starts a few minutes away. Also nearby: UNESCO natural heritage of the Wadden Sea, National Landscape Middag Humsterland and the boat to Schiermonnikoog.


Ulrum is a great base for hikes. Wadden Sea, Lauwersmeer National Park, Middag Humsterland… possibilities are endless. In many villages you will find terraces to enjoy a drink and a rest. There are many guided excursions in the area. Lauwersmeer is a Dark Sky Park. Unfortunately, the Netherlands is one of the countries with the most light pollution in the world, but in the Lauwersmeer you are welcome at night to experience real darkness and a sky full of stars.

Long-distance hiking trails in the vicinity: Nederlands Kustpad 3 (stage 9 starts or ends in Ulrum), Pieterpad 1 and the Friese Woudenpad.

Cycling and mtb

You will never get bored cycling in the area; there is so much to see. There are many cycling routes, often through stretches where cars are not allowed. You can easily find your way with the cycle network. Several long-distance cycling routes are nearby. Sometimes a route includes bicycle ferries. The Reitdiepveer (the ferry over the Reitdiep waterway) is fun: this boat gets cyclists (but of course also brave hikers) from Schaphalsterzijl to Aduarderzijl and back. A charming recommendation.

What about a day of cycling on Schiermonnikoog island? If you feel like it, take the boat from Lauwersoog to Schiermonnikoog (maximum 45 minutes) where there are plenty of bicycles for rent to explore the island.

Lauwersoog has an official mountain bike route through the highly varied park and recreation area.

Other sports

There are many opportunities for sports in the vicinity. There is a tennis court nearby. There are of course plenty of water sports options, from renting pedal boats to surfing. There are swimming pools and gyms within cycling and car distance. There is a go-kart track nearby. More relaxed sports such as billiards and bowling can also be found nearby.

Bird watching

The Lauwersmeer area is has an exceptionally large number of birds spending the winter or summer there. Spoonbills, ducks of all kinds, meadow birds, birds of prey, songbirds and forest birds, they can all be found in great numbers. It is a popular area for bird watchers. More information, including an overview of birdwatching huts, here.


By car you can easily cover all of Groningen and parts of Friesland and Drenthe from Ulrum. You drive on quiet roads and find surprising places, including mound villages, on your route. You look out over the open, sometimes rough landscape that is so characteristic of Groningen, but you will also find a more secluded landscape to the south. Short trips to the cities of Groningen or Dokkum (both about 30 km) are a good idea. Or a visit to the prison museum and historical area in Veenhuizen, a visit to historic Appingedam with its balconies over the water or the beautifully restored fortified town of Bourtange. Borg Verhildersum, a beautifully kept 19th century country house and estate, is less than ten minutes’ drive from the Tuinhuis.

Boating and sailing

Groningen and Friesland have a lot of water; you can row on waterways (rowing boats/canoes available for rent in the area), take a day trip on the Lauwersmeer or the Wadden Sea, or cross the Lauwersmeer with your (rented) boat.

Summer, sun and swimming

In and around Lauwersoog, on the shores of the Lauwersmeer, are several sand and grass beaches where sun lovers can relax or have a picnic. Most beaches have toilets, catering (depending on the time of the year) and parking. Swimming is also possible there; you can check the conditions of the water here.