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Water sports mecca right on the shore in the Netherland's beautiful lake district

Friesland, in the Netherland's northwest, has lakes. Lots and lots of lakes. When the Frisian peasants dug their boggy wetlands for peat fuel, the scars left on this flat landscape caused countless rivers and waterways to form. Well the farmer's loss is the holidaymakers gain as today, Friesland is the centre for Dutch watersports. Surprisingly little known outside of the Netherlands, the Dutch lake district attracts scores of eager aquatic adventurers from the rest of the country, keen to savour this blissfully tranquil region with only around 160 people per square km. The region's many charming towns and villages are interlinked by canals and it is on the outskirts of one such lovely lakeside settlement, Heeg, that we find another watersport oasis. 

While Watersportcamping Heeg won't be winning any prizes in the imaginative naming stakes, the site can't be bettered for location. Right on the shores of a vast, sparkling lake, the site accommodates around 150 touring pitches on nearly 25 acres of pristine grass. Take a few steps to the shore and you have your choice of water-based pursuits to enjoy from falcon sailboat hire and kite surfing, to sloop lessons or just a good old fashioned swim. This is a mecca for water sports fans, with a chilled out beach party vibe throughout, (helped in no small measure by the buzzy beach bar and 'Dutchtubs' for hire). 

And then there is Heeg itself. Just a leisurely 5 minute stroll from site, this most quintessential of Dutch villages is utterly idyllic. Why not enjoy a traditional treat of smoked eel on the banks of the Heegermeer lake? Or visit nearby Ijlst, the home of the singularly Frisian sport of fierljeppen – that's... er... canal vaulting to you and me. The annual summer celebration of this traditional pastime is not to be missed, if only for the facial expressions of the hapless vaulters.

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