Kaatsheuvel, The Netherlands,

Introduction Efteling

Holland's Hidden Gem Introduces Fairytale Theme Park to Brits

This little known fairytale theme park is packed with enchanting rides, attractions and shows, largely inspired by Brother's Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen - it's also the third largest theme park in Europe - and now Brits are starting to head to Holland for a long weekend with their children.

Just over an hour from Amsterdam and 45 minutes from Rotterdam, Efteling is incredibly easy to reach from the UK by air or sea, and with a weekend for four starting at £250, this magical escape is top of the list for a short break this summer.

It's easy to keep the whole family happy with a mixture of rides and interactive attractions for all ages - the Fairytale Forest is enchanting for little ones as well as nostalgic for big ones. All of the attractions are custom made and designed by their own creative team and based around well-known fairytales - some dating back to 1952 when the park first opened.

You need to know what happens when you ask the donkey to lift his tail!!

For the thrill seekers there are lots of roller coasters including Dive Coaster, Baron, and wooden roller coaster George and the Dragon, which sees two carriages side by side racing to win.

The shows are world renowned too - Aquanura, the spectacular water show is the largest in Europe and one of only two that uses coloured lights and fire as part of the display.

You'll be transported to a world of good vs evil when you watch the Raveleijn outdoor theatre show - see five friends become knights of the realm as they battle a five headed serpent and free the village from evil rule - breathtaking for all ages with stunt riders, a disappearing princess and ravens.

Right down to the simple smiles created when you feed rubbish to the holle bolle gijs, hungry gargoyle bins, right through to the musical kitchen in the pancake house, Polle's Keuken, little ones and their grown ups will equally want to stay for longer.

Topped off by incredible fairytale themed rooms in the adjacent Efteling Hotel, or the choice to stay in Bosrijk, an enchanting lakeside village set on the lake and made up of picture perfect wooden lodges - you can even order bicycle pizza delivery. For a self catering stay, this really is the icing on the cake of family theme parks and really something that has to be seen to be believed. For families looking to create truly magical memories, Efteling is a world of wonders and more.

Looking ahead to winter, Efteling's winter celebrations are a stunning time to visit - with snow covered cobbles, the magic continues into the festive season with special shows and attractions.

In 2017, Loonsche Land will open - a second accommodation village also within walking distance of the park, including a 3* hotel with 75 rooms as well as 65 holiday houses including woodland, dune and heathland houses, all with their own magical charm.

So, who wants to have breakfast with a fairy, cuddle a musical toadstool and ride some of the best roller coasters there are? Nowhere in the world are fairytales more real than at Efteling.