The sand path leads up. Along pines and heather. Swinging. Ever higher. Woodpeckers flutter along the tops of the trees. And then, hidden between beech, oak, juniper and heather, a wooden lodge looms. The Lemelerberg Lodge, a historic residence in an oasis of peace.
text: Harold de Haan for Vechtdal Magazine
The year is 1925. The Twente banker Abraham Ledeboer has brought over a wooden chalet as a kit from Austria. The idea? Build up on the Lemelerberg, near Lemele, where he owns large pieces of land. A place for him and his family. To enjoy nature and tranquility. And they do. Picnic in the summer, cross-country skiing in the winter. Only nature around you, detached from the world. Anyone who visits the chalet almost a century later will see what the Ledeboer family saw. From the slope of the Lemelerberg, on the veranda, you have a beautiful view over the heath. “And with a bit of luck you can see the deer walking, the woodpeckers breeding. And with great regularity a herd of sheep passes by to maintain nature here.Lucienne Dunnewijk and Marianne Maat are speaking. Together they run By Mölle in Dalfsen, the housing label that embraces and breathes the concept of slow living. In addition to the label, they rent out two 'nature houses' from Landscape Overijssel, which are furnished with their own materials: 't Witte Huis near Dalfsen (a former billiard house on Landgoed De Horte) and the Lemelerberg Lodge. ‘Both fit in with the concept of slow living. Rest, enjoy nature and natural materials. Time for and with each other. Apart from the issues of the day.'
“With our noses against the windows, we saw two magpies and a rabbit playing with each other in an open space in the heath. One of the magpies made a game of stealing the bunny's white pants. The bunny could only moderately appreciate this game and jumped two jumps further.” ~ 1963, guest book Lemelerberg Lodge
The Lemelerberg Lodge is such a place that belongs in the list of dream spots. The dirt track that runs past the lodge is almost deserted - it is not part of any walking or cycling routes, although you can make beautiful trips from here, and cars are not allowed. The heath, the view from the mountain: it's not hard to imagine how peaceful it is here. How much the lodge and surroundings shift life three notches slower.comfort
Inside the lodge you imagine yourself in another time, without losing the comfort of today. This autumnal day the fireplace is burning, from the original wooden corner sofa you can look out almost 360 degrees. The stained glass windows, the oil lamp that is no longer in use and the wooden cladding of the lodge, the construction not only exudes nature, but also history. “This is a place that embraces you,” says Lucienne. ‘And you experience the elements intensely here,’ Marianne continues. Because the lodge is so remote, it is really dark here. "Well, your eyes get used to it, so it's light again. But you can see the starry sky here exceptionally well.'
“The sheep welcome us with clanging and bleating. A wonderful place to be outside, to live on or next to the veranda, to eat with a view of the moor.” ~ 2019, guestbook Lemelerberg Lodge
Marianne and Lucienne have now rented out the lodge for the first year after a major renovation, taking into account and preserving the authentic style. “The place appeals to a very diverse audience. It is fantastic here for families with children – they can play in the woods around the house. But also singles and couples indicate that they feel at home here. It is the tranquility that you will not find in the city. You can walk here. Slowing down is the common denominator that all guests share. That affects everyone.'dream
The house is, as it is called nowadays, off grid. Apart from all amenities, but self-sufficient. The solar panels provide the electricity, the fireplace provides heat and a rainwater filter provides usable rainwater. "You can shower at the nearby camping site and you can get extra drinking water with the wagon from the farmer at the bottom of the mountain." By Mölle's linen, complemented by the tranquility on this slope, makes sleeping in the lodge a true dream.
“We hope that the house will continue to offer hospitality to people who want to let go of the connection with the world connected to everything for a while” ~ 2019, guest book Lemelerberg Lodge
Outside on the wooden veranda, by the hammock and in the watery sun, Lucienne and Marianne conclude: 'Here you experience peace - living with nature and natural materials. It forces you to have time for yourself and each other. Not forcing in the sense of having to, but forcing in the sense that it happens to you. Go out, it gives you peace. Slow living. And now say yourself, here on the mountain, when you look out over the heath, juniper and the lower-lying grounds, you would almost say: 'Is this the Netherlands?' But yes, yes, this is the Netherlands too...'
Lemelerberg originated in Ice Age
The Lemelerberg Lodge is located on the south slope of the 78 meter high Lemelerberg in the Vechtdal. Nearby villages are Lemele and Lemelerveld, where all groceries can be done. The Lemelerberg was created about 150,000 years ago when a thick ice cap pulverized rocks and pushed them up to this place. Now it is a special area consisting of forests, heaths, sand plains and springs. It is a Natura 2000 area and with approximately 1000 hectares the largest nature reserve in Overijssel LandscapeThe White House
't Witte Huisje (1905) is located at Buitenplaats De Horte near Dalfsen, the other accommodation rented out by By Mölle. 't Witte Huisje is the former billiard house of the old landlord, now transformed into a comfortable two-person accommodation. An outdoor area where you can stay in the middle of the historic estate, surrounded by nature.
walking and cycling
The Lemelerberg is ideal for getting out and about. Beautiful walking and cycling tours lead over and along the mountain. One of those routes is the 8 kilometer long tour 'Ommen Lemelerberg: highlights'. The tour leads over the Lemeler- and Archemerberg. Here you walk along juniper and heather, over shifting sand and past water sources. Sometimes with a climb, uneven paths and loose sand. In the Lemelerberg Lodge there is a folder with maps of the area and tips for nice outings.
staying in the Lemelerberg Lodge
The chalet is suitable for 2-5 persons and is rented from April to October. Price from € 390 for a long weekend, including bed linen, tourist tax, firewood, tasty soap and ecological household products. Look here here for more information and to book.