Chop your own wood for the wood burner, and get your drink water from the farm. Life in the Lemelerberg Lodge is calm, conscious and 'off-grid'. During the makeover of the ninety-year-old holiday chalet this was a conscious choice. Only what was really needed was adapted. Where in the Netherlands can you find such a quiet place, where only sound is the wind whispering through the treetops? Where you can walk straight into nature and see a herd of grazing sheep?
One of those rare places is the Lemelerberg in Overijssel Vechtdal. The Lemelerberg Lodge, a wooden chalet, is located on the sixty-metre high hill. This cabin has been transformed into nice place to stay thanks to Marianne and Lucienne from By Mölle. In collaboration with Landschap Overijssel they renovated the chalet into a fully self-sufficient holiday home where you can enjoy peace, space and nature.
text: Renate Wilms for Seasons Magazine
basic and pure life
The Lemelerberg is a national nature reserve. Therefore there is no water, electricity or gas connection. “You really live off-grid here,” says Marianne. “Slow living, that's what the cabin is designed for. We only adapted what was necessary, with materials that fit the style of the cabin. The wood-burning stove on the ground floor for example, was already there. The wooden construction is original authentic. When creating the bedrooms, ecological roof insulation was applied with flax, simply because it otherwise would be too cold.”
The interior is basic, pure, in Shaker style with the comfortable, linen-covered sofa, fine rattan armchair and simple wooden chairs around the table. In the past, the residents used gas lighting. Now there is electricity thanks to solar panels on the veranda roof. There is a toilet, sink and running water with filtered rainwater. You can take a shower at the nearby nature campsite and you can get extra drinking water – if the available jerry cans are empty – from the same place.
"Slowing down comes naturally here. You really live off-grid. The hectic pace of everyday life is quickly forgotten at this peaceful cabin with a great view and beautiful nature everywhere."
chalet from Austria
We owe the existence of this cabin to the Almelo banker Abraham Ledeboer. Lucienne: “From 1925 he invested in land here and in 1929 he had a pied-à-terre built. The chalet ordered in the east of Germany came as a kit over the Overijssels canal to the village of Lemele. For years, the family used the house as a base for picnics in summer and sledding or cross-country skiing in winter. In the attic there is still a pair of antique skis, as silent witnesses. Now that the bedrooms are ready and the roof is insulated, we hung them between the beams. W.J.L. it says, the initials of Willemina Joanna Ledeboer, one of Abraham's daughters.Another historical detail: numbers are stenciled on some beams: the number sequence of the kit. It's not hard to imagine what it was like back then. Now - after opening the barrier that gives access to the forest path to the chalet - you drive up the hill. At that time this was still done with a horse cart. The staff traveled ahead to get the house ready. The house has a lot of history. According to the family chronicles, grandfather Abraham went to the chalet to hide in the basement for some time during the Second World War. Two decades later, when the textile industry in Twente was lost, the landowners tried to preserve the country estates for later generations. They donated or sold their land and buildings to the Landschap Overijssel foundation.
staying in the atmosphere of the past
The Lemelerberg and the chalet came into the possession of Landschap Overijssel in 1970. Members of the foundation could rent it for a week in summer. Marianne: “Many historical lines now converge here. Twente was originally a textile industrial area, our company, By Mölle, makes ecological linen, among other things. Now that the country house is officially a holiday home, more people can experience what it is like to live in this place in the atmosphere of the past. And the proceeds will benefit the conservation of this unique nature reserve through Landschap Overijssel.”
lounging on the porch
With its 1,000 hectares, the Lemelerberg is the largest nature reserve of Landschap Overijssel and has been designated as a protected nature reserve by the European Union. In almost a century the terrain has hardly changed, if at all. Birch, oak and juniper bushes grow on the moor around the chalet. You can walk here for hours, there are plenty of routes to choose from. Afterwards you can relax on the veranda. Or light a fire in the wood stove, there is plenty of firewood. Otherwise you just get a new load from the woodshed. A chopping block and an ax are ready for splitting kindling. It all contributes to the slow living feeling. Add a cup of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy the view of the surrounding valley. You slow down here automatically, the hectic pace of everyday life is quickly forgotten.
Things to do in Vechtdal Overijssel
The immediate vicinity of the Lemelerberg consists of beautiful heathland landscapes with stunning views. Storks, rabbits and hares, roe deer, badgers, owls and various species of (water) birds are the natural inhabitants of the area.
Vechtdal Overijssel has no less than 1,500 km of hiking trails and is one of the most beautiful hiking areas in Overijssel. • A popular route is the ‘Archemerbergroute’ (12 km) over the mountain of the same name and the Lemelerberg. Unpaved walk through a beautiful moorland, with the chance of meeting the sheep and shepherd.
Landgoed (estate) Eerde
Landgoed Eerde is located about 6 km from Lemele, between the Regge and Vecht rivers. With the beautiful Eerde Castle with an authentic interior, a beautiful park forest, monumental avenues and nearby nice walking and cycling routes.
In Herberg de Klomp located on the Vilsteren estate, the dishes are prepared with mostly organic and local ingredients.
staying at 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 for more information and to book.