Driftwood Distillery is based in the Vliegkamp (airfield) at Valkenburg. The area is rich in history, is in the middle of cycle paths, bulb fields, farmland and of course… next to the beach.
Today, we share the airbase with Soldat Van Oranje which is the longest running dutch musical. Soldaat van Oranje tells the story of a young man growing up in Wassenaar, going to University in Leiden and escaping to London in the Second World War, where there was a secret resistance movement. Over 2.5million people have been to see the musical which started in 2010 and is still going strong today.
Vliegkamp Valkenburg was built in 1939 but was not completed before the start of the second world war. It was taken over by the Germans as it was considered of strategic importance but unfortunately as the airfield had not been completed the planes that landed could not take off again!
Vliegkamp Valkenburg is also one of the key locations where food was dropped as part of a humanitarian mission. On 1st May 1945 as part of Operation Chow Hound, B17s dropped food parcels over Valkenburg. Operation Chowhound was the US part of an allied mission agreed as part of a peace treaty between the UK, German and the US. The mission was designed to bring relief to the Dutch who were suffering through the Hongerwinter (Hunger winter Sept 1944 – May 1945). During this period between 18 – 22k people died from malnutrition and starvation. Find out more about Chow Hound here Vliegkamp Valkenburg was the airfield that the Dutch Royal Family returned to after WWII
Vliekamp Valkenburg was a working airport up until 2006, used by the Dutch Royal Navy from 1947 until its closure. It is situated between Katwijk, Leiden and Wassenaar and today there are many plans for the space, such as housing, drone testing and of course, distilling!
Katwijk is a popular dutch coastal town which has a strong fishing history and is home to a Roman army settlement. The sandy beach is 4.5km long and leads into the beaches of Schevengin and all the way to Zandvoort in the north. This is a party town from June to September where the beach pavilions, cafes and terraces are full of tourists soaking up the sun!
Wassenaar is a beautiful little town with a village feel which is also home to the Dutch Royal family. Being located mid point between the Hague and Amsterdam, Wassenaar is a place where many expats live and makes this a great little town to visit for coffee, lunch and people watching!
Leiden is the city of discoveries, famous for is culture, learning and art with perhaps it most well known artist being Rembrandt who was born in there. It has always been a city of learning and today is a popular university city. The Mayflower 400 year celebrations are now underway which celebrates the pilgrims who left the UK, settled in Leiden for almost 12 years before leaving again for a new life in the New World!