Delft, in between Den Haag and Rotterdam, has a beguiling centre, a medley of ancient red-tiled houses set beside tree-lined canals interrupted by the cutest of bridges. With justification, it’s one of the most visited spots in the Netherlands, but most tourists come here for the day, and in the evening, even in the summer, the town can be surprisingly – and mercifully – quiet. Delft boasts a clutch of fascinating old buildings, one of them – the Prinsenhof – holding an enjoyable collection of Golden Age paintings. Nevertheless it’s the general flavour of the place that appeals rather than any specific sight. That said, the two big pulls as far as day-trippers are concerned are the Delftware factories, stuffed with the blue and white ceramics for which the town is famous, and Vermeer, the town’s best-known son.

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