The village of Winsum in the north of Groningen province has been named prettiest village in the Netherlands by motoring organisation ANWB.
The jury of experts picked Winsum, with a population of 7,400, from a shortlist of five, drawn up via an online vote involving 30,000 people.
Winsum saw off rivals such as Urk in Flevoland and Elsloo in Limburg and took the prize because of its authentic town centre, its cafes and the mix of architectural styles in its harbour.
It is the first time the ANWB has held such a competition and it coincides with a new ANWB book about the Netherlands’ best villages.
Local mayor Henk Jan Bolding said the award is down to the villagers who keep it alive. ‘We have to deal with challenges like damage from gas extraction and an elderly population,’ he said. ‘But we have some real jewels.’