Surrounding area, Tilburg
Not far from Tilburg there is an Abbey of Cistercian monks, 'Koningshoeven' (King's farmsteads). The first monks settled somewhere in 1880. In 1891 the monastery was elevated to the status of abbey. The main source of revenue is the brewery where the tough and famous Trappist beers are brewed. You can stay as a guest but of course you have to follow the somewhat strict contemplative rules of the monastery.
The Campina near Oisterwijk is a heather landscape surrounded by woods and crossed by a few brooks and fens. Together, it's an an area of 1450 hectare. The northern part of the Campina is dry. The southern part is wet and humid. During the entire year, Icelandic horses and cows live here. The animals live in the Campina to maintain a natural balance. Just go there for a stroll. You will love it and Oisterwijk, a nice and busy place with a beautiful centre, is nearby for something to eat or drink after your stroll.
I agree, it's not Stonehenge or Newgrange but the 'Regte Heide' (south-west from Goirle, near Tilburg) has something special. In the middle of the heather there are 6 burial mounds dating back to 1700 -1000 BC. So there must have been hunters and farmers there in that time. The burial mounds were found in 1935.
Not far from Tilburg (between Kaatsheuvel and Drunen) there is a very beautiful and exceptional area. It's part of a national park (2400 hectares). In summer and during the weekends many people go out there to have a stroll through the large dunes that are surrounded by woods. Only 25 kilometres from Tilburg! If you stay nearby and have a day off and don't know what to do, just visit these dunes. There are several restaurants nearby where you can have a drink or have something to eat after your walk through the dunes.
My hometown Turnhout of course ;-) As you can see with 'transportation', you will notice that it is only a 40 minutes drive from Tilburg to Turnhout. Enjoy the Beguine Convent, the Saint Peter's Church and the beautiful Castle of the Dukes of Brabant. There are also a few interesting museums. Last but not least. Enjoy the large of variety Belgium beers or grab a lager in a big glass for less money then a small one in Holland ;-) For those who like theme parks, visit Bobbejaanland what is near. To see the most important activities visit my Turnhout Travelogue please. I update it frequently.
Tilburg has lot's of things to do, especially in the evening, however during the day it's well worth a visit to some of the surrounding areas. Places like Breda & Oisterwijk are pleasant towns. Breda is similar to Tilburg as far as shops go, however it has some nice buildings and churches to look in to. Oisterwijk is a favourite of mine, not too far from where I stayed most of the time upon my arrival in Netherlands. Both of these towns can be reached easily by public transport, either train or bus connect to both quickly and easily.
Some more pictures of the fairy tale park, these are made during winter time.
The park is only open during the Christmas holidays.
The figures in the park are dressed in winter coats
go and see the fairy tale park 'Efteling'.
It is very nice specially in winter, when it had snowed.
This is the castle from sleeping beauty