The Westerheide, which lies to the immediate northeast of the city of Hilversum, is part of het Gooi Nature Reserve, where some 17 burial mounds can be found. Significant archaeological finds have been made here, some of the earliest around 1855 by Albertus Perk, who examined the mounds, and discovered to his surprise 32 urns. In addition to many pottery shards, Perk also found a pair of bronze bracelets, a fragment of a spiral finger ring and a bronze pin.
To visit on foot, start from Hilersum Media Park railway station. The easiest route follows Johannes Geradtsweg then up Jacob van Campenlaan till it intersects with Erfgooiersstraat (blue marker). Turn left here, and you will see Burial Mounds 8 and 9 just 100 metres farther on, in a woodland clearing at the right-hand side of the road (pink marker). The distance to walk is just 1.9 kilometres each way. The main entrance to the Nature reserve lies a further 40 metres along the road (green marker).
Alternatively, if you start from the main Hilversum railway station, you can take bus No 2 to the Hendrik Smitstraat halt (on the corner with Erfgooierstraat - blue marker). Again, just turn left at the junction, and you will find Burial Mounds 8 and 9 just 100 metres farther on (pink marker).
To visit all the mounds involves a walk of no more than 5 kilometres, and takes just an hour and a half.
The locations of 13 Grave Mounds on the Westerheide are shown on these maps on the website of Museum 'Oer', located in Ulft, Netherlands.
The information board beside Burial Mound No 2 states:
The heaths around Hilversum are rich in archaeological monuments. Urnfields, burial mounds and traces of ancient settlements have been identified in various places. The Westerheide has archaeological monuments like this mound, which were raised to bury the dead, often with multiple interments. The burial mounds date from 2900 - 1100 BCE, the so-called Late Neolithic and Middle Bronze Age.
The burial mounds tell us about the prehistory and human life of the time. This information is irreplaceable, and for this reason it is written into Law that such objects should not be disrupted or altered. Setting foot on them - resulting in erosion and wear and tear - is such a threat.
To counter this, the Gooische Nature Foundation collaborates closely with the Archaeological Monumentwacht to look after the reserve and preserve its cultural history.
Grafheuvel No 13 in the Westerheide is one of the most attractive of all. It's also the one the casual visitor is most likely to miss as it stands in a sheltered tree-lined glade just off the main heathland. Although not actually hard to find (if you are looking for it), it cannot be seen from the main path that follows the tree-line. It lies almost equidistant between Grave Mounds 9 and 7.
This barrow is a symmetrical grassy dome, rising to about 2 metres, and with a spread of approximately 15 metres.
Grave Mound 12 on the Westerheide has, despite a probable height of two metres, an extremely low profile as it rises very gradually. This is the most extensive mound in the heathland, with a width that I estimated to be at least 30 metres.
Grafheuvel No 11 in the Westerheide is small and inconspicuous. Completely heather covered, it could well be mistaken for a mere undulation in the heathland, rising to about 2 metres and around 10 metres wide.
Westerheide 10 is the most easterly of the grave mounds in this area, and is found on the edge of woodland, 300 metres along the main path north through the reserve and approximately 50 metres to the left.
This is a low, grassy mound, struggling to attain a height of one metre, and rather less than ten metres in width.