Three distal tephra layers or cryptotephras have been detected within a sedimentary sequence from the Netherlands that spans the last glacial-interglacial transition. Geochemical analyses identify one as the Vedde Ash, which represents the southernmost discovery of this mid-Younger Dryas tephra so far. This tephra was found as a distinct horizon in three different cores sampled within the basin. The remaining two tephras have not been geochemically 'fingerprinted', partly due to low concentrations and uneven distributions of shards within the sequences sampled. Nevertheless, there is the potential for tracing these tephra layers throughout the Netherlands and into other parts of continental Europe. Accordingly, the possibilities for precise correlation of Dutch palaeoenvironmental records with other continental, marine and ice-core records from the North Atlantic region are highlighted. © 2005 Taylor & Francis.