Aim : The aim of this study was to explore the occurrence of venous leg ulcer recurrence and the relationship with self‐efficacy, social support and quality of life. Furthermore, we investigated the lived experiences of those patients and their understanding of why they developed a recurrence. Design : We used a convergent parallel mixed method design consisting of a cohort and an interpretative phenomenological study arm. Methods : Consecutive patients (N = 145) were recruited into the study. Between 2014 and 2018, three primary care centres took part in the study. Data collection methods included chart review, administered questionnaires and semi‐structured interviews. Results : The incidence of the venous leg ulcer recurrence was 33.1% within the study period. The scores for self‐efficacy, social support and venous leg ulcer health‐related quality of life show little variation between all measurement points and within subgroups. The qualitative findings identified two main themes: accidentally damaging the skin and avoiding venous leg ulcer recurrences. Venous leg ulcer recurrences frequently arose from accidents. Therefore, participants developed strategies to avoid additional ulcers. Conclusion : To optimize recurrence prevention, improvements in knowledge of people with VLUs should be considered.