With this summer’s school holidays almost upon us, here’s a trip from last summer. We’d long been tempted by the idea of a city-break in Copenhagen—during winter, perhaps, for the full Killing effect—but with young children in tow had put the idea on hold. But now it was the perfect time to visit Denmark, with a (then-) five-year-old and nine-year-old, to combine a city-break with a Lego City break. We started with a few nights in Copenhagen, then rented a car and drove across Zeeland, over the longest bridge in Europe and the island of Funen, to the Jutland peninsula. After two nights in the old Viking town of Jelling, half an hour from Legoland, we made our way back to Odense in Funen for a night, before driving through to Copenhagen Airport on our last morning.
In Copenhagen we stayed in a funky hostel next to the city’s (cough) red light district near the train station. It was handy for the historic fairground of Tivoli, but in the end we didn’t bother with that. Instead, we wandered through the old town, visited the National Museum, took a canal boat tour and a bike taxi ride, spent a morning at a swimming pool, and visited the fairytale Rosenborg Castle, home to the Danish crown jewels.
Driving out of Copenhagen, we stopped in Fredericia for lunch, then made our way along small country roads past fields to Jelling, where we stayed in a campsite cabin. An excellent modern museum telling the story of the Vikings looks onto a pair of earthen mounds with a recreated ring of wooden posts in the distance, marking the old town’s wall. Next to the mounds stands a white church and two carved standing stones, recently covered to protect them from the elements. These Jelling stones date to the foundation of Denmark a thousand years ago.
We spent the whole next day at Legoland, which is bigger and better than its Windsor counterpart and everything you’d expect. Then, with a day of better weather, we drove across Jutland to the western town of Ribe, Denmark’s oldest, full of beautiful buildings and a handsome cathedral. After stopping for an ice-cream (liquorice-flavoured, in my case), we visited my favourite place of the trip, the Ribe Viking Center, where locals of all ages recreate Viking life in costume.
Odense (emphasis on the O) was a low-key end to the week. It was the home of Hans Christian Andersen, and features museums and monuments to the man, but instead of visiting those we just wandered around the streets for a bit (fairly empty, on a Sunday morning), before driving back through to Zeeland.
Denmark is a supremely easy country to visit for families, and only the post-referendum collapse of the pound put a dampener on the trip. I’d happily go back to see more of Jutland and the rest, and our daughter in particular has been lobbying to see Legoland again. Here are some photos of our time there.