Denmark: Funen’s fabulous fairytale castle is a fun fair for the entire family
You might know the challenge of finding something that fits all when you travel as a family – but that’s exactly what you get when you visit ‘Egeskov Slot’ on the island of Funen.
Because whether you’re looking for a relaxing picnic in the park, romantic strolls through flower clad gardens, polished veteran cars and vintage motorbikes or adventurous playgrounds and ice cream – you’ve got it all right here in the heart of Denmark.
And there’s a reason why the respected travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller previously listed this entire attraction as one of the 50 most beautiful places in Europe – alongside touristic giants like Paris and the Swiss Alps. Because this place seems to be a page ripped from a book full of fairytales.
The best thing is, this is the real deal – not a plastic-clone of a cartoon-castle. Egeskov Slot dates back from 1554 and still has a count living there, surrounded by some magnificent gardens and exhibition buildings that attract thousands of visitors every year. And despite the 5 meter deep moat surrounding the thick walls, both the castle and its surrounding are accessible to curious tourists, once the entrance fee has been paid.
Behind the entrance an entire day of entertainment awaits, both indoors and out, making this a great place to visit no matter the weather, but naturally sunny days let you take it all in. So let me show you what you can experience…
For romantics and nature lovers…
Trust me, you won’t find a much more romantic place in Denmark than Egeskov and its range of fabulous gardens. From natural mazes to sculpted hedges, colourful oceans of flowers, trees that are hundreds of years old, nesting swans and precious peacocks strutting around like they’re owning the place.
These gardens are like a feast for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts, with sections dedicated to specific types of flowers or herbs, and themed gardens filled with the de-stressing sound of fountains and free-to-use musical instruments.
I especially like the relaxing Garden of Life, the colour explosion of the Dahlia Garden and The English Garden surrounding the river.
You can wander around for hours and try to find the perfect spot for a romantic picnic, if you’ve brought your own lunch – and you’re even allowed to bring your dog along, as long as you keep it on a leash.
You will also find a well stocked Plant Shop where you can by natural “souveniers” and bring home trees or flowers for your own garden.
For adventurous kids…
Forget all about boring museums and dusty exhibitons that’ll make your kids fall asleep in the stroller. Egeskov is fun for everyone, and I still remember how exciting it was to come here as a kid – and much have been added since then.
One main attraction still stands strong from my childhood though. The large maze of hedges, which was originally designed with bamboo but later altered. Here you can go on an adventure as a family, or split up to see who makes it through first – and from the tower in the middle you can overview a larger area.
Nearby, kids and adults can literally walk right under the canopies, on the 100 meter long Tree Top Walk, strung out between huge trees 15 meters above the ground. And the fun can continue on the large playground spread out below this adventurous area.
Kids will also be amazed by one of the world’s largest and most beautiful doll houses – Titania’s Palace, that is on display inside the castle itself. A hand crafted masterpiece that took 15 years to built and that was first presented to the public back in 1922. It includes more than 3000 parts and you can spend a long time checking out all the amazing details.
Up under the roof of the castle you will also find a large collection of old toys beautifully displayed in illuminated “bubbles”.
For true nostalgics…
No worries dads, you won’t be bored either as Egeskov contains and displays an absolutely amazing collecion of vintage cars, motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles and even planes in the Classics Museum.
From fighter jets to Ferrari’s, this place has got them all – and you can spent ours dreaming of the good old days when cars were pieces of art and try to pick your favourite, while spotting your awestruck reflection in the polished crome. And up under the roof there’s plenty more cars in storage, ready to be dusted off for the exhibition one day.
You will also find a museum dedicated to Denmark’s legendary rescue service known as Falck, where kids and adults can admire the bright red firetrucks and learn all about the history and the functions of the corp that dates back to 1906.
The older generation will truly enjoy the old style Grocer’s Shop brimful of old packs, bottles, tins and cans displaying labels from the 30’ies to the 50’ies, and younger generations might even find it exciting to see what was on offer in the times long before the Internet and mobile phones.
You will also find the Unique Fashions Exhibition that includes parts of a dress that used to belong Marie-Antoinette – once displayed at The Louvre in Paris, and don’t forget to take a look inside the old blacksmith’s workshop The Old Smithy.
The majestic castle itself is naturally a main attraction and is well worth the visit behind the walls where you can explore several floors of well kept rooms such as the The Music Room and the large Banqueting Hall – fully equipped with classic furniture, historic paintings and golden chandeliers. And a bonus feature is the count’s iconic and custom made medieval armor.
If you haven’t brought your own lunch for a picnic there are several kiosks from where you can buy food, snacks and ice cream – or you can go for a nice meal at Café Jomfru Rigborg where it’s even possible to buy a picnic basket to bring out in the park.
In recent years the atmospheric Heartland Festival has become a centrepiece in the eventcalendar of Egeskov Slot, with a program offering a unique program of music, art, talks, gastronomy and other exciting projects. A great opportunity if you find yourself on Funen in the end of May/beginning of June.
Many more events are spread out over the year – from concerts to Christmas markets. So check the event calendar on their website for inspiration:
Egeskov Gade 3
The castle is located near the town of Kværndrup on the island of Fun in the middle of Denmark.
By car: It’s about 30 kilometers south of Odense, along the motorway 9 towards Svendborg.
By train: You can catch the regional train from Odense main station to Kværndrup. A 24 minute journey. From the center of Kværndrup you can take bus 920 to Egeskov.
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