I am in my element spending time outside in woodlands and I take great pleasure in seeing the seasons change within them: the monotones of winter and the possibility of snow; the limes greens of spring and the beauty of a woodland carpeted with bluebells; the heat of summer, balanced by cool evenings and finally the riotous shades of autumn and the twirling dance of falling leaves There is such a joy walking through a beach forest in the early morning listening to the birds sing. It is welcome relief as you sink beneath the cool green on a blisteringly hot day. Woodlands have always been my go-to place for peace and solitude. That was until I arrived in Denmark and discovered Nørreskoven. Nørreskoven taught me to fall in love with the sea. I decided there and then this was heaven and that experiencing the best of both worlds was no bad thing.
Where is Nørrekoven?
Nørreskoven is a 9km Coastal Woodland located on the Island of Als, a small Danish Island, which lies to the east of the Jutland peninsula with Sonderborg as its main town. The Woodland itself is mainly beach, but oak, maple, cherry and birch can also be found growing contentedly within this ancient forest. However, it is the towering beech trees that truly take the breath away. I have been fortunate to visit it in both summer and winter. Each visit, I have been mesmerised by its quiet solitude. If ever a place was going to make you fall in love with the sound of a lapping sea, then this would be it. It is perfectly possible to sit with your back against a tree and listen to both singing birds and the waves arriving on the shore. The blend of wood and sea is magical.
How to get there?
The woodland can easily be reached by car. The simplest way I have found it to take the A8 towards Fynshv and turn off towards Helved just before the ferry terminal. The first junction on the right is signposted Nørreskoven. Follow the signs to the car park at the south end of the wood. The parking space is very small, but I have rarely encountered more than two cars there.
Things to do
Walk the coastal path – A generous earthen path runs along the edge of the coast between the woods and the beach. It is possible to wander slowly for the full 9km if you would like to, but do not rush too much, allow time to listen to the sound of the wind in the trees and the gentle lapping of the sea. The path gives a wonderful view out over a stretch of water called the Little Belt and on clear days it is possible to the large Island of Fyn and see the Ferry making its way across from Fynshav to Bøjden. At various intervals were fire pits, stacks of logs and picnic tables ready for use.
Visit Taxensand Lighthouse – This lighthouse was built in 1905 when Southern Jutland was part of Germany. It was originally 32m high but was shortened to its current height of 19m in 1953. The lighthouse sits directly on the beach, hidden from the land by the woodland. It is possible to stand in front of the building, look out to sea and wonder at the dangers sailors encountered in this seemingly serene place.
Spend the morning at the beach – Fjordmose is a quiet pebbly beach located about halfway along the 9km path. I explored by car determined to discover more of this tranquil place. Head for the tiny village of Østerholm, once through the village, signs for the beach direct you along an unmade road. I had the beach all to myself pretty much for the morning, until mid-afternoon when a few families arrived for a late lunch.
Watch the video
Where to stay
Camping – There is a large campsite just to the south of the Woodland, called Naldmose, follow this trip advisor link for more information –
Wild camping – in the woodland itself are several areas where wild camping is allowed. The Dane’s love of the outdoors is shown clearly as they provide picnic tables and fire pits should you wish to spend an evening by the fire.
AirBnB – If you come off season, I think the Autumn would be wonderful, there are many AirBnB options to choose from. I recommend these two
We have stayed in both. They are a little way from the Woodland in the small town of Norborg, but both are charmingly restored old Danish Houses and at our time of visiting, well priced and comfortable.
PS – These are my recommendations because I have stayed in both places. They are not affiliated links.