North SeaLand – The Holiday Destination The Danes Want To Keep To Themselves 

North Sealand – The Danish Riviera

I kid you not, I once heard Birmingham described as the Venice of Britain, so you can understand why I was a little bit dubious when my husband said he’d booked us a holiday to the Danish Riviera – North Sealand.

(Incidently, I wonder if anyone ever says ‘Ah, Venice : the Birmingham of Italy’!?)

canal in Birmingham
Birmingham – The Venice of Britain

However, my fears were short-lived. This relatively small area of North Zealand (or Sealand) kept us going with ‘oos and ahhs’ (and a few snorts at the Danish road signs which translate hilariously into English) for our whole trip. The coastal road from Copenhagen airport winds around little towns like Helsingor, Hellebaek and Hornbaek at a pace only the bohemianly chic Danish could have instituted : life should be enjoyed and absorbed, not rushed or missed. Slow down and admire the views across the 4 mile strait to Sweden – the land of Moomins and cinnamon buns, but not before you’ve seen everything Denmark has to offer.

Hansel and Gretel cottages with thatched rooves sit on the roadside, hugged by the woods which probably shelter ginger-bread houses too. Little bakeries and independent hardware stores neighbour dozens of designer interior shops – its little wonder the locals walking by in their on-trend pantalons look like they invented the word ‘swank’, have you ever sat in a Arne Jacobsen or Panton chair? – It’s impossible to not look cool!Danish chair

Danish chair

Experience Denmark's hygge culture in their secret little villages around the North Sealand coastline, pretty little villages like Helsingor and Hornbaek are the best place to stay in North Sealand.

Danish Countryside, best palces to visit in DenmarkNorth Zealand’s Beautiful Beaches…

Fine white sand, framed by pink wild roses and crowd free, this is where those in the know come to spend their summers. Hornbaek and Tisvildeleje are the better known beaches in North Zealand but are certainly not exclusive; there are plenty of places to park along this coastline, for free, and once you make your way through the grassy dunes with your lilo and (open)tuna sandwiches you will be greeted by the lapping waves of the Baltic Sea and the odd German naked bather. Basically, it’s just you and the ocean.Hornbaek Beach on the Danish Riviera, North Sealand, is one of many beautiful beaches on this coastline. Beast beach in Denmark

Hornbaek Beach, North Sealand - The Danish Riviera, Denmark. Prettiest beach in denmark
Hornbaek Beach

Kronborg Castle

Sitting proud in the town of Elsinore (or Helsingor) is Kronborg Castle – home to the Prince of Denmark of the Sixteenth Century who was immortalised in the Shakespeare tale of Hamlet. Whether the crazy long-socked writer ever visited the castle or not remains a mystery, but this detailed piece of architecture has more than a poetic history – there are guided tours daily which speak of its elaborate past and connections with the rest of the world. And you mustn’t miss the crypts and catacombes where Holgar the Dane sits fossilized on his throne waiting for a future date when Denmark needs a hero (aka Holgar, obvs) to awaken and save the day.

For more information about Kronborg Castle click here

Kronborg Castle, Helsingor, North Sealand, Denmark. Days out in Denmark. Day trips from Copenhagen
Kronborg Castle – Hamlets House

The local town of Helsingor is worth a day of your time too, if only to wander the quaint cobbled streets and view the lighthouses, there are plenty of things to do in this popular town.colourful pretty houses at Helsingor, North Sealand, Denmark, one of the top places to visit in Denmark, especially a day trip from Copenhagen

Houses at Helsingor, North Sealand, Denmark, this has to be one of the prettiest towns in Denmark

Old Danish town, Denmark

Danish Distractions – Things To Do In North Sealand, Copenhagen

North Sealand was always the playground for Kings and Queens of yesteryear but the fun hasn’t stopped. Wrestling and funny-hat-throwing got them the wrong kind of following on Tinder so nowadays they stick to cycling and walking holidays, fun on the Fjords, museums of Art, Literature, Maritime, Science and Technology. And if you’re still chomping at the bit then get yourself into the capital, Copenhagen, for a day or two of hygge and happiness (read my post Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen) But, if you’re after a day of kicks and thrills then Dyrehavsbakken is your answer. You don’t have to be able to pronounce it to get in, in fact, you don’t even have to pay! Ten minutes north of Copenhagen, and open March till August, it is the worlds oldest amusement park (Bakken for short) – 431 years old! Sir Isaac Newton probably had a season ticket to this wonderland of gravitational entertainment and today you can ride till your heart’s content in Scandinavia’s biggest theme park : 33 rollercoasters (not 400 year old I might add), ferris wheels, bumper cars, drop towers etc. etc. And, half price fares on Wednesdays!

Want more information? Click here.

Copenhagen, Denmark. Have a read of my other post for the top five things to do in Copenhagen

What To Eat In Denmark…

Gilleleje is a little fisherman’s town famous for its Fish and Chips and if you can’t quite decide which place you want to order from then just follow the crowds – those in the know will soon lead you to the esteemed battered delicacies.

Obviously, now that you’re in Denmark, it would be insane to leave without trying the Scandinavian culinary delight that is the open sandwich, or Smørrebrød. Made with traditional rye bread and often a choice of smoked or pickled fish, meats and cheeses with some sort of relish, they come presented beautifully. A doppel-reason why the Danes are so thin; they forgot the top piece of bread, and they’re pretty expensive (for what they are), but they are delicious, in a wholesome “I only eat organic, darling” kind of way.

And the ice cream. The Danes seem obsessed with ice cream, but it has to be the good stuff. Always a winner for the kids but I too was taken back to my school days when the god-fathers of Hartlepool, Amerigo’s, parked their vans and served up the creamiest soft-scoop this side of Napoli. Like I said, the Danes take their icecream seriously.

smorgasbord open sandwich - a popular lunch choice among the Danish

So, there you have it, a brief compendium of North Sealand, The Danish Riviera – a little secret kingdom which the Danes would rather keep to themselves. However, with flight prices to Copenhagen pretty low (try £19.99 return with RyanAir) and some well designed holiday homes on offer, why wouldn’t you visit this pleasant and good-natured land!?

So, have you been? Did I forget anything? Drop me a line…

And, if you’re after some more info. Erin over at OregonGirlAroundTheWorld put together an awesome post about what to expect when booking a Danish Summer House in the Riviera, check it out here

Pin For Later…

A guide to North Sealand - the so-called Danish Riviera. It's a beautiful part of the world and yet seems to remain a bit of a hidden gem. You should definitely consider it as your next family holiday destination. #northsealand #denmark

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Ivan Jordon says:

    BRB. Booking the whole family to the Danish Riviera this weekend. lol

    1. Alex says:

      Ha! Enjoy!! 😉

  2. Chloe says:

    Omg how beautiful!! I love all the cute colored buildings, especially all the reds and yellows. Makes it so happy looking. Looks like such a cute desitination and I can see why the Dane’s keep it to themselves. Thank you for sharing on #FlyAwayFriday and I can’t wait to see what you post for Week 7!!

    1. Alex says:

      That’s exactly what it is Chloe – cute. With a lot of style thrown in.

  3. Jane Taylor says:

    Forget the culture! You had me at Fish and chips! Mind you, I can’t abide the Moomins so let’s hope they’re staying in their time share in the North East of England, comparing their Barnacles Shopper’s Special Fish n Chip dinner and their Pacito’s lemon top ice cream with their Danish counterparts.

    1. Alex says:

      You should be shot – what the dickens is wrong with the moomins?? Not enough capes and eye masks for you? 😉

      1. Jane Taylor says:

        They are almost as creepy as willow the whisp and the Clangers….and porcelain dolls…not as bad as clowns though, I’ll give them that.

  4. Kana says:

    Oh my gosh the Kronborg Castle looks so beautiful, it’s definitely somewhere I would love to visit! Also, if loving good ice cream is wrong, I don’t want to be right 🙂 Thanks for sharing and joining Fly Away Friday! xo

  5. Natalie says:

    Awesome post, I would never have thought of beaches in Denmark! It seems like the perfect mellow getaway.

  6. Claudia says:

    Oh wow, I’ve been to Denmark almost every year of my life, but I’ve never heard of this place! I have to check it out one day. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. You’ve really made me want to visit here, Alex! It looks so charming and I love my fish and chips at the seaside. Love your comment about the Birmingham of Italy (!)

  8. Alex, thanks for sharing this with #TheWeeklyPostcard. I have never been to Denmark but it is so on my wishlist now after seeing your lovely photos. How I wish I had a nice slice of rye with some salmon to munch on while I was reading this, I would have totally felt like I was there.

  9. Lolo says:

    I would love to visit this region of Denmark! And I’d love to explore the Kronborg Castle! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  10. Mara says:

    What a picture perfect holiday! Thanks for introducing me to North Sealand!

  11. Arnie Jacobsen says:

    As a good Danish boy, as my wife likes to call me, I love anything about the land of my Viking ancestors. Get your Viking on!!

    1. Alex says:

      Too right Arnie!!

  12. Anisa says:

    I would have been hesitant too, but your pictures show it is lovely. Especially the beaches, would not have expected that. Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  13. Mimi Rose says:

    North Sealand sounds like an awesome place to visit, I love your photos. I want to see so much of Scandinavia, including Denmark some point soon!

  14. Kreete says:

    What a great post! I really thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Your writing style really stands out and I’m loving the humor! I think open sandwiches are somewhat of a Northern Europe’s theme. This was all I was used to when I grew up in Estonia and I still find it quite difficult to have a sandwich that has another slice of bread on top. And well nothing tops the proper dark rye bread, none of that unhealthy processed white stuff for me lol! Oh and we love the Swedish-Finnish Moomins in Estonia too! Haha! And thanks for sharing the oldest amusement park, I will definitely have to check it out now! Thanks for linking up with #FlyAwayFriday

    1. Alex says:

      Aw thanks Kreete! Ha – that’s hilarious you struggle with a sandwich top, I’ve gotta say though, it’s totally got me into Rye bread – a bit of salmon and avocado, mmmm…

  15. Courtney says:

    I love hearing about places you don’t usually see on travel blogs. It’s the less-visited locations that often have the best surprises. #FlyAwayFriday

  16. Anna says:

    Thanks for sharing this great post! I got inspired to visit… the views are amazing!

  17. Emily Rowarth says:

    Sounds like the perfect place to spend your summer! Definitely considering a visit now!

    1. Alex says:

      You would just love it!!

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