We are just coming to the end of fall break here in Denmark. It’s a national break for all schools. Many parents will also take time off during this holiday break to spend time with family or travel.
My husband was very busy at work so he was unable to take any time off but we were able to get in a one day trip.
This trip was to Egeskov Slot. Egeskov Slot roughly translates to Oak Forest Castle. It is one of the most picturesque castles in Denmark. The castle is often featured on many Denmark tourist websites. The gardens surrounding the castle have also received international attention as one of the best gardens in the world (CNN Travel 2013).
Our main draw for going is that it seemed to have something for everyone. Playground for Avery, Halloween themed scavenger hunt for Claire, scenery and history for me and a car/motorcycle museum for the husband.
With all the great reviews and attractions, it wasn’t surprising that the entrance price was a bit high ($75 for three of us, Avery was free). So if you are considering going to Egeskov Slot, go when there is an event going on. More bang for your buck.
October’s event was Halloween. We had to figure out who had cursed Egeskov Slot. There was a map that provided directions to clues all across the grounds. Each clue location had a theme and/or characters dressed as the part. So after a brief talk to a wizard (who spoke English for us), we made our way towards Egeskov Slot.
Wow, right? Egeskov Slot is surrounded by a moat. It really sits in the middle of nowhere. The closest city is about 20 minutes away. It is in the middle of farm fields and close to the village of Kværndrup. So it really is a magnificent site.
Our first stop was the zombies. Avery was NOT a fan. She clung to her dad and refused to take part. Claire was scared but I promised her they wouldn’t touch her or eat her. She gained some confidence after that and we found our first clue.
Everything was in Danish so Google translate was our clue decoder. (FYI. Google translate works much better on Apple than Andriod.)
After catching a quick ride on a broomstick,
we made our way into the castle.
The inside of the castle was set up like a museum. The walls were displayed with different portaits of royalty, stuffed animals, weapons, and other ornate things. Pretty much I ran around telling the girls not to touch anything and to stay close.
There were also some “ghosts” roaming the castle. You could converse with them and one was suppose to be a nanny for the royal children who used to live there. She tried to explain that to Claire but Claire still thought some kids lived in the castle. I had to explain to her that the nanny was a ghost.
Another creepy feature, which was not part of the Halloween fun, was a doll hidden up in the attic. No one knows how long the doll has been tucked away in the attic. Legend has it that if the doll is moved, the castle will fall into the moat on Christmas night. Past families had actually avoided Egeskov Slot on Christmases pass for this reason. The current generation though has enjoyed Christmas at Egeskov with little fear.
Besides the history of the castle, it offered wonderful views of the gardens surrounding the castle.
After touring the castle (and only reading 1/8th of the displays due to children), we ran into Marie Antoinette.
Claire had a few questions about what was up with her neck. So she got a little French history and a lesson in the guillotine. I compared it to Nearly Headless Nick in Harry Potter to make it a little less gruesome.
The next clue on the map sent us into the gardens to find dødens hus (the house of death), edderkopskolen (the spider school) and the Barons’ graveyard (forgot the Danish on this one). We saw some enormous cabbage and rhubarb, awesome hedges, mazes and beautiful views of the castle.
Dracula’s crypt was the last stop for us on the hunt and Claire (and I ) refused to check it out completely. Luckily, the clue was right at the entrance of the crypt so we didn’t have to explore into the darkness.
We did run into Count Dracula and his wife as we left the entrance of the crypt. Claire hid behind her dad as Dracula said something scary to her in Danish. We were happy to run into him in the daylight instead of the dark crypt.
completed survived our Halloween hunt and decided to have our picnic. Most Danish museums allow you to bring your own lunch. Egeskov was no exception so we picked a spot that protected us from the light rain.
After lunch, we split. The girls and I headed towards the playground while the husband went to the motorcycle/car museum.
The playground was great. There were many different play areas and equipment. Each play area had a different theme and seemed to be designed for specific age groups. There were also two bounce pads. They were a little slick from the rain but it’s Denmark, you need to learn to deal with it and just have fun!
There were also two zip lines. These types of zip lines can be found in a lot of Danish playgrounds. Claire and Avery both love them. Some go slow and some go fast. These at Egeskov went fast and I had to instruct the girls to hold on TIGHT.
After more bouncing and swinging (and the return of Dad), we found some courage and decided to partake in the Tree Top Walking.
The Tree Top Walking consist of 6 platforms with bridges connecting them. As someone who is a bit afraid of heights, I do not suggest it. I had weak knees the whole time and could not look down. I was clinging on to the rope for life and grabbing the tree trunk when we reached a platform. I was more than happy to get down.
But it did provide an awesome view of Egeskov.
Claire and I decided to partake in the maze next (located on the left in the picture above).
We did get lost but they left some cheat spots to get to the center to be able to go down the slide and escape the maze. The middle provided another great view of Egeskov and the maze.
Our final stop was the fire pit. We were able to participate in a very Danish tradition. We baked some snobrød over the fire. Snobrød (link to recipe. Gluten free link) is basically twisted bread around a stick. You turn it a lot and keep it away from the flames. It took us about 15 minutes to bake it but the girls and husband loved it.
After the brød (bread), we called it a day. We had spent 5 hours in Egeskov and had had a great time. It was probably one of the least stressful trips we’ve been on for everything it offered for all age groups. A great day trip for all of us.