One of the best family holiday destinations? Why we loved west Denmark (with Landal Greenparks Danmark)

One of the best family holiday destinations? Why we loved west Denmark (with Landal Greenparks Danmark)

The west coast of Jutland, in a quiet corner of Denmark, may not be an obvious choice for Brits looking for family holidays in Europe.  But we came back from our trip there this summer convinced it’s one of THE best family holiday destinations.

Our trip was hosted by Landal Greenparks Danmark. Landal Seawest, the chain’s family friendly holiday park at Nørre Nebel, was an hour from Billund airport and Legoland. It lay close to the sea, with woodland around its edge. If you want to get a flavour of our stay there, here’s the video:

Accommodation at Landal Seawest

We stayed in a cosy two-bedroom cottage. The cute Scandi-style two-up, two-down was typical of a Landal Denmark holiday park: practically furnished, but with cosy trimmings, like blankets and thoughtful lighting. You can read more about our self catering cottage here, or check out the video tour:

Things to do at Landal Seawest

Landal Seawest activity centre

Landal Seawest’s activity centre was a large eco-friendly building.

Landal Seawest stays open through the colder winter months. So as well as hearty, outdoorsy activities, there was plenty of scope for fun inside the activity centre. This was a large glass building, with a bowling alley, sub-tropical water paradise, restaurants, large soft play area, gaming room, shops, kids’ crafting room, gym and spa. Even on overcast days, light flooded into the toasty warm, welcoming atrium.

Landal Seawest Landal GreenParks Denmark activity centre atrium

Light poured into the atrium at Seawest.

soft play area at Landal Seawest

The soft play area was a hit with the younger children.

We stayed at Seawest at the beginning of the Danish Autumn school term, so it was quiet during the week. But at the weekend, the place livened up, with Danes and German families on weekend breaks. In the evenings, they drank beer poured from three-litre mini-kegs, bought for their tables as an accompaniment to bowling matches. We couldn’t quite keep up with their pace, but we did enjoy watching the fun from our own alley.

Landal Seawest bowling alley

Landal Seawest’s bowling alley was a social hub in the evenings.

Because it was so quiet during the week, we barely needed to queue for the water slides in the sub-tropical water paradise. There was no fighting over the three jacuzzi hot tubs, and the lazy river was just that: tranquil, chilled and relaxing.

Landal Seawest Denmark sub tropical water paradise

Seawest’s sub tropical water paradise. So quiet!

I took the relaxation one step further and paid the equivalent of around £20 to spend an afternoon in the spa. Pedicures and massages were on offer for an extra charge, but I just used the time to bliss out in the devilishly hot Finnish sauna, the sweltering steam room and to peer across the trees from the deliciously warm hot tub.

spa at Landal GreenParks Seawest Denmark

Sitting in the hot tub gave a panoramic view over the Danish forest.

Fun family activities

From my vantage point in the hot tub, I could see the park’s huge, inflated bouncy rainbow, which a couple of tiny Danish children were bouncing on. These must be popular in this part of Denmark. I spotted three on our travels around west Jutland. Needless to say, our two loved bouncing on the one at Seawest – and D and I joined them.

Bouncy inflatable rainbow at Landal GreenParks Seawest

Ever been on one of these? It was so much fun.

When the sun shone (which it did on most days for our trip), the playground outside the activity centre was a good source of free play.

playground at Landal Seawest

Land ahoy! Our two enjoyed playing Vikings in the playground.

More mini-playgrounds were dotted around Seawest, which we discovered after following the clues in the park’s treasure hunt. This took us on a tour of the park’s tree-lined pathways, and was a good way to get to know the place.

Landal GreenParks Seawest

Seawest was in a pretty setting, with tree-lined pathways and little streams running through the grounds.

When we checked in at the holiday park, the staff encouraged us to download the Landal GreenParks app. This let us know what was on the activities menu for each day. The well-stocked crafting room was open most of the time, so guests could drop in and paint stones, doodle or make shapes from Hama beads. There was even an iron so the children could take away their Hama bead creations.

Bollo at Landal GreenParks Seawest

Bollo, Landal’s mascot, went on a tour of the park every day.

The app alerted us to the whereabouts of Bollo, Landal’s cuddly mascot, who did a tour of the holiday park every day. He even walked around the water paradise, giving wet children high-fives with an increasingly soggy paw.

toasting bread around the bonfire at Landal Seawest, Denmark

Despite appearances, this toasted bread was yummy.

Another alert went out twice a week, when it was time to toast twisted bread on the bonfire. In Landal’s pavilion, a young man curled dough around a stick, and handed it out to eager children. After holding the sticks over the embers for twenty minutes or so, we munched the warm, freshly baked bread. The dough must have been some magic concoction that tasted nice regardless of how charred the bread twists became.

geocaching at Landal Seawest, Denmark

Our geocaching took us into the forest

A first for our family in Denmark was geocaching. This is a worldwide phenomenon where you download an app that gives you clues and GPS directions to a site where a geocache – a box, with a notebook and other items inside it – has been hidden. Staff at Seawest helped us set up the app on our phones, and we set off into the forest to find the two geocaches nearby. Like the treasure hunt, it was a fun way to get to know our surroundings.

Lønne kirke, Nørre Nebel, Denmark

This is Lønne Kirke, a two-minue walk from Seawest and where a geocache was hidden. I won’t give away exactly where, though.

Food and drink at Landal Seawest

Our accommodation at Seawest was self-catering, so we stocked up with provisions at the reasonably priced supermarket in Nørre Nebel, a five-minute drive away. Oatmeal with boysenberry jam became a favourite for breakfast, alternated with flaky, melt-in-the-mouth Danish pastries from Seawest’s shop. Although not as large as the local supermarket, the resort shop did have most things you’d need to feed yourself for the week. Also on site were an American style diner, a pizzeria and steak house offering a generous and inexpensive all-you-can-eat deal, plus a more formal restaurant.

Top of the list for our pigeons, though, was the ice cream shop, whose ‘small’ cone featured at least four scoops, with an optional topping of drippy melted marshmallow. After experiencing the ‘small’ ice cream, we didn’t dare order a large, but we did see someone ploughing into one. It was as big as a giant’s head.

ice cream shop at Landal Seawest

A ‘small’ ice cream and a slushie from Seawest’s ice cream shop.

Legoland Denmark

Landal Seawest surpassed our expectations in its own right, but what first attracted me to the park was its closeness to Legoland Billund. The original Legoland celebrated its 50th birthday this year, and we were keen to see what it was like. I’ve posted about our day out at Legoland Billund Resort here. It was a highlight of our stay in Denmark. It took us an hour to drive there from Seawest, along well-signposted roads, so it would have been easy to fit in another day trip or two to Legoland.

Cycling in Denmark

cycling in west Jutland Denmark

The cycle paths near Landal Seawest were well-maintained and picturesque.

Another highlight of our trip was cycling. And not just the regular, two-wheeled kind – although my son and I enjoyed doing some of that, through the forest on bikes hired from Seawest. The cycle paths were well-maintained, and we enjoyed peeking past the stacks of chopped firewood, into the gardens of the people whose houses lay along the route to Nørre Nebel. Some had found creative ways to spruce up the woodland, and make it even more friendly than it already seemed.

tree in west Jutland, Denmark

We cycled past this fellow, who gave us a cheery welcome on the edge of someone’s garden.

But no, even better was the trolley cycling, which we’d found out about in Seawest’s information booth. Trolley cycles are bicycle-powered platforms designed to roll along railway lines. In this case, we spent the equivalent of around £25 to hire a tandem trolley, for up to five people, to cycle along the disused railway line between Nørre Nebel and Nymindegab. We paid at the local petrol station, and then made our way with a key to the trolley park, to collect our vehicle.

trolley cycles at Nørre Nebel

Trolleys of different sizes were lined up at the station in Nørre Nebel.

The woman in the petrol station presented us with a list of rules. No under-15s to power the cycle. Return the keys within five hours. And if you encounter someone cycling in the opposite direction to you, the trolley heading towards Nymindegab has right of way. The other cyclists will have to pick up their trolley and remove it from the tracks.

trolley cycles at Nørre Nebel

Heading to Nymindegab on our trolley cycle.

After heaving our weighty trolley onto the tracks, we hoped we wouldn’t meet anyone coming the other way. And we didn’t, although we did get a little stuck behind someone in a slow-moving trolley on the way back. The grinding metal wheels were hardly ergonomic, and pedalling wasn’t the easiest, but the track was pretty much flat. It was such fun. We began by cycling through fields, then as we grew closer to Nymindegab and the coast, russet-coloured heather sprang up along the side of the tracks, and the delicious scent of pine trees spurred us on.

Disused railway line in west Jutland, Denmark

We stopped occasionally, to navigate the road crossings.

After about forty minutes of hard pedalling, we arrived at Nymindegab ‘station’.

Nymindegab Denmark

The disused railway tracks ended at Nymindegab.

Nymindegab

Nymindegab is a former fishing village, and home to the oldest lifeboat in Denmark. After locking up our trolley we briefly considered visiting Nymindegab Museum, but as we needed to cycle back to Nørre Nebel in time for our curfew, we decided to spend our time exploring the beach instead.

Nymindegab museum and heritage centre

Nymindegab’s heritage centre was busy when we visited.

The path to the beach took us past a picturesque lagoon, where we ate a picnic of crispbread, cheese and apples while people fished behind us.

Nymindegab Denmark

There was no shortage of picturesque picnic spots at Nymindegab.

In among bushes laden with enormous, shiny red rosehips we found Nymindegab’s old fishing huts. These were unlocked, and were available for (very unofficial) hire: a handwritten chart on the wall showed the names of people who’d requested the use of the space for small gatherings.

fisherman's huts Nymindegab

The fishing huts at Nymindegab were open to the public. The one closest was used as a public toilet.

fisherman's huts Nymindegab

Inside the huts you could get a close-up view of the roof thatching.

Although a lot of Nymindegab’s attractions – like stand-up paddle boarding – were beginning to wind down for the end of summer, it was an impossibly pretty place. I imagine it would be worth a visit even when the weather wasn’t great.

fishing boats at Nymindegab Varde Jutland Denmark

We spotted a fisherman mending his nets in these boats.

house at Nymindegab Varde Jutland Denmark

How cute is this house?

The sun did shine for us, though, and although a bracing wind blew off the turbulent North Sea, the children enjoyed a good runaround on the beach.

beach at Nymindegab Varde Jutland Denmark

The children enjoyed a run around on the beach.

This part of Denmark has a good selection of beautiful beaches. Popular among Danish holidaymakers, Henne Strand was just a little further along the coast. These beaches had a different feel to those further south in Europe. They seemed cleaner, and although mega-hot sunbathing days would be less frequent than, say, in Spain, the broad sandy plains were clearly well loved by locals. One evening I cycled down to Nymindegab, and it seemed that the entire population of the tiny village had congregated on the vast beach, to watch the dying light dance on the sea.

beach at Nymindegab Varde Jutland Denmark

Nymindegab beach was busy at dusk.

summer houses at Henne Strand

Thatched summer houses at Henne Strand.

Sand dunes

Close to Seawest was Blåbjerg Klitplantage, a nature reserve of sand dunes. The place confused us a little, when we first followed the satnav’s directions and drove to Blåbjerg. We expected to see sand, and a sea view. Instead, we seemed to be in the middle of a forest. After a bit of delving around on the internet, we found out that the dunes of Blåbjerg Klitplantage were so well-established that grass and even, in some cases, trees had taken root on them. The highest dune was 64m above sea level – more of a mini-mountain than a sand dune, really.

Blåbjerg Klitplantage forest trail

The forest trails at Blåbjerg Klitplantage were good for spotting beetles and funghi.

Mountain bike and hiking trails ran through the plantation. We spent an afternoon breathing in the dense, earthy scent of the forest, spotting beetles and strange-looking funghi. Then we went to one of the highest dunes, and climbed the steep wooden steps buried in marram and lyme grass, up to the top.

Blåbjerg Klitplantage

The highest dune at Blåbjerg Klitplantage was 64m above sea level. This one wasn’t quite so high, but we still needed wooden steps to help us get to the top.

From there, the view was glorious: all rolling, soft-looking heather, and with a salty, fresh tang in the air.

Blåbjerg Klitplantage

Verdict

For families who love to be outdoors, and those who enjoy spending time together swimming, bowling, or playing on equipment, Denmark and Landal Seawest were ideal.

One thing that surprised us on our trip to Denmark was that the cost of living seemed to be cheaper than we’d imagined. Friends had said they thought a trip to Denmark would be very expensive, with food, drink and other holiday essentials costing more than in the UK. That may be the case in Copenhagen, but other than a few surprises (£7 to send two postcards to the UK, for instance), on average the supermarket prices were on a par with those in our home town of London. D even considered buying some of the sportswear on sale in Seawest’s shop, because it was better value than similarly high quality items in the UK.

Landal Seawest shop

Landal Seawest’s shop sold sportswear and outdoor wear as well as groceries and sweet treats.

So: if you’re thinking about where to go on holiday, you might want to take a moment to consider Denmark. We loved it!

Landal GreenParks Danmark hosted us at Landal Seawest. For more information on pricing and availability at this Denmark holiday park, visit their website.

Read about our day at Legoland Billund Resort here.

You can find out more on about west Jutland on the Visit Denmark website.

Nymindegab beach west Jutland Denmark

Linking up with Dais Like These and Otis and Us for Monday Escapes.

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27 Comments

  1. October 4, 2018 / 10:22 am

    Denmark looks incredible, I have loved following your adventures there on social media and it has totally inspired us to go. It’s just our sort of place with lots of active, outdoor adventures.
    Nat.x

  2. October 4, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    Wow this must have taken you ages to write. What an intriguing place. It looks lovely. Denmark is somewhere I’d love to visit. The soft play looks great and I love the look of the nearby trolley cycle. Indoor hot tub has a fab view as well. Fabulous

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:18 pm

      It did take a while. There was just so much to say about the place!

  3. October 5, 2018 / 10:03 am

    Wow looks like you had an amazing time and look at those gorgeous blue skies!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 5, 2018 / 4:04 pm

      It was absolutely beautiful there x

  4. October 5, 2018 / 2:34 pm

    Jutland looks beautiful, and I’m surprised by how the sand dunes look too, nothing like I imagined. We’ve only had a day out in Denmark, near Copenhagen, but we loved it so much we’re planning a longer trip to Denmark next Easter. Looking forward to reading your post on Legoland Billund as that’s one of the main attractions!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:23 pm

      I bet you’d love Jutland, if that’s where you’re planning on going in Easter. It’s so different to anywhere else.

  5. October 6, 2018 / 11:55 pm

    Thank you for taking me home… I really really enjoyed this post and all the wonderful photos, Nell! So funny, that I have taken photos of many of the same places as you! I can imagine that the pigeons must have loved the waterpark! I am a bit afraid of water myself, so I’ll probably choose the jacuzzi (and then Frenchie can go water-crazy with Clara, when she is old enough)
    Loved this!
    Louise X

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:33 pm

      Aw. I was thinking of you a lot when we were there! What a great area to have a base when you want to visit family. xx

  6. October 7, 2018 / 7:57 am

    Such a fabulous introduction to the area, not one I know but really tempting for UK families. And I love the little touches which make holidays easier like the app and getting tips on quirky things like the trolleys. Looking forward to seeing what you thought of Legoland.

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:37 pm

      Those trolleys really were ace! Not something we’d anticipated doing, before we got there.

  7. October 8, 2018 / 11:41 am

    This looks like a centreparcs but without the crowds! I love how much there is for kids to do here. But in the hot tub, enjoying the view with a wine is where you’ll find me 😉

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:40 pm

      I think it did have a lot in common with Centre Parcs – not that we’ve been. Hmmmm – I could do with a hot tub/wine combo right now!

  8. October 9, 2018 / 9:56 am

    This sounds like a brilliant trip Nell! Do you think where you stayed would also be good for teenagers, or is it mainly for younger kids? I’d love to have a go at trolley cycling 🙂

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:55 pm

      I guess it depends what the teens like doing. There was great cycling in the area, and a gaming room, bowling alley etc. I didn’t see loads of teens there, but it didn’t feel overly focused on very young children. A lot of adults seemed to be on their own there, sans kids.

  9. October 9, 2018 / 10:29 am

    We had a very similar holiday in Jutland when we lived in Copenhagen and it was definitely one of our favourite trips too… I can also really recommend Skagen and Bornholm as great bases for a family holiday too, really beautiful. 🙂 x

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:57 pm

      Thanks for the tip. I do love it there, and would happily go back. I’ve made a note of Skagen and Bornholm!

  10. October 9, 2018 / 11:12 am

    What a wonderful trip! I haven’t been to Denmark in ages …. must go again!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 10, 2018 / 10:24 am

      It was our first time there, and we loved it.

  11. October 10, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    What a fab trip!! I totally smiled at the inflatable rainbow and the playground and Seawest’s pool – we would be spending ALL our time here -my kids would love it !! Although we would also love the forest trails!!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:58 pm

      It was so nice – you really didn’t have to go far at all to experience forest, beach….and pool!

  12. October 10, 2018 / 9:38 pm

    We went to Denmark Oren kids butnit somewhere I’m desperate to return with kids in tow

    • Nell
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:58 pm

      I think it’s a great country for children.

  13. October 15, 2018 / 2:43 pm

    Seems like a lot of fun in that area. Denmark is on my bucket list of places to visit! #MondayEscapes

  14. October 15, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    I’m really quite tempted to replicate your entire trip, I think my family would love everything about it!

  15. October 16, 2018 / 5:24 am

    Sounds like you had a great time! I would love to visit the area one day.
    #MondayEscapes

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