Dyrehaven is one of my favourite places here on Zealand. Located just 30 km northeast of the center of Copenhagen – or just a 20 minute train ride -, this peaceful green haven is one of the go-to places on a warm summer day in Copenhagen when you just want to get away from big city life with too many people, too much traffic and too much pollution. Still, even though I’ve now lived here for over a year, I hadn’t been to Dyrehaven since I was a child, until just recently. Thanks to my uni course on the Neolithic and Bronze Age in South Scandinavia I finally visited the beautiful place again, and it made me realize what a fool I had been for not taking advantage of such an exquisite piece of nature located so close to me.

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Dyrehaven is a large nature park full of woodland with huge ancient oak trees, lakes and open plains, dotted with burial mounds and petroglyph stones from the Bronze Age, as well as a single stone cist from the Late Neolithic.

The area is home to more than 2000 wild red, fallow and sika deer and other wildlife. The park also has a significant history, which dates back hundreds of years. In 2015, Dyrehaven was admitted to the UNESCO World Hertiage Sites List as part of the par force hunting area of the 17th and 18th centuries, when the area was used as the hunting ground for the royal family of Denmark.

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Inside my favourite office – a Late Neolithic stone cist

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A stone with petroglyphs, presumably from the Bronze Age
A stone with petroglyphs, presumably from the Bronze Age

Eremitageslottet (or the Hermitage Hunting Lodge in English) was built in Baroque style in the 18th century for Christian VI of Denmark in order to host royal banquets during the royal hunts in the area. This castle/lodge is located in the heart of the park and is a must-see on any trip to Dyrehaven.

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My class and I set off on our field trip to Dyrehaven on a windy and rainy October morning. Not the ideal weather to explore the park, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. We caught the train to Skodsborg Station and walked from there through the forest and the open areas dotted with Bronze Age burial mounds, ending up at Klampenborg Station in the afternoon after a tiring, but lovely 12 km walk.

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Can you see the tiny fella?
Can you see the tiny fella?
And another cute fella!
And another cute fella!

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Although wet and windy, the day in Dyrehaven was a pleasant one, and it made me realize how I really need to start taking advantage of living in Copenhagen some more. I’ve used many opportunities to flea to the nearby airport, but I still haven’t seen much of Zealand or even Copenhagen itself.

In the spring or summer 2018, before moving to Greenland for half a year, I want to make it a goal to see more of Copenhagen and to bike through Dyrehaven in good weather – and maybe all the way to Helsingør in the very north of Zealand!

Do you also want to explore the natural beauty of North Zealand?

Getting to Dyrehaven from Copenhagen is super easy, and it can easily be done as a half day trip. You can take the train to Skodsborg Station or Klampenborg Station, and start your walk/bike ride from there. I recommend going past Eremitageslottet and through the forest Jægersborg Hegn. Try to spot some Bronze Age burial mounds while you’re at it 😉

If you want to see more of this part of Zealand’s natural beauty, I recommend heading up to Tokkekøb Hegn, where many good hikes can be found! Read my post about that here!

2 thoughts on “Dyrehaven: Wildlife and Ancient Burial Mounds in a Bronze Age Cultural Landscape in North Zealand”

  1. You should visit this place more often, dear Mel, it is very beautiful…and you should visit more of Copenhagen, I bet this city is amazing. Are you moving to Greenland for a half a year? Wow, what are you going to do there?

    1. I know right? 😛 I have to go more often! You should come to Copenhagen, then we can explore it together!
      I’m going to study for a semester there and then travel around the country in the weekends and holidays 😀

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