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Cycling to Beaches and Mermaids

It is no secret that Copenhagen is a bike friendly city. Minutes after disembarking the metro in the Norreport district, no less than 20 cyclists had peddled by us, but I had only seen 5 or 6 cars. Nothing to shout about you may say, but it was nearly midnight on an icy cold March weekend. Feeling quite exposed to the chilling breeze as we waited for the green man to allow us to continue, the cyclists continued to sail by, appearing to have the priority in the transport stakes. Indeed, Copenhagen is not just bike friendly, it has cycling at its heart with an entire network of bicycle lanes that enables time and environmentally efficient transportation around the city.

It was a bright but cool Monday when we hired a couple of city bikes to explore slightly further afield. There are numerous hiring options within each district of Copenhagen and the process is simple and quick. Most bikes come with in built locks and lights making them easy to use at all times of the day. Within 10 minutes we were on our way, effortlessly joining the peloton along the lake side.

Our destination was Jægersborg Dyrehaven, a scenic woodland park surrounding a historic house approximately 12km from the centre of Copenhagen that is home to a large herd of deer. The consistent cycle lanes made the journey incredibly easy to both cycle and navigate (cycle to the end of the lakes, turn left and keep going straight - it really was that simple).

Lakes in the Norreport district of Copenhagen


An oversized Tuborg bottle

Peddling past an over-sized Tuborg bottle of beer we continued until we pulled in to a wonderful little cafe called Oliver’s next to a petrol station. They do amazing ice cream (scooped ice cream in a cone, covered in soft ice cream and all dipped in chocolate sprinkles) and drinks. After a little refreshment we continued on, now out of the hustle and bustle of the city the road opened up and followed the coast with the sparkling azure water to our right. The flat road stretched out ahead and we could spy the lights of Bellevue Beach in the distance.

The sandy beach sits just within the village of Klampenborg and we free wheeled down to the near empty boardwalk to a bench on the cobbled pier. The rustic lights looked crisp against the endless blue sea, demanding for photos to be taken. After a time of drinking in the view, we continued with just a 5 minute ride to the Park. Pedestrian, cycles and horses only trails lead around the park and we soon headed deep down the densely wooded paths. After 5-10 minutes of cycling in the park I was suddenly reminded of how flat Denmark is: A small gradient in the path (that would not normally require any mention) hit me like a tonne of bricks and stopped me in my tracks. The city bikes that you can hire have no gears (there is no need on their wonderfully flat roads) but this rendered the bike completely useless deeper in to the park. Panting like an aged terrier, I got the bike to the top and immediately pulled over, slumping on to a bench to recover. It was there that we decided to call our destination, reasoning that we would struggle any further in to the park. Unfortunately we didn’t see any deer, but the woodland is still an enchanting place without them, with the low spring sun cracking through the trees, lighting the path in glorious yellows and oranges.

Bellevue Beach

Jægersborg Dyrehaven


Waving goodbye to the peace of the woodland and the beach, it was time for a reversal of the route that we had cycled back to the city. Approaching the lakes on our right we ignored the turn and continued on for 5 minutes until reaching Kastellet. From here the signposts for The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) direct you straight to her, and a large cycle park enables you to safely leave your bike to go and view the statue. Whether you sit in the camp of loving Edvard Eriksen’s statue of Hans Christian Anderson’s creation, or whether you feel it is overrated, this was a perfect way to take in the sight without going far out of your way. As expected there were crowds, but after taking a few snaps we headed just 2 minutes up Langelinie to see the Genetically Modified version: Bjørn Nørgaard’s modern vision of the statue, an identically posed statue just a few feet out in to the harbour. This sight was more entertaining than her older more famous sister, had no crowds and we had the whole towpath to ourselves to view her.

The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue)

The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid

A delightful day’s cycling (approximately 4.5 hours including breaks and photo opportunities), taking in the captivating landscape around Copenhagen and one of it’s most famous residents, all made possible thanks to the wonderful network of cycle lanes.

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