The West Forest
The West Forest is the best playground in the west of the city. It is close enough to the centre of Copenhagen for you to see the capital’s towers and spires from the highest points on Herstedhøje. In fact, in a way, you are actually in a part of Nørrebro up here – the hills were fashioned from building waste from projects like the ‘Black Diamond’ and the urban renewal of Nørrebro back in the 1970s and ’80s.
The relatively new hills say something about the age of the forest. This is Denmark’s youngest big forest, growing hand-in-hand with the Copenhagen suburbs on what were previously fields and meadows.
With its lakes and marshes, rivers valleys, meadows, hills, paths and growing trees, the West Forest is a centre for so many activities that there isn’t enough space to list them all.
There are several playgrounds in the forest, bicycle paths including mountain-biking trails, dog-exercise woods, riding trails and health tracks, running routes, hiking trails, bonfire sites and camping areas. When it snows, there’s cross-country skiing and sledging down Herstedhøje – which is high enough to tickle the pit of your stomach as you whizz down.
In winter, the nearby museum at Kroppedal often organises stargazing sessions here. The famous astronomer Ole Rømer had a country observatory in the area, the remains of which are still visible in the forest near Porsemosen.
And don’t be surprised if you encounter a knight, a medieval doctor or an orc here – the forest is popular with live-action roleplayers.
Photo: Scanpix/Christian Lindgren
DATA & LINKSVestskoven
(The West Forest)
- Health trail
- Nature playgrounds
- Dog woods
- Star watching
- Bird watching
- Horse riding
- Picnicking in the open air or in picnic huts Accommodation in a shelter or your own tent
- Bonfire sites and huts
- Cultural history
- Live-action roleplaying
- Berry and fruit picking
- On the first working day of each month, you are allowed to drive up Herstedhøje. Café, exhibition and nature activities for groups in Herstedhøje Nature Centre at the foot of the hills.
- There had been plans for a West Forest since the 1930s, but it was only following a campaign by the newspaper Politiken in the 1960s that the public mood turned the plans into reality.
- The first tree was planted in 1967. Since then, more than 10 million have been added.
- Extremely varied, with marshes, meadows, plains, young, growing forest, river valley and lakes.
- Diverse birdlife, including migrating birds, but also many breeding pairs, especially birds of prey and songbirds. It is a good place to hear nightingales.
- There is a bird-watching tower at Harrestrup Bog.West Forest has Denmark’s densest population of deer.
- Other mammals include foxes, badgers, squirrels and rabbits. Many of the lakes have good fish stocks.
- Good access for wheelchairs, several disabled toilets, including at Herstedhøje Nature Centre.
- Café at the Herstedhøje Nature Centre.
- Numerous opportunities for picnics and cooking over an open fire, including facilities for eating under cover during bad weather.