Køge Bay Beach and Park
Put ‘Copenhagen West’ and ‘natural beauty’ in the same sentence and you’ll baffle a lot of people. In large parts of Denmark, Copenhagen West is sometimes thought of as nothing but concrete and hassle. This is actually deeply unfair – Køge Bay boasts a wealth of natural sights and activities.
On a warm, early summer’s morning, you are greeted by the scent of wild roses and flowering hawthorn combined with the tang of salty sea air. The lapwings are in a flap, chasing away crows, who are a little too fond of bird eggs for the lapwings’ taste.
In the bushes, nightingales sing. In St. Vejle River, frogs croak. In the forest, cuckoos cuckoo. And in the river, trout and perch are jumping.
Where the lagoons and reed beds end, the sandy beach begins. There are seven kilometres of it, created artificially by extending the original coastline. It’s reminiscent of a North Sea beach, and no wonder. When the beach was established in the late 1970s, 2.6 million small tufts of prickly sea-green grass were relocated from the West Coast to hold the dunes together.
The beach park was an immediate success, and the beach itself is just a small part of the experience. There are almost endless opportunities for activities, and it’s clear that the locals have taken the water park to their hearts. They run, swim, kayak, walk dogs, sail, play games, barbecue, explore and cycle.
Amid all the natural glory of the protected areas around Ishøj Beach is Arken Museum of Modern Art, one of Denmark’s very best art galleries. A rare opportunity to combine nature and culture.
Photo: Søren Rud