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

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