Centrally located on the mainland of Denmark, Billund is perhaps most famous as the birthplace of LEGO...
... and the home of the original LEGOLAND park theme park. But there's more to the city than plastic bricks and pirate ships. Take a road trip out of town to discover the bleak beauty of the Jutland peninsula, with its powdery sand beaches, vibrant port towns and ancient heathlands, and return home telling tales of Viking rune-stones, ancient kings and fascinating wartime history.
Cycling and Denmark go together like coffee and Danish pastries. The flat terrain means you can cover a lot of ground with relatively little sweat, and it's perfect for inexperienced cyclists and children. There are a series of designated routes that wind around Billund and its surrounding countryside, but we particularly recommend the pretty 37-kilometre trail leads from Billund town centre to Engelsholm Castle. It runs through deep forest and bucolic farmland, and emerges by the castle's lake – the perfect place for a restorative picnic.
Take to the water to get a completely different perspective of Billund and its surroundings. Hire a canoe and paddle gently around the waterways that lace the countryside, or for something more extreme head west from Kølskevad (just outside of Billund) to Ho Bay on Denmark's west coast.
For keen anglers, the rivers and lakes around Billund boast some of the best fishing experiences in the country. Within a short drive of the town, you can cast out for salmon, pike, sea trout, brown trout and grayling in the peace and quiet of the Danish countryside.
If you’ve got access to a car, it’s well worth making the 30-mile drive from Billund to the picturesque port town of Kolding. Here you’ll find a compact city centre filled with brightly coloured houses, as well as a splendid moated castle, the Danish Museum of Nursing History and the Trapholt Museum of Modern Art, whose café has spectacular views over Kolding Fjord.
Jutland, the mainland peninsula on which Billund is based, is narrow enough that you can easily drive across to the west coast to see the epic seascapes on the North Sea side. Make a stop at Varde, just 45 minutes’ drive from Billund – it's a beautiful little market town, home to the quaint 11th-century Church of St. Jacob, easily discernible by its whitewashed tower. To the south, towns like Ribe and Esbjerg act as gateways to the Wadden Sea National Park, whose landscape of islands and mudflats is particularly good for birdwatchers. Here you’ll also find the holiday resort of Vejers, which Danes flock to in the summer thanks to a wide, flat beach flanked by dunes.