• Sweden edition
 
Royal residences in Sweden’s scenic south

Royal residences in Sweden’s scenic south

Published: 27 Jun 2008 10:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Jun 2008 10:06 GMT+02:00

Situated just outside Helsingborg – a short drive or bus journey away – the royal palace of Sofiero was built in the middle of the nineteenth century, and renovated and expanded in the decades between then and 1905, when it was given to Lady Louise Mountbatten (wife of King Gustav VI Adolf) as a summer residence.

The palace itself is, for a royal residence, relatively small, containing period furnishings and artworks; the back of the building is given over to a charming, high-quality restaurant, where it’s possible to enjoy your matjessill (Sweet pickled herring) and coffee from the terrace overlooking the gardens and out to the sea.

It’s the gardens themselves that provide the main draw for tourists. Huge, beautifully-tended and enthrallingly intricate, they stretch down towards the coast from the palace. Visitors should stroll the length of the spectacular rhododendron walk – containing an estimated 10,000 plants from 300 species – and wander down as far as possible to the seafront, where they can find a totem pole jutting incongruously from the greenery.

Upon strolling back up the hillside to the buildings, visitors can find various sculptures in the wooded footpath area. This part of the garden invites you to delve among the trees to get close to works of art, by sculptors such as Gunilla Bandolin, that can be glimpsed from the terraces. Tickets to the palace and gardens cost 85 kronor: details of opening times can be found on the Sofiero website.

From Sofiero it’s possible to make out another grand royal residence across the sound. Kronborg Castle, despite its proximity to the Swedish royal dwelling, is actually in the Danish city of Helsingør.

Those of a literary bent may recognize the name, under the Anglicised spelling of Elsinore – it’s the setting for Hamlet, and parts of the castle today retain an impressively fitting gloominess. Actors such as Laurence Olivier and Derek Jacobi have played the ill-fated Dane in performances given in the castle itself.

Although Kronborg is constructed with typical Danish architectural elegance, it is unmistakably an old military outpost, with formidable turrets and stout walls; in stark contrast to Sofiero’s air of relaxation and bright gardens, the bulk of Kronborg’s beauty is in its interiors. Visitors should browse the royal chambers, with their impressive array of tapestries. It’s behind one of these “arrases” that Polonius conceals himself in the play; try as The Local might, though, we couldn’t find any telltale sword-slashes to distinguish which one it was. Shame.

In order to get to Helsingør from Sweden, head into Helsingborg and catch a ferry from the terminal, a short cab ride from the city centre – it takes 20 minutes or so to cross the sound, and the castle is then accessible by foot and public transport (see here for details of how to find it).

Access to the castle costs from between 85 Danish kroner, for a full ticket which allows the bearer entry to the attached maritime museum, to a basic ticket for 30 kroner, which gets you into the chapel alone. Make sure you have some Danish kroner on you.

Elsewhere in Helsingborg

Helsingborg is a charming city and, if you’re in the area, a good place to consider basing yourself – particularly if you’re relying on trains or buses to bring you to and from Skåne and have no intention of hiring a car. Hotels, bars and places to eat are plentiful, and the tourist information centre will also tell you whether or not there are any public theatre or music performances (popular during the summer months) taking place.

Visitors to the city should also visit Dunkers Kulturhus, a large and attractive building at Kungsgatan 11. This museum contains modern art exhibitions, collections of older art, cultural artefacts, and more besides; it also contains a tremendously diverting gift shop. Browse the Helsingborg website for more information on places to stay and things to do (http://www.helsingborg.se/Main.aspx?epslanguage=SV).

Outside Helsingborg

You can make your trip to Sofiero and Kronborg a typically Skåne experience, and stay in one of the hundreds of guesthouses around the area. If you don’t mind a drive of an hour or so in order to get close to the city and royal residences, you can save money (bed and breakfast in one of these cottages is invariably cheaper than a hotel stay in Helsingborg) and make the most of good local hospitality.

The web is a good place to start your research; begin at a site such as skåne.com and contact the guesthouses directly for information on availability.

Matt O'Leary (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Society
Swede's necklace found after 52 years in lake
Ing-Marie Olofsson whose necklace was found. Photo: Private

Swede's necklace found after 52 years in lake

A 66-year-old Swedish woman got the surprise of her life when a fisherman returned the necklace she dropped in a lake at the age of 14. READ  

International
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Malin Sahlén during a Top Model shoot. Photo: TV3/Nina Holma

Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos

A British newspaper has apologised after a freelance journalist stole a Sweden's Next Top Model contestant's photo and created a fake Twitter account used to trick a UK minister. READ  

Brand stories
Johanna N: beautiful jewellery with a story

Johanna N: beautiful jewellery with a story

Aged just 27 and already living off of her own designs, some may consider Johanna Nilsson lucky. But she doesn't believe in luck. She's the founder of a jewellery line blending sustainability, subtle style, and Scandinavian simplicity - and it's taking the world by storm. READ  

Sport
Heel injury sidelines Zlatan in Barcelona clash
Photo: AP

Heel injury sidelines Zlatan in Barcelona clash

Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss Tuesday's Champions League clash with Barcelona at the Parc des Princes due to a nagging heel problem, the French club have confirmed. READ  

National
Stockholm patient tests negative after Ebola fears
The Infection Clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge. Photo: TT

Stockholm patient tests negative after Ebola fears

A patient in a Stockholm hospital who was suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus was given the all clear on Tuesday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
A Jas Gripen. Photo: TT

New coalition agrees on defence and migration

UPDATED: The Green Party has committed itself to expanding Sweden's defence force, while the Social Democrats have compromised on work permits for migrants. READ  

National
Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden
The patient is being treated at the Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: TT

Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden

Doctors in Stockholm are checking a patient suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Björn Söder. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot

Despite most Members of Parliament abstaining from voting, Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder has been announced as one of Sweden's new Deputy Speakers. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photo: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The Local's resident music guru Paul Connolly is back with another selection of his favourite Swedish tracks. READ  

International
Swedish model in hiding after UK politician sting
Malin Sahlén during a Top Model shoot. Photo: TV3/Nina Holma

Swedish model in hiding after UK politician sting

A Swedish model whose photo was used in a British tabloid newspaper sting without her permission has described the incident as "something terrible". READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Gallery
Property of the week - Torslanda
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

877
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN