Sarah Green – Hiking on the Skjoldungestien trail
The Skjoldungestien trail is one of the best hiking trails in Zealand taking you through the Skjoldungernes Land National Park. And it’s just a half hour drive away from Copenhagen.
From Gl. Lejre to Hvalsø in two days – 28 km
Skjoldungestien is formed like a cross with the village of Gl. Lejre in the centre. From this centre, around 40 kilometres of the trail stretch out into the countryside in four sections. Se kortet over hele Skjoldungestien her
We hiked the section from Roskilde to Hvalsø (around 28 kilometres) over two days. Normally, you’d walk the route from A to B but we started both days in the middle and walked south on the first day and north on the second.
This is easy to do because you can just leave the car and take public transport to Roskilde and Hvalsø. There’s a train connection between Hvalsø, Lejre and Roskilde and bus 207 goes between the three stations with lots of stops on the way. This makes it really easy to do the route without a car.
Day 1: Starting our trip in Gl. Lejre
Gl. Lejre is an old Viking settlement. The legendary Danish kings who lived here – the Skjoldungerne (or Scyldings in their anglicized name) have given their name to both the trail and the national park. The village itself is full of ancient mysteries including the stone ship, a collection of ancient stones arranged like a ship. The ship formation was the Viking way of honouring the dead and sending them off on their journey to the afterlife.
Lejre Museum, is also located here in a small thatched house where you can learn more about the Scyldings and the history of the area.
Leaving Gl. Lejre, the path goes up the hill to the remains of the Royal Halls, where traces of the old settlement are marked in the grass. Even though it requires a bit of imagination to visualize the settlement, it’s easy to appreciate its fantastic location with a panoramic view over the undulating landscape below. There’s an even better view from the ancient burial mound Mysselhøj, further up the path.
Then the trail goes around Ledreborg Castle, placed on a hill with its impressive symmetrical gardens below.
Enchanting forests, blue lakes and croaking frogs
Further south, the Skjoldungestien trail goes through the common land of “Særløse Overdrev” and into the woods of Bidstrupskovene. This is the name of the woodland that stretches throughout the middle of Zealand. The highlights of this part of the trail are definitely the beautiful woodland lakes.
The trail crosses the Bøllesø lake over a series of bridges and boards and you’ll find this section teeming with water lilies with a little croaking frog on almost every other one. It is simply magical!
Later we pass by Avnsø, a much larger lake, which is excellent for swimming. If it had been a hot July day, I’d have certainly jumped in. But in May, I’m quite happy to just enjoy the idyllic woodland scenery from the bathing jetty.
When we arrive at Hvalsø station, we take the bus back to the car in Gl. Lejre.
If you want to stay overnight, see accommodation suggestions in Fjordlandet here.
Day 2: From Hesselbjerg to Roskilde
The next morning, we set out on the Skjoldungestien trail again and continue past Hesselbjerggård – in a quite unique way. We cross the Kornerup Å stream using a rope ferry.
This is a raft attached by rope to each side of the stream so you can pull yourself across. It’s a really alternative and fun way to cross the water! Then we walked for a while along the stream before it changes direction and passes a golf course and into a boggy area called Rørmosen.
The boards through the bog are wonderful and new, so new in fact that the inauguration of the boardwalk is taking place just as we pass. The mayor makes her speech as we walk through the bog.
Lunch in the Sct. Hans Gardens in Roskilde
Just before we get to Roskilde, we walk through a big lush garden that was once a part of St. Hans Hospital. Today the gardens are open to the public and right in the middle is Sct. Hans Have café and plant nursery. At weekends and on public holidays, it serves simple meals that you can enjoy outside in the gardens or inside in the beautiful greenhouse.
This place is the definition of ”hygge” and has all sorts of cosy corners, benches and small gardens where you can eat your brunch, lunch, coffee or have a picnic.
The café itself is a socio-economic project that plans to use the entire gardens to promote mental health, wellbeing and culture.
Find the cafe on Google Maps.
Read more about Sct. Hans Have and its opening hours.
It’s a 15-minute walk from Sct. Hans Have along the sparkling blue waters of Roskilde Fjord to Roskilde Harbour.
Without a doubt, the most beautiful way to get to Roskilde!
A little detour to Herslev Brewery
The craft brewery Herslev Bryghus is not actually on the Skjoldungestien trail, but it’s so close that it’s worth taking a detour. Here they make organic natural beer with local ingredients and it’s very different to other microbreweries I’ve visited.
Why? Have you ever tasted an asparagus wheat beer, an apple beer or a cherry beer? Probably not. This is what makes Herslev Brewery the place to go for all beer enthusiasts who want to experience new and different tastes.
You can stop by and buy beers to take home or in the summer you can sit outside and enjoy a beer in their lovely beer garden.
Find Herslev Brewery on Google Maps
Read more about Herslev Bryghus and their opening hours
Look after the countryside
When you walk on the Skjoldungestien trail you’re walking in the national park where you need to take particular care of the countryside. Many of the areas are also privately owned so you can only walk on the marked roads and paths and only between 6 am and sunset.
- Remember to take your rubbish home with you
- Keep your dog on a lead
- Only pitch a tent in the official tent spots. See where they are on www.udinaturen.dk