The freedom of a driving tour around Jutland is now easier than ever with a new collection of individually owned Inns or ’Kro’ which form part of the ’Danske Kroer and Hoteller’ collection. Scattered across the whole of Denmark, there are some particularly good examples of accommodation close to family attractions and golf courses and many are well known for their home comforts and gourmet restaurants, offering traditional Danish cuisine.
The history of the Danish inns dates back to the 12th Century when King Erik Klipping sent out an order that inns be established along the so-called ’Kings Highway’ as staging posts for coaches to allow weary travellers to stretch their legs and enjoy a hearty meal. As a reward for providing a bed and a meal for travellers these Inns were granted a special Royal Licence to brew beer, distil spirits and bake bread, free of tax, both for their own use and to sell to the public. Some of these original Royal Licence establishments still survive today, with their thatched roofs, half-timbered frames and low-ceilinged parlour rooms and have now been restored to provide all the modern comforts of a hotel.
Service and hospitality are key at a typical Danish inn and provide a fairly inexpensive way to explore the country. Family rooms are also available in most inns with special rates for chidren aged 4-15 years sharing a standard family room on a bed and breakfast basis. Chidren aged under four stay free when sharing their parents room.
Starting in North Jutland with a flight into Aalborg, an easy two hour journey from the UK with Norwegian Airlines from Gatwick, the scenery opens up to reveal spectacularly wide open beaches and pretty little towns at the most northerly tip of Denmark.
For a first stop on a tour the 4 star St. Binderup Kro is a delightful introduction to the inns of this region, being located between Aalborg and Viborg. The inn dates back 400 years and still retains its sense of history with a charming collection of antiques under its traditional thatched roof. Rooms are of a high standard and the Inn is part of the Gourmet Route, with a restaurant offering a range of delicious Danish cuisine including a good selection of locally caught fish. (A one night stay including a five-course gourmet menu and breakfast costs £106 (DKK 895) per person www.binderupkro.dk). 20 minutes north of Aalborg the 3 star Tylstrup Kro is a delightfully charming 350-year-old Inn in the scenic village of Vendsyssel and has been a popular meeting place over the years for locals and travellers alike. The Inn has 44 comfortable rooms, a large open fireplace in the lounge area and a restaurant where local specialities, such as herring, can be enjoyed. It is close to many golf courses and not far from the scenic Store Vildmose. (A one night weekend stay with breakfast costs £94 (DKK 795) per person based on two sharing www.tylstrup-kro.dk). Travelling on towards the most northerly area of Denmark in the little seaside town of Aalbæk, close to Skagen, is the 3 star Aalbæk Gl. Kro. The 51 bedroomed Inn dates back to the late 1800’s when the Inn keeper was also involved in fishing and farming and that tradition of fine seafood survives to this day as the excellent restaurant still features locally caught fish on the menu. (A one night stay costs from £100 (DKK 850) per person to include room and breakfast plus a delicious two course menu www.aalbak-gl-kro.dk)
Further south, the area of central and south Jutland offer particularly exciting opportunities for families to explore the region and take in the numerous attractions, including Givskud Zoo, Legoland at Billund or Den Gamle By (The Old Town) and the AroS Art museum in Aarhus. One of Denmark’s the oldest Inns, Kongensbro Kro, which dates from 1663 and is located in this area on the banks of the Gudenåen River between Aarhus, Viborg and Silkeborg. Three successive generations of the Andersen family have run the Inn and have overseen the careful restoration of the buildings and the maintained a delightful garden. The Inns is well known for its cuisine and has recently opened a large wine cellar and lounge with an open fire and bar. (A one night stay including breakfast and a three course meal costs £101 (DKK 855) per person based on two sharing www.kongensbro-kro.dk). Near to the gentle beaches of the east Jutland coast, gourmet travellers will also enjoy the 3 star Nørre Vissing Kro, which dates back to 1801 and is renowned for its cuisine, having been voted one of Denmark’s 15 best kros in “Den Danske Spiseguide” (The Danish Food Guide) for the last 10 years. The Inn is near to Skanderborg and was renovated in 2008 with many of the rooms now having their own garden, balcony or small terrace. From the restaurant it is possible to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen or enjoy the crackling fire in the winter. Al fresco dining is also available in the Inn’s new sensory garden with its trickling fountain, scented herbs and decorative vine wall. (A one night stay costs from £83 (DKK 699) per person to include accommodation, breakfast and a two course menu www.nr-vissing-kro.dk). Also on the Gourmet Route is the 3 star Hvalpsund Færgekro, which has a commanding position overlooking the Limfjorden and from its central location makes an ideal base for a tour throughout most of Jutland. Close to the forest and only a very short walk from the beach; the Hvalpsund Golf Club is also nearby. The Inn has 28 very well appointed rooms and an excellent restaurant. (A one night gourmet stay costs from £106 (DKK 895) per person to include overnight accommodation, breakfast and a five-course gourmet menu www.hvalpsund-faergekro.dk). Close to Legoland and Givskud Zoo the 3 star Filskov Kro is set in countryside 10 km north of Grindsted. It has been owned by the same family and has held a Royal licence since it opened in 1853. The large garden is well set out with a heated outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts as well as an indoor and outdoor play area for children. (A one night stay including accommodation, breakfast and a three course dinner costs from £80 (DKK675) per person per night www.filskovkro.dk). Travelling further on and close to Christiansfeld on the South East Jutland coast the 4 star Tyrstrup Kro is beautifully appointed with a traditional thatched roof yet it has been completely renovated to offer 27 comfy ‘kro’ rooms, 15 of which are luxury suites, with a renowned restaurant. (A one night weekend stay including accommodation, breakfast and a four course dinner costs from £124 (DKK1,050) per person based on two sharing www.tyrstrupkro.dk). AS a final stop on the tour the island of Fanø in South West Jutland is like stepping back in time, with one single country road, little thatched houses, dunes, heath and plantations as far as the eye can see. The comfy 3 star Sønderho Kro is one of the oldest and best preserved in Denmark, having been founded in 1722. It has 14 individually decorated rooms plus an old thatched one bedroom cottage with its own garden and is situated on the south side of the island in the heart of Sønderho with a view to the marsh and the tidal area which is entirely unique. (A one night weekend stay costs £109 (DKK 925) per person to include accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Sønderho Kro is not part of Danske Kroer and Hoteller so to book a stay at call +45 7516 4009 or visit http://www.sonderhokro.dk/english/ )
Norwegian airlines and Ryan air both offer regular low cost flights from across the UK into Aalborg, Billund and Aarhus in less than two hours.
For more information on all of the Inns and Hotels go to www.krohotel.dk or for more details on Denmark visit www.visitdenmark.com
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