Dyrehaven, in English the Deer Park, is a large forest area north of Copenhagen. It is a place worth a visit because of its natural beauty and its large population of free-ranging deer that are untroubled by human presence. Here you can get up close to around 2000 deer that can be seen grazing in the woods or in the open plains.
Dyrehaven has been the hunting ground of the Danish royals since the early 13th century. During the late 17th century, King Christian the 5th shaped the landscape with straight forest roads in a star shaped pattern surrounded by squares in the Baroque style. This was the way how he showed his power over Nature. Today, Dyrehaven covers an area of around 11 km2 (4.2 sq mi) and has a mixture of huge, many hundred years old oak trees.
Nowadays, the park has herds of about 2100 deer in total, with 300 Red Deer, 1700 Fallow Deer and 100 Sika Deer. The deer are descended from the deer that Danish royals hunted hundreds years ago. During that age, the riders and dogs hunted a royal stag to its exhaustion when the king (or his distinguished guest) had the honour of killing the animal by sword or spear. Today, the deer can graze peacefully around the fenced park area.
Just 20 minutes drive outside of Copenhagen; Dyrehaven is a perfect place for a day trip getaway from the hectic city. It is ideal for picnics, long walks, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding, or a trip in a horse carriage. The park is especially beautiful during autumn’s colorful leaf season.
3 tips for Dyrhaven
- If you travel with a dog – keep it on a leash!
- The fenced area is huge – so prepare with good shoes and something to eat if you want to explore the area a bit further
- There are also nice beaches nearby – dipping in the sea can be refreshing after trekking in the park