Friday after Gin´s work we drove off to explore the blooming fields of Lüneburger Heide for the weekend – finally! I have to admit I had no clue this beautiful nature park even existed before I moved to Germany and have been wanting to visit it for “years” now. The best time to visit is late July – mid September when the areas of heathland turn pink.
HOW TO GET THERE
It takes about 30 minutes from Hamburg, 1 hour from Hanover or Bremen and 3 hours from Berlin. The easiest and fastest is with your own car, but the trains running between Hanover and Hamburg also make a stop there. Besides hotels there are many holiday houses which you can rent, but have in mind that they get booked much in advance in August and September as this is the best time to visit the natural park. We were a bit late and in the end we got a place in a bigger town close by, Bispingen.
It´s very important to know that a large area of the park is CAR FREE ZONE – and there are only 3 ways to get around: on foot, with a horse carriage or with bicycles. I would say going with bycicles is a great option as you move around quicker ;). We wanted to go to Wilsede and make walking trips from there, but were surprised to see all the carriages on Saturday were booked out to bus tourists. So, if you do not feel like walking 20km and do not have bicycles, better book one in advance or visit during the week!
WHAT WE SAW & DID
On Friday late in the afternoon we still had enough time to circle the 5km path in PIETZMOOR near Schneverdingen, on Saturday we took the only free carriage ride for 45minutes through the most famous parts of Lüneburger Heide to WILSEDER BERG (but were not allowed to step off and walk for a while) – later on the sun came up again and we made a walk through the pink fields close to SCHNEVERDINGEN and ended the day in HEIDEGARTEN gardens. Sunday was a bit rainy in the morning so we had fun in a special CRAZY HOUSE where everything is upside down and spend the rest of the day in LÜNEBURG, before heading back home.
We were staying in a so-called “Ferienwohnung” (holiday home) close to Bispingen and saw the town mostly just at driving through – it seemed very nice, lots of shops and restaurants, quite lively also! You can also stay at CENTER PARCS, which offer different activities for the whole family.
Luckily we still had enough time on Friday and the weather was good so we searched for a nice place for a shorter hike– preferably something different than the heath fields as we were planning that for Saturday when our friends joined us. We came across Pietzmoor WETLANDS online and decided to drive there. It was just 15 minutes from our accommodation.
There is a round 5km HIKING TRAIL which we managed in 1,5 hours – just perfect if you don´t have much time! The whole area is protected and of important significance for flora and fauna. If you go there in spring time you can watch the amazing white flowers of “Wollgrasblüte”, in late summer/ autumn there is the PINK HEATH that dominates the views. Along the way there are info stands about the wetlands.
We had a little ball with which is a life saver on longer walks when it gets a bit boring for Lu when we are his only company ;). The ball did the trick, as always ;). The last part of the way we did walk over heath fields for a while and got the first impressions.
Lüneburger Heide (Lüneburger Heath) is an area, distinguished by specific factors such as climate, relief, soil, geology, flora and fauna. It covers a greater area around towns CELLE, GIFHORN, UELZEN, LÜNEBURG, SCHEEßEL, HARBURG, ROTENBURG and LÜCHOW-DANNENBZRG. It´s impossible to see it all in one weekend, so we decided to visit the most famous part around WILSEDER MOUNTAIN and make a few hiking trips around here.
For 10€ per person (kids free) we got a 45 minute ROUND CARIAGE RIDE and got to see the pink landscape in the heart of the park. Although it was raining from time to time and it was rather cold, it was still worth it! Here are some impressions:
The whole point of coming here was to walk around the pink fields and the easiest was to check out the actual blooming time is to follow this site!
After we had lunch at our place and have gotten a bit warm again, suddenly the sun also came out again! And off we were – we drove in the direction of Schneverdingen and just before the town stopped at a parking where many (longer and shorter) HIKING TRAILS started. We did a 5 km one and were happy to enjoy the heath in the sun! No ball needed now, Lu had company ;).
One last stop for the day – heath gardens “Heidegarten” in Höpen, Schneverdingen. A park where you can find 150 DIFFERENT SORTS OF HEATH PLANTS all year around, for free. There is also a watch tower from where there are nice views down to the gardens.
“CRAZY HOUSE” IN BISPINGEN
Sunday morning it was raining so there was no point of doing any more hiking – instead we took the kids to a house, where everything is UPSIDE DOWN. Read more about it by clicking the button below.
Not ready to return home just yet, we drove for about half an hour to Lüneburg just 40km away and is most famous for being a HANSEATIC TOWN with a big tradition in extracting salt and salt mining. Today its a lively town with around 80.00 inhabitants and quite some visitors and since it is only 50km south of Hamburg it makes a great day trip from there also! By coincidence it was one of those few Sundays a year when all the shops were open so there was much going on. We even went lucky with the weather as it started raining when we were on the way back to the car anyway.
The town itself might not be big, but there are lots of nice streets to walk and it does take a while to make a circle! The most charming part has to be around the “ALTER KRAN” / old crane around which there are many restaurants, bridges and old houses with beautiful facades!
There was a FOOD MARKET in front of the TOWN HALL, but this is when the sky was turning black and the wind was blowing stronger – so we decided to call it a day and return to the car. 2 hours later we were home at a reasonable hour ;).
This was a nice trip to a place we usually always just drive by on the highway and now we finally made it our final destination! If you are travelling around here (especially when the heath blooms) it´s well worth considering stopping for a night!
PIN FOR LATER