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Kings and Columbus - A bike tour around Roskilde Fjord

Embark on a bike tour around Roskilde Fjord to visit Denmark's first industrial city, Frederiksværk, and Jægerspris Castle, both created by the Danish kings. Located by the fjord and surrounded by forests, they share the history of the transition from the absolute power of kings to democracy. Explore the history through the Arsenal, Gunpowder Works Museum, and Jægerspris Castle.

Take a 29-kilometer bike ride around Roskilde Fjord to visit Denmark's first industrial city, Frederiksværk, and Jægerspris Castle.

The fantastic location, surrounded by large forests by Roskilde Fjord, is not the only thing these two places have in common. The kings built Jægerspris Castle and created the industrial city of Frederiksværk. Therefore, it was of great significance for the two places when power shifted from absolute kings to democracy. Get the story by swinging by the Arsenal, Gunpowder Works Museum, and Jægerspris Castle.

The bike tour is connected by the ferry ride across Roskilde Fjord with the Columbus ferry between Sølager and Kulhuse. It's not just a ferry connection but also a historical connection between Jægerspris and the military industry in Frederiksværk. At the gunpowder works, they burned charcoal from alder trees, which was harvested in the forests around Jægerspris and sailed across Roskilde Fjord. It was an important ingredient in the production of gunpowder.

Here's where the tour begins:

The bike tour starts at Frederiksværk station, which you can reach by local train from Hundested – or Hillerød with S-train connection to Copenhagen.

From the main exit of the station, turn left and left again at the station kiosk and bike racks. Follow the path along the tracks, continuing straight at K. A Larssensgade. The track continues into Tømmerpladsvej, which you follow until it ends at Havnevej. Turn right onto Havnevej until the large intersection at Hermannsgade.

Get off the bike and cross the pedestrian crossing. Follow the path along the canal so you ride between the canal and the library. Keep following the path – even though it's narrow. Eventually, there's an incline that requires you to pull up alongside the old pump house. Cross diagonally over the green area. You'll find the Arsenal along the canal, between the church and the playground on Artilleripladsen.

The Arsenal

At the Arsenal, you can visit the exhibition "Frederiksværk – Denmark's first industrial city." Here, you can learn about the development of the city from the establishment of the military-industrial complex in the 1750s to the production of gunpowder, bullets, and cannons to the newer companies in cast iron and steel production. There's a joint ticket between the Arsenal and the Gunpowder Works Museum. The house also houses the information centre for the North Zealand National Park.

After the visit, turn right on Artilleripladsen/Torvet and right onto Egil Harders Gade. Pass the church. At the entrance to the pedestrian street, turn left at the small park and cross the canal. Turn right and ride along the canal on the bike path along Allegade. Behind the tall alder trees, you'll find the Gunpowder Works Museum. Cross the street, the entrance is from Krudtværksalleen.

Gunpowder Works Museum

In the middle of Frederiksværk, you'll find the large gunpowder works area. Here, you can explore among the old industrial buildings or visit the Gunpowder Works Museum, where you can experience the old industrial machines and learn about the dangerous working conditions in gunpowder production. Engaged volunteers add a personal touch to the history.

Continue on Krudtværksalleen

After the visit, continue briefly along the museum on Krudtværksalleen. Turn right the first time and stay on Krudtværksalleen until Syrevej, where you turn left. Turn right onto Krudtværksvej (it's right by the large parking lot behind the red town hall building. Pass the daycare centre and turn left immediately after, so you get to the side of the daycare centre.

Ride on the path until it ends and turn right onto the residential street Aavej (there's no sign). Ride to the end of the road and turn left onto Åsebro. When you reach Gl Hundestedvej, turn left. The road changes its name to Hanehovedvej. You'll pass Hanehoved Station, cross the tracks, and keep going straight ahead. Continue until just before the main road Hundestedvej Road no. 16. Here, turn left and continue on the bike path on bike route 40, which runs on the left side of the road.

Now follow bike route 40

You can follow the bike route signs on bike route 40 to the ferry crossing at Sølager. But keep an eye out for the small parking lot on the left side of the road about 150 meters after entering the forest. Here, the route turns into Grønnesse Skov. Follow the bike route 40 signs through the forest.

At the road down to Grønnessegaard Manor, briefly turn left and immediately right further into the forest. When you reach Grønnehavevej (no sign), turn left and immediately after a soft curve to the right. Continue on the forest road until it ends at the end of Grønnehavevej. Turn left onto Store Karlsmindevej and you're back on asphalt. Turn left at the campground on Kulhusvej and continue to the ferry dock, where the ferry Columbus departs from.

Columbus - a ferry without a schedule

Experience the grandeur of the crossing between Sølager and Kulhuse on Roskilde Fjord. The ferry is one of the few that sails without a schedule, but as needed. That means you can summon the ferry by using the "turn" signal at the boom system. Columbus was built in Norway in 1947 and was converted for sailing on this stretch in 1962, where it has been sailing since, interrupted only briefly from 2002-2005.

Check M/F Columbus before you set off. The ferry usually operates from April 1st until the autumn holidays. But weather conditions can lead to cancellations.

After a short ferry crossing, you are in Hornsherred, the peninsula between Roskilde and Holbæk fjords. In Kulhuse, you can refuel on wet and dry, and on the west side of Kulhuse, there is a lovely sandy beach (by the campground).

National Cycle Route 2 to Jægerspris Castle

You now encounter a new bike route sign; the blue/red national cycle route 2. The national cycle route 2 and bike route 40 Fjordstien follow different routes, but they both run through Nordskoven. You can choose to follow either of these or take the safer route along the bike path on the main road 207 Kulhusvej. On the outskirts of Kulhuse, turn right onto Gl Kulhusvej, and follow the signs "Cykelrute Jægerspris."

After the gas station, the route goes onto a double-lane bike path along the main road Kulhusvej, road 207. Follow the bike path until the road sharply turns left, here lies Jægerspris Castle. If you're coming from the forest side on one of the other bike routes, you'll arrive on Dyrnæsvej, so you'll need to turn right to reach the castle.

Jægerspris Castle

Take a trip back to the 1850s, when King Frederik 7 and Countess Danner lived at Jægerspris Castle. In the museum, you step into the regent couple's colourful rooms and are taken back to the royal life of the 1800s. The rooms are exactly as they were when King Frederik 7 and Countess Danner lived in the castle.

The story continues in the castle park, where Countess Danner is buried. You can also explore Wiedewelts Mindelund. Mindelunden is a sculpture park with 54 memorial stones. It was established in the 1700s by the royal family and celebrates 83 of the kingdom's greatest heroes. If you want a historical walk, Mindelunden is perfect with beautiful nature and plenty of Danish history.

Same way back or train home

After the visit, you can either return the same way or continue to Frederikssund and take the train from there. If you're heading towards Frederikssund, drive through Jægerspris town on Hovedgaden and later through the forest along the fjord. It's straight ahead all the way, but the road changes its name to Færgelundsvej until Kronprins Frederiks Bro.

Turn left over the bridge (bike path on the right side of the bridge). On the other side, immediately turn right onto Færgevej. At the harbour, the road changes its name to Bruhnsvej. In the roundabout, take the second exit onto Nygade and follow it along the shopping centre. Turn right onto Jernbanegade and you're at the station. From Frederikssund station, you can catch an S-train.

Tour facts Start:

  • Frederiksværk Station Length: 29 km
  • Surface: primarily asphalt, gravel if you choose the route through Nordskoven Suitable for adults and families with slightly older children
  • Signage: Route 40 and National Cycle Route 2, unsignposted much of the way
  • Toilet: Frederiksværk Station, all museums, Kulhuse Harbor, Frederikssund next to Restaurant Toldboden
  • Season: Due to the ferry M/F Columbus, the tour should be done from April to October
  • Find an interactive map via the QR code at the top Places to eat Ice Salon Café Danner at Jægerspris Castle Ice cream at Sølager Strand Camping Jægerspris Ice Cream Farmors - café and shop Restaurant Toldboden (Frederikssund) Café Ærligt (Frederikssund)

What to see

  • The Arsenal Gunpowder Works Museum J
  • ægerspris Castle Frederikssund Museum – Færgegården

Places to stay

  • Frederiksværk Camping and Hostel
  • North Zealand Holiday Homes
  • Byaasgaard – Camping, Farm Shop & Micro Farm
  • Sølager Strand Camping
  • Kulhuse Camping
  • Færgelundens Motel & Conference Center (Frederikssund)

Here you can rent a bike