During my recent trip to Denmark, I really enjoyed walking around Gentofte Lake and on the trails of Bernstorffsparken, but I also wanted to do a longer and more strenuous hike. A friend told me that it was possible to do a long hike that looped around Lyngby and Bagsværd Lakes in Kongens Lyngby, in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen, and I decided I wanted to try it.
The route I followed isn’t really an official route, it’s more of a set of interconnected trails that allowed me to follow a loop around the two lakes (I mostly followed a route suggested on AllTrails). I took the S-Train to Lyngby Station, and after buying myself a pastry at Lagkagehuset, I headed for Lyngby Sø (Lyngby Lake).
I started my hike by following the Søpromenaden (lake promenade), a promenade that was built in 1919, making it the oldest recreational facility in Kongens Lyngby. The promenade follows the western shore of the lake in a straight line. It seems possible to rent canoes and kayaks there to go for a paddle on the lake, but I was content to observe it from the shore.
I had decided to follow the loop around the lakes clockwise, so I followed the Søpromenaden north. Northeast of the lake, I left the promenade to head west and follow a narrower, wilder trail that would allow me to continue hiking along the shore. I was now entering Lyngby Åmose.
Lyngby Åmose is a protected wetland which is home to a unique and varied flora. It seems that more than 200 different species of plants have been recorded there, making it one of the natural environments with the most varied biodiversity in the entire region.
I loved following the trail in Lyngby Åmose. The forest was varied, the trail was very quiet (I didn’t meet other walkers there) and there were many viewpoints on the lake.
To my regret, I eventually left Lyngby Åmose when I arrived at the western end of the lake. I crossed the Mølleå River on a nice little bridge, then followed a short path that led me to the second lake of my hike: Bagsværd Sø.
Bagsværd Sø (Bagsværd Lake) is the second largest lake in the Mølleå River watershed and on arriving at its shore I was able to better understand just how big it was. I had a little trouble believing that I was going to hike all around it!
At the point I was, the shore of Bagsværd Lake is occupied by private residences, so you have to follow the road for a few metres. Slightly less interesting than following a trail, but a snack bar along the route offers ice cream, if you ever feel like taking a break.
It is from the park of the Sophienholm art gallery that you can finally reach the shore of the lake and get back on a hiking trail. Built in 1769, Sophienholm is the former residence of the head of the Danish Postal Services. It was completely restored in the 1960s and now hosts various art exhibitions.
After leaving the English-style garden of Sophienholm, the trail goes back into the forest. I really enjoyed this portion too. As in Lyngby Åmose, I was alone on the trail. But the forest there was completely different from Lyngby Åmose, with slightly more rugged terrain, and carpeted with pine needles.
I reached the west end of the lake and continued to follow the trail, this time on the south shore. At this point, I passed by old bleachers and sports facilities. This is because Bagsværd Lake often hosts national rowing training or competitions. There were actually several rowing boats on the lake, training under the now gloomy sky.
Obviously, the rowing training centre was much less tranquil than the forest on the north shore of the lake, but the trail continued to offer me some beautiful views. And some unexpected ones! I eventually reached a park where there were the ruins of a castle. Okay, after reading more about its history, I now realized Aldershvile Slot was more of an opulent residence than a castle, but the ruins were still impressive.
It is said that Aldershvile was built by the head of the Danish Postal Services (yes, the same guy who also had Sophienholm built). He actually wanted something bigger than Sophienholm, but sadly for him, he died only a few years after the house was completed. Aldershvile passed through several hands afterwards, before burning down in 1919.
Back on the shore, I continued to follow the trail. I passed near a residential area, then through Bagsværd Søpark (Bagsværd Lake Park). Then I eventually finished the loop around Bagsværd Sø, got back to the road, the Mølleå River and Lyngby Lake, and I only had 3 kilometres left to do before returning to my starting point.
South shore of Lyngby Sø
The south shore of Lyngby Sø is a little less wild than its north shore and I sometimes felt like I was walking through the backyard of some residences. But the trail continued to provide plenty of beautiful places to take a break on the shores of the lake.
Then I crossed the Lyngby Folkepark and I only had a few metres left to go before reaching the Søpromenaden and my starting point. I finally got back to Kongens Lyngby and its train station almost three hours after starting my hike! Mission accomplished! (I might have bought another pastry to celebrate the achievement!)
In all, my hike around Lyngby and Bagsværd Lakes totaled almost 15 kilometres. And it reminded me that there are so many beautiful trails to discover in Denmark. Even in the suburbs!