Hald Sø and Dollerup Bakker

With a quarter of a million visitors annually, the lake of Hald Sø and the hills of Dollerup Bakker are the most popular destinations in Viborg Municipality. The area is a protected Natura 2000 nature reserve and is also designated as having national geological interest. In addition, the heritage village of Dollerup is listed as particularly worthy of preservation. So the area is unique.

(Suggested daytrip by bike or on foot)

Hald Sø and Dollerup Bakker

The lake of Hald Sø and the hillscape of Dollerup Bakker is a protected area of approx. 1,600 hectares. Due to the topographical imprint of the Ice Age and (by Danish standards) the unusually deep (31-metre) lake and the steep southern slopes, the area is considered a unique example of Denmark’s glacial geology.

The varied nature of the deep lake, trickling brooks, quiet forests and wide-open heaths also provide habitats for a highly diverse flora and fauna.

The five manors

Culturally, the area is also one of epic historic drama. Here you find the vestiges of "The five Halds", five lakeside manors that over history have carried the same name, the first of which was founded in the 1300s. Among them were the strongholds of Niels Bugge, bishop Jørgen Friis (who was shackled in his own prison tower) and ‘The mad Schinkel’ who tormented and plagued the local peasants. On a more peaceful note, the current Hald Hovedgård manor is a centre of creative writing and literary translation. You can visit the vestiges and ruins of the four previous Hald manors in the landscape.
In addition you can also visit, Dollerup Watermill, which in the early 1900s was Scandinavia’s largest spinning mill. Most of the buildings have since been demolished, except for a stone barn which local workers have adapted to charitable causes, such as an Ancient Road Information Centre.

Some of the area’s highlights:

  • Hald Sø, a lake which with its many headsprings is replenished with 1,000 litres of water per second
  • The five Hald manors, consisting of Hald Hovedgård and the vestiges of four manors and castles
  • The Hald barn surrounded by open landscape and which is home to heritage exhibitions devoted to the lake and the hills of Dollerup Bakker
  • Naturskolen (nature centre)
  • Hærvejsherberget (hostel)
  • Dollerup Church
  • Dollerup Watermill
  • Saint Margrethe chapel and sacred spring
  • Characteristic glacial landscape, a glacial gorge by Skelhøje and Alheden in the west
  • Natural forests
  • A very large network of signposted hiking trails 
  • Niels Bugges Kro (Inn), Niels Bugge Hotel, Birgittelyst Kro (inn) and the Dollerup Bakker ice cream stall
  • Skelhøje Culture Centre and Community Hall

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Ancient Road films - Hald Sø and Dollerup Bakker

Round Hald Sø by bike

Hald Hovedgård