This stretch of the Ancient Road takes you through the beautiful hillscape southwest of the town of Frederikshavn. Initially along country lanes through the river valley of Bangsbo Ådal, then by gravel road through the area of Hestvang and the rolling landscape to the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgård. From there you head through across a vast plateau, which is an old reclaimed inlet that branches out from Østervrå. This stretch ends at Nymølle Bæk, a stream that is one of the most amazing natural areas of the region of Vendsyssel, just at the edge of the hills of Jyske Ås.
The Bangsbo area
In Frederikshavn, the Ancient Road starts at the town’s tourist office. From here there are just a few kilometres to the Bangsbo area where there are many experiences and places to enjoy. Among the attractions are Bangsbo Deer Park, Bangsbo Botanical Garden, Bangsbo Museum, Bangsbo Manor, a nature playground, etc. You can also take a detour up the hill of Pikkerbakken to enjoy views of the town and Ålbæk Bugt bay – you can even see as far as Skagen on a good day, the very tip of Denmark.
Continuing from Bangsbo you head through the beautiful Bangsbo Ådal river valley past the Neolithic burial site of Donbæk and the prehistoric barrows of Kongehøjene.
Kongehøj and Borgbjerg
Kongehøj and Borgbjerg, which can be seen from the road, are part of Donbæk Gravplads, a prehistoric burial site with 60 barrows, which are spread over a narrow strip of hills. Here, a number of Neolithic urn graves were discovered in the early 1900s in addition to a number of different objects, including a gold bracelet.
Archaeologically, this is a very exciting location where new discoveries are made every few years. There is public access to the area, so you are free to wander through and explore the barrows.
From Bangsbo Ådal river valley, you turn south along Hestvangsvej, which is a relatively long gravel road that meanders through the beautiful rolling countryside. Here you’ll feel very much off the beaten track.
Having travelled the gravel road you will cross the Ancient Roads Hiking Trail. If you turn east approx. 500 meters along the hiking route you will find a nice and peaceful shelter by the children’s institution Granly. You can read more about it here.
Karup and Hørbylund
Leaving the hiking route you continue through a hilly landscape to Karup. From there you follow the hiking route approx. 4 km past Karup Church and a sacred spring called Helligøbben. You also pass the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgård and you are now about halfway between the town of Frederikshavn and the hills of Jyske Ås.
The trip from Hørbylund to Østervrå runs along more open and flat stretches, leading you around the many hills so you can pedal a little faster. Along the way you pass a village called Søholt and the lake of Gersholt, which is the largest in the region of Vendsyssel. At Søholt a regional cycling route (Route 61) leads from Tolne to Skiveren.
The last stretch before Østervrå runs on a plateau offering a wide-open view of the landscapes of central Vendsyssel. You will be travelling across what used to be the end of an old inlet called Volstrupsletten. This is how far the sea used to reach Østervrå.
In Østervrå you can stock up on provisions. Here you will also find a swimming pool where you can enjoy a perhaps much-needed shower.
In addition, you will find a small shelter in Østervrå, which is situated by the sports field on Bredgade.
From Østervrå you ride along country lanes through a scenic and peaceful area. You pass the stream of Voer Å, which runs into the sea at Voerså.
At the nature reserve by Nymølle Bæk, a meandering brook, you once again cross the hiking route. Right here we recommend that you take a break from biking and walk to Nymølle Bæk, one of the most scenic trips in Vendsyssel. Here you will find beech forests, meadows, heaths, grasslands, rivers, lakes and alder bogs.
If you follow the hiking route along Nymølle Bæk you will cross the beautiful old ashlar stone bridge, which was constructed at some point after the 1600s – the date is unknown.
Ingeborg Skeel (approx. 1545-1604) was a landowner at Voergaard Castle and also owned a glassworks by Nymølle Bæk in the late 1500s. There, where once the glassworks lay, you can still find shards of glass.
Having passed the Nymølle Bæk area, the route continues along the country lanes. After a few kilometres, the Ancient Road Cycling Route turns left – to the south. But if you are looking for accommodation, you should continue to the right (towards west) down the regional cycling route (Route 60). After approx. 500 meters you will come to a large shelter, namely Naturskole Lunken.
If, instead, you continue south down the Ancient Road Cycling Route you will soon arrive at a major road, and if you leave the route here and continue left (i.e. to the east) you will after 1.5 kilometres come to a small town called Brønden where there is a very nice shelter.
THE NEXT STAGE: JYSKE ÅS - HAMMER BAKKER