The Bangsbo area
Heading out from the town of Frederikshavn, the Ancient Road starts at the Tourist Office. From here you travel just a few kilometres to reach 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, and a nature playground. You can also take a detour up Pikkerbakken, a hill offering views across the town, the bay of Ålbæk Bugt and even as far as Skagen on a good day.
Continuing from Bangsbo you head through the beautiful Bangsbo Ådal river valley past the Neolithic burial site of Donbæk Gravplads and the majestic barrows of Kongehøj.
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 out over a narrow hillscape. 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 explore the barrows.
You now head along country lanes until you reach the top of Øksnebjerg, a hill offering absolutely magnificent panoramic views in almost all directions. To the southeast you see the seaside town of Sæby and as far as the island of Læsø to the east. To the west you see a stunningly beautiful hillscape and to the north the bay of Ålbæk Bugt with Denmark’s northernmost town of Skagen in the distance.
The name "Øksnebjerg" (the Oxen Mount) indicates that this was a site where cattle were herded before their long journey down the Ancient Road. Many local manors and large farms founded their wealth on the exports of cattle. The steer were gathered in large flocks from different estates in Vendsyssel and herded down the Ancient Road by professional drovers. The first goal was Southern Jutland, where the steer after a strenuous trip were fattened only to be herded further south into Europe. Customs accounts from the 1600s show that in good years about 50,000 cattle were herded down the Ancient Road.
From Øksnebjerg you travel along a gravel road, which is the old road on the east side of the ridge. Here you enjoy fine sea views all along. Reaching the village of Understed you will here find the sacred springs of Understed and Understed Church.
You'll also find a nice and peaceful shelter approx. 1 km beyond Understed. The route passes right by, so it should be easy to spot.
Wandering along gravel roads you now head westward though the hilly landscape to the town of Karup. Along the way, you can make a small detour to Karup Church and another sacred spring called Helligøbben.
From Karup you head towards the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgård and you are now about halfway between Frederikshavn and the hillscape of Jyske Ås.
THE NEXT STAGE: HØRBYLUND-JYSKE ÅS