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Heading to the Beach
The national park is bordered by vast and beautiful beaches all the way from Agger to Hanstholm. They beckon for a swim in the summer waves, but be aware that not all beaches are equally suitable for swimming, especially due to currents and seabed conditions. However, many of them are indeed great for swimming. On Agger Tange, located between the long groynes 71 and 72, the North Sea is usually a bit calmer, making it a popular choice for families with children. Park at Lange Mole, where you'll also find restrooms.
Surfing Paradise for Kids
The water at Klitmøller is a mecca for surfers, and the kids also have the opportunity to try the waves with a surfboard under their feet. The air is filled with the scent of salt and seaweed, and although the beaches, especially around Klitmøller, can be quite rocky, there are plenty of opportunities for the children to enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea. In Nørre Vorupør, you will also find surfers, one of Denmark's best beaches, and a sea bath that is separated from the open North Sea.
Swimming in Crystal Clear Waters
If the wind or waves become too strong along the coast, there is an exceptional opportunity for swimming further inland in the park. Here, you will find the calm and clear freshwater lakes, Nors Sø and Vandet Sø. These lakes were once ancient bays that got cut off from the North Sea as the land gradually rose after the last ice age. Nors Sø and Vandet Sø are among the purest in Denmark, and the visibility in their crystal clear waters can be up to seven meters. However, please be aware that swimming is not recommended at the eastern end of Vandet Sø due to elevated levels of coliform bacteria.
Per Madsens Kær is a popular bathing spot for families with children. The lake is shallow, the water is very clean, and it's a great place for a picnic. See more here: Per Madsen Kær
Picking Up Beach Trash
When it's windy and the waves wash ashore, unfortunately, trash comes along, the debris that we humans have thrown into the sea. Plastic bottles, fishing nets, nylon ropes, maybe an old rubber boot. It looks annoying, but the good news is that we can easier remove the debris from the beach than from the sea. In fact, it can be quite fun.
Along the beaches, you'll find containers for stranded debris at most parking areas. You can find trash bags near these containers, and with one in hand, it can become a treasure hunt for both young and old to walk along the beach.
It's amazing what you can find when you get started. And it works! In Thisted Municipality's 20 containers, a total of 19.5 tons of beach debris were collected last year. Remember to turn back when the bag is half full – it can get quite heavy on the way back. You can conclude the trip with a visit to "Strandet" in Nr. Vorupør, where they create entirely new things from plastic waste found on the beach. There's an exhibition and a café. Learn more here: Strandet
The forest playground in Vilsbøl Plantation is located just north of Vandet Sø (Klitmøllervej 86), almost in a depression in the terrain and surrounded by forest-covered dunes, which means it's often sheltered from the wind. The site also includes a sheltered picnic area, a toilet, and a campfire site with a grill grate. Firewood can be gathered from the forest floor. Learn more here: Skovlegeplads Vilsbøl
There is also a natural playground in Hawskoven near Hanstholm, just north of Industrivangen, where you can park. Hawskoven is part of Hanstholm City Plantation, located just outside the national park's boundaries. In addition to the natural playground, there is a crossfit course and six shelters with campfire sites. Learn more here: Hawskoven
Child-friendly hiking routes
There are plenty of them. Just adjust the length to the little legs. For example, try the Grubestien, also known as the Troldesporet, which you'll find right by the Coast Road between Vorupør and up among the trees. The trail is marked with red arrows, and you only need to go about 100 meters in before you're in the middle of a thicket of crooked, low pine and fir trees that seem to crawl along the ground. Just as they have done since the plantation's early days over 100 years ago, battling against the wind and sand drift. The route is wonderfully winding and hilly, full of hiding spots. And it only takes a little imagination to bring the many tree formations to life as trolls and sea monsters. The entire Grubebakkeruten is a round trip of 4.5 km, but just walk as far as you like, turn around, and see something new on the way back. The hike is not suitable for strollers or pushchairs.
Gryderuten, which starts from the parking lot on Egebaksandevej in the eastern end of Tvorup Klitplantage, is only 1.8 km and can be easily managed by most children. It's a fun hike with varied and hilly terrain, old oak trees, large roots, and narrow passages.
Graves Bakker route is probably more suitable for slightly older children. It's only 2 km, but somewhat of a mountain stage in the national park, with 40-meter-high hills that provide a great view of the heathland areas from the top. You can find it from the parking lot, located on the west side of Nystrupvej, just south of Hovekærvej.