There are many attractions in the wider area around the cottage. In the drop-down menus below the most popular visiting destinations and activity tips are listed. Day trips to Stockholm from our cottage are easy to do, since one can reach the center of Stockholm within an hour. In the house there are two folders with tourist information and maps of the area.
The history of this ancient town began in the days of the Vikings. In 1280, the cathedral was commissioned in Strängnäs and the town received city rights. The Bishop still has its residence next to the cathedral. On June 6, 1523 Gustav Vasa was crowned king near the cathedral, which still is commemorated each summer in a play. In the old town are some narrow streets with small wooden houses that are over 200 years old. The port is located in the center at the foot of a hill topped with an antique mill named the Dutchman. Strängnäs is an old town with a nice center with cafes, restaurants and shops. There are also a swimming pool, ice skating rink, bowling alley, canoe rentals, golf and Cinema. Tourist information Strängnäs.
Mariefred is located on the inland lake Mälaren and was formed around Castle Gripsholm (see picture above) where the royal family still spent part of their leisure time. Because of the charm of the village and the short distance to Stockholm many famous artists, writers and athletes settled in Mariefred. In the summer a narrow gauge steam train runs from the picturesque old station. In the summer it is jazzfestival.
The steamship Mariefred still services the route to Stockholm. The steamship has operated the Stockholm-Mariefred route since 1903. The coal fired steam boiler powers her quietly across the waters of Lake Mälaren. Standing on the dock watching her head in to Mariefred is an experience of its own.
Kurt Tucholsky (1890 – 1935) was a German journalist and social critic who lived in Mariefred for a short time. He was so delighted that the latter wrote the book Schloss Gripsholm, a love story. He is buried in Mariefreds cemetery and the grave is visited each year by many Germans. The Inga Lindström series by German television were filmed in Mariefred and Södermanland county.
Stately Mälsåker Castle has undergone many years of careful restoration and is a fine example of the baroque style. Public viewings focus on the restoration work but also tell the story of the people who have left their mark on the castle.
The name refers to the old powder magazine and cannons (stycke) plant in Åker which were the core of this town since the 16th century. The iron was mined in the close by Skottvång mine. The village is located at narrow lakes and is a popular canoe area and has many hiking trails.
Bordering the Baltic Sea, Trosa has a great appeal to sea lovers. It is one of the smallest municipalities of Sweden with a well-preserved center. Both the royal Tullgarn castle and Nynäs castle offer tours during the summer.
Most visitors spend several days in the Swedish capital Stockholm. The city is in a fascinating way built on a number of islands which are connected to each other by bridges and tunnels. Within an hour you are in the center of the city. The town is excellent to explore by public transport: buses, metro and boats. If all the terraces, museums and culture become too much, one can explore the vast archipelago (skärgård) from Stockholm to relax.
From Strängnäs you can take the steamship to the island of Birka, which was the capital of the Vikings around the year 750. On the island in the lake Mälaren, one can make a journey through time and experience how the Vikings used to live.
The Vasa is the world’s only surviving ship from the 17th century. The Vasa was built in Stockholm led by the Dutch shipbuilder Henrik Hybertsson. The vessel sank shortly after the launch, because the king had ordered too many extra canons on the upper decks. More than 95 percent of the ship is preserved and decorated with hundreds of carved wooden images, the Vasa is a unique art treasure, and one of the main tourist attractions in the world. The ship is on display in a specially built museum.
Skansen is the world’s first open-air museum, founded in 1891. Here you can stroll through five centuries of Swedish history, from north to south, with a real sense of the past all around in the historical buildings and dwellings, peopled by characters in period dress.
Some 75 different species and breeds of Scandinavian animals are represented at Skansen zoo – more than anywhere else. There are wild animals such as brown bears, wolves, seals, lynx, wolverines and elks. There is a children’s zoo where visitors can meet goats, cats, chicks and other small animals.
Sala Silver Mine was the largest and most important producer of silver for 400 years and was closed 1962. Visitors can experience the impressive and tenacious work carried out by the miners. In the mine one can get at a guided tour at a depth of 60 meters and even at 155 meters in Ulrica Eleonora mine. Above ground one can see stately head frames as well as other buildings important for the mine, for example official’s homes and ore barns.
Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna was founded in 1898. There is always something new to learn. The zoo has hundreds of species, several of which are included in the international conservation breeding projects.
The AGA cooker is considered a British icon, but is actually invented and produced in Stockholm by Swedish Nobel-prize winner Gustaf Dalén in 1922. Since 1947 even production in England started. The book “Gamla spisar är heta!” (old cookers are hot!) is about the history, how to use it and famous people using old Swedish cast iron cooking stoves on wood and the famous AGA cooker. It is written by Christine Koele (the landlord of holiday cottage The Big Moose) in Swedish and contains many beautiful photos and interesting stories. The English translation of the whole book is available as complement to the book.
Unlike golf courses in other countries, which are typically only accessible to members, golf courses in Sweden are open for daily green fee guests. Given the geography and topography the sprawling golf courses are really part of the surrounding nature and you can just spot a moose or other wildlife. Another great advantage of playing golf in Sweden is the fact that it is not so busy; you can relax and do your golf round.
In our town Strängnäs there are four excellent golf courses:
- Gripsholms Golfklubb (18 holes) in Mariefred
- Strängnäs Golfklubb (27 holes)
- Fogdö Golfklubb (18 holes)
- Stallarholmens Golfbana (18 holes)
List of all 24 golf courses in our county.
Just a few minutes away from the city of Stockholm, the archipelago begins: Stockholm’s Skärgård. With nearly 30,000 islands, islets and rocks. Rugged nature blends with wooded islands, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. Enjoy tranquil coves or the open sea where waves can go high. Explore uninhabited islets as well as islands with new communities and ancient villages, where large houses and small cottages stand side by side. Take advantage of some of the many activities on offer. Enjoy the archipelago’s culinary specialties at the inns and restaurants, or prepare your own meals over an open fire.
In addition to fishing in Lake Mälaren, there is ample opportunity to fish in one of the many lakes in Åkers former mining district. In the many scenic lakes, a fishing license is required, but in Lake Mälaren it is not.
The many lakes (nearest at a distance of 5 km) are an excellent place for swimming, boating or fishing. There are usually no or only a few others on the same lake. The Swedish summer months are often sunny with temperatures reaching above 25 degrees.
In the winter one can go skating long stretches on very thick and smooth ice. The months November through April it tends to be below zero, sometimes up to 30 degrees.
The nearest ski-slope lies in Malmköping, just 27 km from the cottage. It has 3 slopes and a sledge slope. Skies and boots can be rented in the shop at the ski slope.
In the winter, cross-country skiing can be done in many places. Just 5 km from the cottage there is a cross-country skiing trail across the meadows. There are even illuminated tracks.
The most beautiful parts of the Sörmland trail (Sörmlandsleden) run through Åkers bergslag (mining district) and are easily accessible from many different places. Windbreaks and fireplaces are available in strategic places.
Cycling through the quiet forests on mountain bike or cycle racing on vast smooth asphalt roads (with little traffic) is a relief. Route maps are available in the house.
Eskilstuna has the largest gliding club in Sweden. Glider guests are welcome.