Where one aspires to be the squire

Home to the Holstein-Ledreborg family, the picturesque Ledreborg Castle dates back to 1745 and is one of Denmark’s most exquisitely romantic castles. It is well worth a visit in its own right with its impressive Rococo gardens and blend of culture and history.

The castle has also become synonymous with hosting enormously popular home and lifestyle exhibitions over the last 17 years, and the castle gates are once again open over the Whitsun weekend to the many thousands of guests looking for the perfect family day trip and inspiration for the long days of spring and summer.

High up on the menu is indeed the menu itself – make sure you come to the exhibition with a healthy appetite. There are cafés and restaurants to satisfy all the palates in the palace. The enterprising Claus Meyer has prepared a gourmet picnic box for those willing to pay a little extra. The picnic can be enjoyed in its very own exclusive picnic area.  While ale enthusiasts can make a lengthy stop at the Herslev brewery stand to sample the lively Ledreborg Whitsun brew (Pinsebryg).

If you can still move after stuffing yourself silly, then hold onto your wallets because it’s time for a little shopping. The exhibition has a barn dedicated to clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery. The barn used to be home to the cowshed back in the good old days, but perhaps the only milking done during the fair will be by the exhibitors themselves.

Time to move on into the world of dreams. For those with designs on the perfect lifestyle, a range of exhibitors will be giving tips and inspiration on how to add the finishing touches to your home and garden – be they fantasy or real.

Blossoming inspiration surrounds the whole festival in the shape of floral artist Mogens Grønbech’s unique and inventive flower sculptures. For many guests, these creations are the highlight of the fair and it will be fascinating to see what he has come up with this year.

With Danes being able to boast five weeks or more of holiday, leisure time activities are always going to be high on the agenda. A special area is dedicated to the promotion of sporty, hobby and travel activities.
On Saturday at 11:00, mountain bikers will be competing in a race up and down the bumps and grinds of a specially designed outdoor track. On the other days and on Saturday after 15:00, you can rent a mountain bike and take a ride in the woods. On land, the Danish Hunters’ Association are running a quiz on outdoor life around a bonfire, while at sea, the crew from Scansub DK Diver will be trying to tempt you with a test dive on the waters surrounding Denmark. The noble art of woodturning is represented at two workshops where you can watch the artisans producing handles and hatstands.

By now the kids are starting to get itchy feet, so it’s time to head off to the children’s area. The Bella Donna circus tent features storytelling every hour where exhausted kids can crash in the fatboys or pet Josephine the circus pig. Funballz – running around, hamster-like, in huge transparent plastic balls on water – is bound to be a popular source of entertainment, as is the ride on the classic model train Fnulle.
No castle is complete without its ghost. To mark the occasion, Baron Graf von Grafhausen has risen from the grave and will be riding around the grounds on his white steed greeting the guests in German and French.

Musical activities at this eclectic outdoor fair include a visit from the award-winning Holbæk Garden marching band, and a concert in the castle church by castle organist Robert Hofsetter who will be donning his powder and wig to tell historical tales between the pieces. The 70-man youth orchestra of Neckarsulm will be presenting ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ and John Williams’ Harry Potter suite in a 30-minute concert. Still not satisfied? Bring on the dancing horses: ten Friesian horses will be trotting their stuff to the rhythms of Michael Jackson – something you won’t want to miss.

All of this and more on a weekend that promises the perfect family day out in the wonderful setting of Ledreborg Castle.

Ledreborg Home and Lifestyle
Ledreborg Castle, Ledreborg Alle, 4230 Lejre; starts Fri May 25, ends Mon May 28, open 10:00-18:00;

Tickets: over-14s 125kr, under-14s 50kr, concessions available, www.billetlugen.dk; www.ledreborglivstil.dk;

two trains an hour from Cph Central Station to Lejre station, Bus 233 to the castle