Kids Corner | Kids love castles!

My children were given a packet of Top Trumps this week and have been competing over the most dangerous dinosaur card ever since learning the details of each in turn. When I was their age, I had a pack of cards that named all the kings and queens of England in chronological order. I read and re-read them endlessly until I too knew them by heart. Royal history has been a lifelong interest of mine. I love the splendour that pervades in historic buildings as one walks from room to room imagining the lives that passed through a long time ago.

This weekend we made our very first visit to Kronborg Slot in Helsingør. A family trip, the boys bought their Top Trumps to play in the car whilst I told them some of the history of the castle in the hope it would spark an interest once there. I needn’t have worried for as we walked into the grounds of the castle to the sound of cannon fire and galloping horses, the boys, big and small, were instantly fascinated. Built in the 1400s, the castle has been a working building for many years. Until as recently as 1923, it was occupied by the Danish army, before being refurbished and presented to the public as it is today.

The enormous fireplaces proved to be an unlikely source of interest and the first destination in each room as the children checked their Father Christmas-bearing capabilities. There is a warm children’s room with a large replica Kronborg to play in, which has a large supply of Lego with which we made four castles and a seagull. Most tantalising of all were the casemates. The casemates are the cells that used to hold the prisoners down in the foundations of the building. Deep, dark and deathly, they held a menacing grip over us as we climbed down the stairs to investigate. We had taken a torch in anticipation, and I have to say it made a big difference, particularly for the younger boys, as the casemates really are in the bowels of the building and very, very eerie.

We had a really enjoyable afternoon seeped in royal history and new questions, and it was great to have a brief diversion from dinosaurs! Although, having said that, this week the Experimentarium has opened a brand new exhibition, ‘Dinosaurs, follow the trail’. I might just have a look for those Royal Family Top Trumps …

Kronborg Slot-Check website for opening times – the castle is open throughout the year.
Kronborg 2C, Helsingør;


Rosenborg Slot-Check website for opening times – the castle is open throughout the year.
Øster Voldgade 4A, Cph K; Adults 80kr, under-18s free adm;


Amelienborg SlotAmalienborg Slot-Catch the extended Gala Dress exhibition before it finishes on October 28.

Amalienborg Slotsplads 1, Cph K; Adults 65kr, under-18s free adm; no website


Experimentarium-‘Dinosaur, follow the trail’, which includes the remains of ten dinosaurs from London’s Natural History Museum, opened on October 12. And you must try the new surf carpet in the Water exhibition.

Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup; Over-12s 160kr, under-12s 105kr;


This section was contributed by Sally McWilliam, who has lived in Copenhagen for four years with her family. During this time, she has established a website,, which describes many of the wonderful places to visit within the region. Sally is also a co-founder and author of the new English blog for Aarstiderne,