Stenshuvuds National Park is an area in southern Sweden that brings together many different natural environments within quite a small area. Stenshuvud is actually a hill located in a relatively flat area of Sweden, so the views from the top are magnificent. It faces the Baltic Sea. The Stenshuvuds National Park contains forest, meadows, open heath land, swamps, and beaches…you can’t get many more forms of environment in one area!! With the rich diverse environments, also comes a rich and diverse array of animal and plant life. Close to the top are the remains of a 5th or 6th century fortress (which we didn’t visit this time round).
We arrived at Stenshuvuds National Park with the aim of taking a nice afternoon hike in a loop, taking in as many of the different environments as possible. We started out in the forest, with a boardwalk over the more swampy areas. The children loved trying to balance along the edges, and being the first real warmish day of spring, we were able to ditch the hats and over trousers, and enjoy the freedom of just being in thick jumpers and coats!
Once we had emerged from the wooded area, there was an open slope down to the wide and open stretch of beautiful white sandy beach. This area of Sweden is known for amber washing up ashore, so we were on a treasure hunt immediately! The rocks and stones were so beautiful. Many different colours and patterns, and soon the children were collecting them and stowing half of Sweden away in their pockets. They had a lot of favourite ones, and there were some tough decisions to be made about which few could come home with us, after they had lugged them a good way along the beach! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to locate any amber, but we did enjoy the stunning beach, its views, and the windiest part of the walk. The boys loved racing the waves in and out, standing on the verge of the water and then running backwards before the next wave could soak their feet:-)
After the beach it was up through the heath land and admiring the views on the way up, as well as the few hardy flowers that had been brave and already opened. Then it was back into the forest again to head towards the car. It was so nice to finally feel we were out in spring sunshine and the walk had amazing views. A truly beautiful place, and as the park describes themselves “a biodiversity gem”.