Swedish manor houses, or “herrgårdar”, are a unique Swedish cultural institution. These days, many of Sweden’s manor houses offer comfortable, affordable and atmospheric accommodation in beautiful countryside locations.
Each Swedish herrgård has a distinctive character and charm all of its own, offering high-quality accommodation in locations steeped in history. Located on the shores of lakes, on the banks of rivers or surrounded by forest, a Swedish manor house is an idyllic rural retreat and an ideal combination of wilderness and comfort.
As well as the advantages of high-standard accommodation and attractive locations, Sweden’s herrgårdar are renowned for their excellent cuisine, some acquiring an international reputation for the quality for their food.
Nature Travels offers active accommodation at a beautifully-situated Country Manor on the border of the counties of Värmland and Dalarna in western Sweden – a lovely region of deep forests, myriad lakes and rolling hills. With grounds reaching down to the water’s edge, the manor house was built in 1849 by Captain Uggla in what he considered one of the most beautiful spots in the region.
The area’s economic prosperity originally came from power production, making use of the seemingly endless water and forestry resources. But the region’s industrial days are long gone, and these days it is the beauty of the countryside, the tranquility of the setting, and the excellence of the food which attract visitors to the manor.
Your host, Uta, who runs the manor in cooperation with her husband Oscar, has built a well-deserved reputation for the manor as a centre of excellence for Swedish cuisine. Using fresh, locally-sourced, organically-certified produce wherever possible, the menu at the manor will vary according to the seasons. But whatever time of year you visit, the cuisine will be a central part of your experience! Uta herself is a widely-respected chef and her residential cookery courses at the manor are always eagerly-anticipated and enthusiastically received.
Meals at the Country Manor are served in the beautifully-renovated dining rooms, which create an authentic 18th century atmosphere. After dinner, guests (including the ladies!) can retire to what was the gentleman’s smoking room, to relax with an after-dinner drink before a blazing fire.
It is not only the quality of the food at the Country Manor which will surprise you – accommodation is in one of eight two-room “mini-suites” comprising bedroom, living room and en-suite bathroom. The rooms are located in the “Iron House” adjacent to the main manor building.
The manor is ideal for a relaxing get-away-from-it-all break or romantic escape, but for those with a more active visit in mind, the area offers a wealth of opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Guests have free access to kayaks and rowing boats for use on the lake, or bikes to explore the surrounding countryside. In the winter, the lake freezes over, making it possible to go skating on natural ice, or you can hire cross country skis and set off into the silent world of the winter forests.
If you are planning a Christmas getaway, the Country Manor offers special packages during December and New Year, including a feast of traditional Swedish Christmas cuisine and fireworks by the lake.
In addition to the standard self-guided activities at the Country Manor, there are a number of additional activities available during the summer. These can be booked on site on request:
Tuesdays – guided nature hiking
Wednesdays – cooking courses run by your hostess
Thursdays – guided fishing
It is also possible to arrange horse-riding or guided birdwatching safaris in the area.
Accommodation at the Country Manor also features in two of our wildlife experiences, Autumn Forest Gold and Dance of the Black Grouse, Call of the Diver. You can even choose to extend your Autumn Forest Gold experience with a weekend of wild mushroom picking, foraging for edible mushrooms in the deep forests before returning to the manor, where Uta will help you turn your forest bounty into a wide range of mouth-watering dishes!
Swedish herrgårdar are a wonderful historical and cultural institution which typify the tranquility, simplicity, eye for design and high standards of cuisine for which Sweden is rightly famous – and the Country Manor in Värmland is one of the loveliest of its kind!
The Nature Travels Team
Our Country Manor Multi-activity Getaway experience is available year-round for periods of 1 or more nights. It is possible to choose from a variety of board options, with discounts available for guests staying one week or more. For further details on this and other active accommodation holidays in Sweden, please see our website at www.naturetravels.co.uk.