Road trip to gardens, culture and shopping between Gothenburg and Borås
Take your best friends on a road trip around a selection of glorious gardens between Gothenburg and Borås. On this circular tour you’ll also find shops, farm cafes, restaurants, cosy accommodation, textile factories and cultural gems.
Road trip facts
The road trip explores the Borås region’s lovely cultural landscapes and textile history, with masses of things to see along the way. Enjoy homebaked fika and tasty lunches, then shop for textiles and design crafts in fabulous galleries and outlets. If you want to have plenty of time to visit all the destinations, we recommend booking a stay in one of the many charming bed & breakfasts or stately mansions in the area.
Photographer: Monika Manowska
Stay for a while and chat to the gardeners
Most of the gardens on this road trip are small businesses, where you’ll get the chance to chat to the person behind the place. Take the opportunity to ask about their ideas when planning their gardens. We’ll start our road trip in Gothenburg, but you can of course visit the gardens in whatever order you wish. Let’s get going!
Garden 1 – Gothenburg Botanical Garden
First out is the best known garden on the road trip. The Gothenburg Botanical Garden, with its 16 000 plant varieties spread over 175 hectares, is one of the largest botanical gardens in Europe and has, since it opened in 1923, been a recreational centre for Gothenburgers and visitors alike. Despite being so close to the city it’s like stepping into another world.
“You’ll need to allow a good chunk of time to wander around as there’s an incredible amount to see.”
The Botanical Garden boasts, among other things, Sweden’s largest collection of tropical orchids, a prize winning rock garden and the Toromiro tree, one of the world’s rarest species. The garden is at its most beautiful in spring when the bulbs appear, and early autumn when many flowers are in full bloom.
Garden 2 – Känn garden in Askim
It’s a mere seven kilometres from the Botanical Garden to the next one, but despite the geographical proximity the difference between the huge botanical garden and the small scale Känn garden is as striking as it is charming. In Askim in south Gothenburg you’ll find a little paradise among pine and birch woods, heather heaths and smooth rocky outcrops.
“In her 1000 m² villa garden Camilla Danielsson has created a marvel of scents, colours and forms.”
The garden consists of six different rooms; the sunny rose and herb beds, the entrance with its showy perennials, the rhodedendron oasis, the hot border by the ancient bedrock, and the grove and glade where garden and nature meet. The garden is open for visitors on the last Sunday in the month.
Garden 3 – Gunnebo House & Gardens
Gunnebo is well known to many, but we suspect that for most the House is the main attraction, which they might have visited over a weekend, or at the annual Christmas Market. We’re going to focus on the garden instead, or perhaps we should say the gardens.
“There are no less than three different gardens here; the pleasure garden, the English landscape park and the kitchen gardens.”
The pleasure garden is a continuation of the House and consists of a number of green rooms, with decorative statues, ornate urns and exotic plants. The English Park dates back to the end of the 18th century and is perfect for pretty walks. And in the kitchen gardens, heritage herbs grow beside asparagus, pears and cucumbers. The gardeners use traditional craft methods to keep the place in its former glory.
- On the way to the next garden you can stop at a lovely mansion, Hällsnäs Hotell & Restaurang in Mölnlycke, where you can stay on a beautiful estate on a peninsula in Lake Landvetter and enjoy a menu with Swedish ingredients, put together by one of Sweden’s top chefs.
Garden 4 – Sammels Lantgård
In Sammels Lantgård’s green oasis you’ll receive a magnificent welcome. Cascades of colour and delightful fragrances from dazzling flower borders, laden berry bushes and fruit trees, a greenhouse brimming with vegetable beds – and a meditative herb filled kitchen garden!
The borders and plots are prettily edged with the rustic natural stone that has come from the surrounding fields. Have a look in the greenhouse, walk around the orchards and pet the farm cats and hens.
“Enjoy the glorious flower beds to the soothing sound of the gravel paths crunching under your feet”
Buy honey from the farm to take home
The cosy greenhouse café is full of mouthwatering home baked goodies. You can either enjoy your fika inside the greenhouse or out in the garden. You can also book both guided tours and courses. The farm’s beehives supply the shop with delicious honey and the shelves are full of tempting seasonal vegetables, fruit, berries, juice, beeswax products and jams.
The tour continues through Sweden’s textile centre, the ‘tygriket’
The tour continues through the Mark textile hub, to Nyhagens Garden. On the way you’ll pass some lovely places.
- On beautiful Lake Lygnern you can go on a nice cruise aboard ISA af Lygnern, casting off from Europe’s longest jetty.
- You’ll find Sweden’s oldest linen weaving mill, Ekelund, established in 1692, in the town of Horred. As well as factory tours and a mill shop there’s a museum and café.
Garden 5 – Nyhagens Garden and Plant Nursery
Nyhagens Garden and Plant Nursery, in the pretty countryside around Berghem near Skene, is surrounded by lovely meadows and a lush woodland area. This garden is perfect if you’re after green tips for your own plot. Let the beautiful magnolias, clematis and perennials inspire you, and wander freely around the raised vegetable beds, fruit trees and berry bushes.
“It’s a pleasure to stroll round the garden and discover the ceramic artworks tastefully placed here and there.”
The artworks can be purchased in the shop and are perfect for your own garden or as lovely presents. The plants stocked in the nursery and its large selection of magnolias, bushes and trees are very sought after.
Stay the night in the textile region
If you want to pause for the night you can check in at Nyhagens’ own bed & breakfast. There are also two other nice places to stay nearby.
- Sju Sjöar in Öxnevalla, a B&B where you can hold meetings, train, have a dip in the woodfired hot tub, fish and walk in beautiful natural settings.
- Två Skyttlar which has both a restaurant and hotel in a lovely late 19th century wooden house, with its own beach, sauna and outdoor spa.
Next on the itinerary are two exciting stops in the heart of the Tygriket textile area.
- Kasthall Factory Outlet in Kinna was opened as long ago as 1889 and in the shop you can buy internationally renowned top quality rugs at outlet prices.
- Rydals Museum is the oldest remaining spinning mill in Sweden, where you can both see the spinning machines working and explore the exhibitions about the factory’s history.
Garden 6 – Lindedalen Wellness Garden
You’ll find the next garden on the road trip in the countryside between Bollebygd and Borås. Lindedalen Wellness Garden is a magical mindful garden filled with cut flowers, a café, relaxing activities and a B&B.
“We follow the slowflower movement, which means that all gardening is done by hand, is eco-friendly and pesticide free.”
During the season you can pick your own tulips, dahlias and other summer blooms. Also on offer are yoga sessions and retreats in an incredibly calm setting. If you want to have a fika there are home made cakes for sale, and you can also bring your own picnic and have a seat somewhere in the leafy garden.
Our next stop is the textile and design town of Borås
Take the opportunity to explore the textile and design town of Borås, where the street art murals and sculptures make the centre into a 24/7 open art gallery.
- The Textile Museum in Borås is one of the Nordic region's leading museums in textiles, fashion and design. It’s a meeting place with exhibitions and workshops about fashion, art and the history and future of the textile industry, as well as a restaurant and café.
- West Sweden Street Art Trail invites you to see the town as a gallery. Blank walls on the sides of buildings have been painted by artists from all over the world since 2014.
Photographer: Faramarz - Textilmuseet i Borås
Our green circular tour takes us next to Björnhyltans Trädgård, situated halfway between Svenljunga and Tranemo. On the way there are several opportunities to get your fill of history and culture.
- Lovely Hofsnäs Herrgård is situated in the Torpa-näset nature reserve and provides food focusing on local produce. Experience more by going walking, cycling or fishing.
- Torpa Stenhus is not far from Hofsnäs. This 15th century estate by Lake Åsunden offers guided castle tours, theatre shows, café and restaurant.
- Glasets Hus in Limmared is indeed the house of glass, with its own glass production, museum, shop and café – and the chance to have a go at glassblowing.
- If you have any spare time we recommend a detour to Erikson Cottage outside Ljungsarp, where you can stay the night in an eco-friendly glass cabin, or eat something tasty from their own farm bakery.
Garden 7 – Björnhyltans Trädgård
In Björnhyltans Garden south of Tranemo your senses will be awash with all kinds of colours, shapes and fragrant aromas. This rural farm has a century old history among fields, stone walls and arable land. You feel immediately welcome in the show garden which boasts a greenhouse with a Mediterranean theme, a flower garden, kitchen and herb garden, a farm shop and an inspiring range of courses.
Grapevines, figs and hens
Along stone walkways and winding gravel paths you’ll zigzag through the flower garden between scented roses, lovely perennials and fruit trees, before meeting hens and sheep around the barn. The grapevines, fig and olive trees in the Livsrummet greenhouse give the experience a Mediterranean flavour, and provide an oasis for your own picnic or a delicious farmhouse ice cream. Feel your inspiration flow, with masses of growing tips for your own garden!
“Before leaving you should definitely have a mooch around the farm shop, where you can buy vegetables and fruit picked the same day, as well as garden equipment.”
Finish your road trip with a nice dinner and overnight stay at Hemma på Klev, a charming bed & breakfast in south Sjuhärad.
Take the opportunity to visit a private garden
If you want to visit a private garden you can do it by meeting a “Local” via the “Meet the Locals” website. You’ll be able to search for people offering to give you a personal guided tour of their own garden.
In the area between Gothenburg and Borås there are three Locals to choose from: Gun with her well planned 50 m² garden, gardener Torun’s dream garden and Pia’s artistic garden. You can book your visit in advance and read more on the Meet the Locals website.
Find more garden experiences
On the gardens pages you’ll find more tips and guides to gardens you shouldn’t miss, cosy garden cafes and floral destinations to visit.