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  • Hike at Horborgasjön

    11 autumn experiences

Discover Lake Hornborga

Keen to do an excursion, discover something new or simply to enjoy coffee and cakes at a charming café? Here are some tips if you want to get out and enjoy the crisp autumn air, the glorious colours in the countryside and great visitor attractions. If you’re also looking for interesting accommodation, then view our 11 tips below.

Accommodation

The area around Lake Hornborgasjön offers many charming accommodation options with something a little extra special that provide an experience out of the ordinary. Combine charming accommodation with a picturesque hike or exploring historical sights, plateau mountains with sweeping views, art, migrating cranes in autumn and cosy cafés. Here are some tips for accommodation in the area around Lake Hornborgasjön.

2. Harvest time, art and culture

Late summer and autumn is harvest time, yielding tasty vegetables, sun-ripened fruits, pumpkins, flowers and production of delicious processed products such as jams and preserves. Autumn at Lake Hornborgasjön also offers art and culture.

Tips!

  • Between 23 & 25 September you can experience a colourful weekend in Falbygden at one of West Sweden’s biggest art tours – Konstnatten Mekelsmäss!
  • Experience the harvest festival around Lake Östen. 24-25 September.
  • Travel aboard the old steam locomotive Ostexpressen (the Cheese Express) to the Ost- och delikatessmässan(Cheese & Delicatessen Fair) in Skara on 23-24 September. 
  • At Malta Johanna Marknad in Stora torget in Falköping you can buy local products directly from producers every Saturday until 24 September.

3. Hike through lakeside meadows and view migratory birds

Experience the tranquillity of the lakeside meadows and enjoy views of Lake Hornborgasjön. There are numerous hiking trails of varying lengths and character close to the lake. Lake Hornborgasjön is one of the country’s most important locations for migrating birds. On certain autumn days up to 50,000 migrating geese and ducks may be gathered on the lake. It’s a magnificent sight to see. 

Tips!

  • View the cranes as they once again pass through Lake Hornborgasjön from late August to early October. However, this is a slightly more low-key visit than in spring. The best viewing spot is the Trandansen site at Bjurum at dusk as they fly out onto the lake to sleep.
  • Visit the Naturum Hornborgasjön visitor centre, which is built out over the water on the eastern side of the lake. It houses an exhibition about the lake and its abundant birdlife. Next door to the visitor centre you can enjoy refreshments accompanied by beautiful views of the lake at Café Doppingen.
  • Discover beautiful art indoors and out at Löfwings Ateljé & Krog. They also serve home-made refreshments and lunches. And if you want to stay a little longer in the area, they offer charming B&B accommodation too.

4. Action-packed autumn experiences on Billingen

Enjoy the wonderful autumn colours on two wheels along the mountain-biking trails on Billingen. Cycle through the forests of Billingen, over logs and stones, along well-marked mountain-biking trails of varying character and levels of difficulty. Challenge yourself with a tough fitness session or take the whole family along the slightly shorter Slangbellan trail. 

Tips!

  • You can also perfect your technique and balance at Billingen Bikepark. You will also find two pump track courses of differing levels (Nybörjaren and Utmaningen). 
  • Not far from the pump track courses you will find a totally different adventure on high. Bring your family and friends and swing through the trees on the Upzone high ropes course.
  • No bike of your own? No problem. Billingecenter at the heart of the area offers mountain-bike hire for the whole family.
  • Stay on the mountain at Billingens Stugby & Camping with outdoor recreation on hand.

5. Sweden’s largest collection of ‘hill cottages’

The Åsle Tå heritage centre has ten preserved ‘hill cottages’ (backstugor). Wander along quaint Tågatan, step inside the cottages and experience a unique historic environment dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Café & Restaurang Åsle tå serves home-made refreshments and dishes using locally produced ingredients. 

Tip!

  • Several kilometres from Åsle Tå is Wrågården, where you can view elk and bison. If you want to extend your visit, you can stay overnight in a selection of cottages shaped like elk or bison.

6. Explore the Valle district on foot

Take a trip to the beautiful Valle district. A gentle, rolling landscape dotted with lakes, like something from a fairytale. You can enjoy the reds and yellows of the autumnal woodland, an abundance of small, sparkling lakes and picturesque nature reserves that follow one after another. Pack your rucksack and head out on one of the many hiking trails here.

Tips!

  • The views from Jättadalen in autumn are glorious. The red leaves and small lakes are wonderful viewed from above!
  • There are hiking trails aplenty for several days of exploration. Take the opportunity to stay overnight at the charming Fredriksons Vilt Vin och Pensionat, or spend a night at Sjöbacken gård and really explore the area!
  • Make a weekday excursion to the area and end your hike with a delicious lunch at Flämslätt kurs- och Stiftsgård. They serve local food and are open on weekdays for lunch.

7. Art, refreshments and the spectacular colours of nature at Karlsfors

On the western slopes of Billingen plateau mountain, with Silverfallet nature reserve just next door, is Karlsfors Gård. In the art gallery here you can view beautiful creations by local artists, on display and for sale. Alongside the art gallery is the shop at Karlsfors, which stocks stylish homewares and also offers the chance to sit and enjoy refreshments in a charming setting.

Tips!

  • Just a stone's throw from Karlsfors Gård is Silverfallet nature reserve. The water flows through richly coloured deciduous woodland over limestone slabs, alum shale and sandstone, making it a picturesque spot to visit all year round.
  • Visiting with children? Perfect! You can borrow an activity pack from Karlsfors Gård containing nature bingo, a magnifying glass, binoculars, facts about nature and lots of other fun stuff for the whole family.

8. Mediaeval abbey ruins

The Cistercian abbey at Gudhem was a convent founded in the 1160s. It enjoys a beautiful setting with views over Lake Hornborgasjön. Today you can explore the abbey ruins and Gudhem parish church. There is also a small abbey garden and museum. 

Tip!

Did you know that...?

  • Gudhem Abbey was where Arn’s betrothed Cecilia spent 20 years of penance, while Arn was sent to fight as a Knight Templar, in Jan Guillou’s Crusades trilogy. 

9. Plateau mountain offering activities and beautiful views

At Mösseberg in Falköping you can enjoy a variety of wonderful nature experiences, outdoor activities and beautiful views of Falbygden. The tracks and hiking trails on the mountain vary in length and type, and are suitable for walking, running and mountain-biking. You will also find a disc golf course, play areas and a small animal park.  

Tip!

  • Lunch or perhaps a spa day at Kurorten Mösseberg? Want to stay a little longer? They also offer overnight accommodation in a delightful spa resort setting.
  • Small-town shopping in Falköping town centre, with a pleasing selection, charming cafés and first-rate service.
  • A large cheese shop and delicatessen, refreshments and a cheese buffet can all be found at Falbygdens Osteria. Their annual Christmas market starts at 10 am on 10/10.

Did you know that...?

  • Mösseberg is 327 m above sea level and forms part of Platåbergens Geopark. Västergötland boasts 15 table mountains. 

10. Skara – a historic small town close to Lake Hornborgasjön

The historic neighbourhoods in Skara’s picturesque town centre are home to a number of treasures. A visit to the magnificent cathedral is a must when visiting the town, and there is a strong sense of history as you stroll around the area.

Tip!

  • Within the walls of the Old library you’ll find not only Bokäventyret, but also the beautiful 19th-century library with its original flooring and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.
  • Enjoy a unique art experience at Skara Konsthotell or Skara Stadshotell. The Konsthotell boasts a large, unique art collection, with works by Anders Zorn and others, while the Stadshotell has a number of works by Lars Lerin.

11. Historical ruins at Varnhem Abbey

A special atmosphere rests over Varnhem, thousands of years in the making. You can visit Kata Gård here – the ruins of a thousand-year-old farm church from the 10th century. Kata Gård also has an exhibition where you can learn all about the Christian Vikings who lived here.

Tip!

  • Klostersjön in Varnhem has been restored, so we can now look out over this abbey lake just as the monks would have done in their day. The short footpath around the lake affords fine views of the abbey grounds in their autumn finery.
  • Round off your visit with coffee and cakes or a hot meal at Mellomgården Café & Gårdsbutik outside Varnhem.
  • Take a drive along the Skaraborg Culture Route, passing through Varnhem. It’s a brown & white signposted tourist route from Karleby to Tidan with numerous interesting sights along the way. Download the app and head out on an exciting road trip!

Did you know that...?

  • Varnhem was the birthplace of Andreas Dahl, who was a student of Carl Linnaeus. The dahlia flower was named after him in recognition of his contributions to botany. The dahlia beds of Svenska Dahliasällskapet (Swedish Dahlia Society) in Varnhem display just over 170 plants of 60 varieties. Open until 9 October (weather permitting).

More to experience

For opening times and prebooking (if required), please check individual websites!