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10 spring experiences

Visit Lake Hornborga during spring

Come and explore Lake Hornborgasjön and Falköping, Skara and Skövde in spring when the lake and nature is slowly reawakening after winter. Discover an abundance of exciting visitor attractions, charming cafés, nature and cultural experiences. Here are 10 tips for local excursions!

1. 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 and cosy cafés. Here are some tips for accommodation in the area around Lake Hornborgasjön.

2. Historical ruins at Varnhem Abbey

A special atmosphere rests over Varnhem, thousands of years in the making. Varnhem and its abbey ruins, located at the foot of Billingen, were a long-standing major spiritual, political, cultural and economic centre. The well-preserved environment of the abbey church serves as a final resting place for four mediaeval Swedish kings and the founder of Stockholm, Birger Jarl.


  • 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.
  • Round off your visit with coffee and cakes or a hot meal at Varnhems Klosterkafé right next to the church.
  • Take a drive along 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!

3. 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. 


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. 

4. 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.  


  • 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.

Did you know that...?

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

5. 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. 


  • Choose one of nine themed walking tours to help you explore the town. 
  • 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.

6. Hiking trail through varied landscapes

The Trollstigen hiking trail winds its way through forest, past dramatic crags and sweeping vistas on the plateau mountain of Billingen. The trail offers three different route lengths, so you can choose the most appropriate one for you. It’s a trail that not only allows you to experience the unique landscape of Billingen, but also to explore some of its historic sites.


  • Buy lunch or refreshments from Restaurang Berget and enjoy a delicious luxury picnic en route.
  • The trail passes through the hidden gem that is Rhododendron Valley. Don’t miss out on exploring this park-like oasis to marvel at the exotic plant life to be found here. The large rhododendron bushes flower in late spring, transforming the area into a magical location.
  • Choose one of the two longer routes and stop off to view the impressive diabase pillars at Ryd Caves. From there you can enjoy glorious views of Skövde and the Skaraborg countryside. The ideal spot for a picnic.
  • If you fancy a longer hike, you can start the Billingen Trail from the recreation area on Billingen.

7. 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. 


  • 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.

8. Hiking through lakeside meadows and cultural landscapes

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. The Hångerleden trail takes you through meadows and past attractive stone walls and old oak trees. At Utloppet there’s a short trail that’s good for spotting black-necked grebes, while the Ytterbergsleden trail runs around a peninsula with beautiful views of the lake.


  • Visit the Naturum Hornborgasjön visitor centre, which is built out over the water. 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.
  • Other overnight accommodation options in the area include Nästegården, where you stay in a picturesque 19th-century setting with restored period buildings, and Bosgården with its charming cottages.

9. Karlsfors

At Karlsfors Gård, located between Lerdala and Timmersdala, you'll find an interior design shop, café, art gallery, and Karlsforsrundan (the Karlsfors Trail.) The hiking trail, which is 4 km long, takes you through Billingens deciduous forest, past waterfalls, and nature reserves. Here, you can experience the beautiful plateau mountain landscape.


  • The stylish interior design shop at Karlsfors.
  • Café på Klostret - Karlsfors, serving coffee in a cozy environment.
  • The exhibition "Layers of History," which tells the story of the world-unique plateau mountain landscape and its history, of which Billingen is a part. You'll find the exhibition at the parking lot at Karlsfors.

10. Amundtorp Stone Ship

Amundtorp Stone Ship stands on a lush hillside, surrounded by several Iron Age graves. The site boasts sweeping views towards Lake Hornborgasjön and the plain, and as the sun sets over the landscape the site is bathed in a magical evening glow.


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

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