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Billund, Denmark with Kids - When, Where, How?

Updated: Jan 11

Life in the UK has been rough of late; inflation is through the roof, the weather is dross, and strike action by every corner of the public service has rendered modern society completely unworkable. On top of the general malaise, we have been ploughing through with the final phase of our 5-year house renovation which culminated in a completely unusable 50m2 area owing to nightmare tradesmen (we have done about 60% of the work ourselves, but thought “professionals” should be used for this part!). I needed a change of scenery!


While the majority of the country were planning to be sat in front of the TV or attending street parties in honour of the coronation of King Charles, as a staunch republican I saw this as the chance to get the hell out of Brexit-island for a cheap one. The other May bank holidays are national holidays all over the world, but the gift of an extra day off school and work, in late Spring, when the rest of the world is carrying on as usual, lent itself very well to an easy and cheap jaunt!

We had been feeling particularly guilty about doing precisely nothing exciting with the kids this year so far, saving every penny and spending every moment plastering, sanding, painting and sawing. Andrew suggested we do something almost entirely kid focused to make up for our lack of usual activities, and after a bit of a google, we settled on Billund, Denmark, home of the Lego brick. A far cry from our usual travelling style adventure backpacking, but perhaps a perfect combination of convenience, culture, beauty and theme parks?


I have been supporting and writing for Our Tribe Travels for the last 7 years or so, a website and Facebook community for adventure travel with young families. A quick search through previous posts revealed a few gems in the area, the first of which was a recommendation to stay at Skovboferie Apartments, bed and breakfast. We have been to some stunning places in the world, but never somewhere consistently rated as 10/10 in Booking.com. That sealed the deal! We had a date, a location, accommodation and itinerary without even trying!!


Flights, packing, eating, accommodation, driving and budget are discussed below with more info about the day trips/itinerary reviewed here.


Flights:

As soon as our first Scandinavian trip was suggested we looked into the cost of flights. We quickly established that a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Billund was an outrageously cheap £18 each way and the decision was pretty much made. This is in a world where my train ticket to a site visit in London last week was £57 train + £12 parking! I chanced my luck and looked up airport parking – only £50 for 5 days at the airport? Absolutely. Surprising though!


Equally surprising was their infant policy – one is allowed additional hand luggage (up to 5kg), a checked or onboard car seat or travel cot as well as a pushchair. Having never taken a car seat (we’ve either hired a small baby one of taken mi-folds for older children, never required this size car seat so I decided to go for it and booked that, using the free checked slot for a travel cot (koodi every time <3ish years). We didn’t go for selecting our own seat at extra charge and decided to play Russian roulette which worked out for the best. The kids were auto-allocated seating with the lead adult on the booking and the other sat on an empty seat on the same row – awesome.


Packing:


Now sitting at 20+ countries backpacked with children it was time to level up the challenge and this would be our first budget-flashpacking. “Flashpacking” is usually all about striking a balance between minimal luggage and comfort – packing less and buying more when you arrive in order to maintain the amenities and comforts travellers might need to enjoy the trip. This might mean staying in more luxurious accommodations or spending more for bits and pieces when away. For us, this was defined by limiting our personal items to hand luggage only, a checked bag of food to see us through AND attempting to bring the cost of cash spent when we arrived to under £100! We simply brought a change of clothes for every day and one sticker/colouring activity book each as apposed to our usual mix of toys. This worked very well as our accommodation was even better provisioned than we imagined.


Eating:


We are big campers in the UK, but haven’t really done a self-catered short break before. At around £100 per meal to eat out, we knew we would be cooking all our meals on this trip, and the beautifully appointed apartment we had chosen would facilitate this perfectly. We set about meal planning and creating both a shopping list and a packing list, with the intention of bringing the majority of food from home, but leaving some space on the shopping list for some fresh local produce. This was driven by a few reasons – food is much cheaper in the UK than pretty much anywhere else on this side of the continent, but primarily we only had a few days and I didn’t think we could fit in even an hour to “nip to a supermarket” with all three kids straight off the plane. We had planned to sample a taste of Danish food, those which are local specialities and those which are tough to transport, namely eggs, milk, bread, bacon and pastries.

Sadly something went horribly wrong with our googling (as a PhD level researcher this is more than a tad embarrassing!) AFTER we had bought the food we realised we had focused on what the airline would let us transport, and not the customs and import rules from a non-EU country! Sadly Brexit scuppered out plans AGAIN. While you USED to be able to bring pretty much anything across the water, now you can't bring much. This meant literally one night to go before take-off, with a lot of swearing, we needed to remove all dairy, meat and vegetable products from our bag. This was particularly frustrating as we had paid for a checked bag only to hold the food! We managed to take the bits we needed to out and shuffles items on lists and made our peace with having to do a “quick shop” when we arrived.


Our meal plan and shopping list are below. When originally researching the cost of food (as well as the Lego-based attractions, we decided we would splash £100 on a meal for 5 at the Lego House Mini Chef Restaurant for its very high reviews and unique fun (highly recommend - more here). Our return flights were 11:30am and we knew we’d need to head out early the morning of our departure and for this we pre-arranged the farm owner’s breakfast (below) which I would also 100% recommend!!


Accommodation:


As mentioned above, part of the driver for this trip was the recommendation to stay at Skovboferie Apartments Bed and Breakfast h


alf an hour outside Billund, Jutland. Rated between 9.6-10 on booking.com (we’re usually more like 6-7 type people!) this 20-acre organic farm for less than £100 a night - for a two-bedroom cottage - was just magic! While staying in Billund town would have been slightly more convenient to be closer to the attractions, the location of the Skovboferie Apartments was perfect for our family. The property is located in quiet and peaceful countryside area, just a short distance from Legoland and other attractions in Billund. We were able to enjoy all the excitement of the theme park during the day and then retreat to the peaceful oasis of Skovboferie in the evenings, where we could relax and unwind. Deer, dogs, cats, sheep, chickens, ponies, tractors to play on, a park, a barn full of table tennis and other games, sunken trampolines, play houses, woodland and fields - all with a chilled vibe of only having 4 cottages, all but ours were empty. It was so quiet and peaceful, nothing but the flat landscape and, rather surprisingly, beautiful sunshine.

The apartment itself was beautifully appointed with outstanding attention to detail inside an out - with comfortable beds, plenty of space for our family, and all the amenities we needed to make ourselves at home, particularly in the kitchen where everything we could want was covered, including some cupboard staples such as sugar, salt, oil and herbs. The best feature inside was the mezzanine floor! While we didn’t use it as a sleeping space (bit of a hazard if the kids needed the toilet in the middle of the night!) the 8-year-old and 4-year-old loved to spend an hour or so playing up there or looking out over the farm, while we packed the bags or washed up the dinner. A lovely space!


From the moment we arrived, we were struck by the warmth and hospitality of our hosts, Bent and Birthe, who went out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. One of the things we loved most about our stay was the delicious breakfast. As mentioned above, after reading the reviews, and knowing we would be out early to the airport on our last day, we budgeted for a breakfast provided by our hosts on the final morning after we’d packed. The spread was extensive and varied, with fresh bread, homemade jams, local cheeses, and a range of other delights that went down very well with everyone. It was the perfect way to start our day and gave us the energy we needed for the journey home.


I have nothing but wonderful things to say about our experience at Skovboferie Apartments Bed and Breakfast and we would all highly recommend it to anyone travelling to Billund with young children. It's the perfect combination of comfort, convenience, and hospitality, and we couldn't have asked for a better experience. Billund actually ended up making the top three shortlist of places we would actually move mid-long term, we can't wait to return and make more happy memories!


Driving:


As mentioned above, we compared the cost of staying in Billund town with higher accommodation prices and no car with the cheap and pleasant countryside but requiring car hire. Speaking with the owners before we booked, they informed me that there is no Uber style service, even booking a taxi was unreliable and there was no public transport to the rural farmland location. There was ample parking in the yard and we were advised to book a car. I feared this would scupper the quick and easy budget trip feel of this adventure but it worked out for the best. The accommodation was a bit cheaper than in town (with a lot more for our money!) and the £185 cost of the car (with insurance) was offset by this as well as the avoidance of paying any transportation around town into the attractions. It opened up the ease of going to the shops, arriving and leaving activities on our terms and all sites were within 30 minutes of the farm, which was a special highlight of the trip overall. We picked up from Eurocar at the airport and were given a Toyota Corola hydrid (we need 3x seatbelts in the rear for a stage 2 car seat and milfolds). We were shocked at the very noticeable lack of cars anywhere in Denmark. We drove in and out of Billund, 20-30 mins twice a day every day and probably passed 5 vehicles. It really added to the feeling to tranquillity around the rural farmland.

How much?


The costs of the flights, food, accommodation, driving and activities are broken down below. Overall, our amazing trip cost a total of £1,491.51, and I would say it was excellent value for money. Every stage of this amazing trip felt like luxury where we wanted for nothing and the details were flawless. I thought we had been priced out of trips in Europe entirely as the majority of package deals for a week are now sitting around £3,000 for a family of 2x adults, 2x children and 1x infant at the moment and certainly this trip was just as (if not more) memorable than a European beach or city break.

Summary:


Impressed is an understatement. Our other post here talks more about the experiences, but just focusing on logistics, ease and budget, this little trip to Belling Denmark was just incredible! It sounds cliché but literally everyone we spoke to was so warm, friendly and enthusiastic. Lots of Danes would casually chat to us in perfect English in queues or on the plane etc. We felt so welcome we actually spent two nights looking up the visa requirements to stay! Aside from the amazing fun we had on our excursions, and being lucky enough to have the whole experience under a clear blue, sunny sky, Denmark is a really inspirational place. The availability, cost and quality of education, housing and medical care is exceptional! Museums are free and cost of food was comparable the home which surprised us as we had a assumption that food would be more expensive (a sign of the times…?). The respect for the environment was always clear with lots of recycling, no litter, clean streets, buildings and air and a countryside full of wind turbines and solar panels. Everything was fresh, polished and bright. It seems like the world’s best secret too with the wide-open spaces free from crowds and traffic. We are experienced travellers but honestly I’m not sure I’ve been anywhere are liveable as the countryside 30 mins outside of Billund, Denmark. It feels nuts describing the whirlwind jaunt to a tourist town full of theme parks as the relaxed, cheap and chilled experience it was. I genuinely couldn’t believe that it all went according to plan, both logistically and financially. What an amazing trip for under £1,500, would highly recommend.

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