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Sörmland

Sörmland or Södermanland is situated south of Stockholm and is well known for its castles and manors. Sörmland is a perfect Stockholm Country Break. If you’re travelling to Skavsta (100 km from Stockholm) with one of the low cost carriers, you’re actually landing at only 7 km of Nyköping, the capital of Sörmland. Did you know Sörmland also has an archipelago with 2800 islands?

Castles and manors

One of the best known castles in Sörmland is Gripsholms Slott in Mariefred. Sörmland has 10 castles and over 400 manors. This region, south of Stockholm was a popular spot for the nobilty to have a (summer) residence.

Nyköping

Nyköping is the capital of Sörmland. This historical city is close to Skavsta airport. The famous Sörmlandsleden starts at the airport. This 900 km long hiking trail also crosses Stendorren, a nature park.

Archipelago

The archipelago of Nyköping consists of 2800 islands. Trosa is one of them. It’s the place where the royal family has a summer house. Did you know ‘trosa’ is Swedish for underpants?




Stendörren, a nature reserve in Sörmland

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Stendörren Nature Reserve is an hour’s drive from Stockholm. Stendörren is located in Sörmland, along the coast between Nyköping and Trosa. Via a suspension bridge you enter the archipelago where you can fully enjoy nature. The Stendörren area is also a popular destination for sailing boats and pleasure yachts.

Stendörren - Sörmland Nature Reserve

There are several signposted routes in the nature reserve that you can follow, including Sörmlandsleden. A dip in the fresh water is highly recommended during the summer months. Be careful that you can get out of the water easily. I myself was very excited to jump into the water, but due to the slippery stones, I needed some help getting back out of it.

Stendörren - Sörmland Nature Reserve

Stendörren consists of 2 parts. You can visit the first part without a boat via the suspension bridges. The second part, around the fishing port Aspnäset is only accessible by boat. The entire area is just under 1000 hectares, of which more than 70% is water.

Stendörren - Sörmland Nature Reserve

Museum

Those who want to learn more about life in the Baltic Sea can visit the museum at Aspnäset. Through various exhibitions you can learn everything about the environment, the fauna & flora and cultural history.

In the nature reserve you will find waste bins, toilets and special fire pits where you can barbecue. You will find a wheelchair-friendly place at Lerviksudden. A grill place is provided here as well.

Stendörren - Sörmland Nature Reserve

Staying the night?

You can’t just put up your tent in the nature reserve of Stendörren. But you can go to one of the cottages on the domain. Camping is only allowed on the parts that are not accessible on foot (so possibly with the canoe).

Stendörren - Sörmland Nature Reserve

Accessibility

If you come by car yourself, follow the E4 to Vagnhärad or Tystberga and continue on route 219 to Studsvik / Stendörren. If you opt for public transport, take bus 554 from the station of Nyköping or Trosa. The bus has a “Stendörren” stop, but then it is still about 4 km.

Stendörren - Sörmland Nature Reserve

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Nature reserve Stendörren in Sörmland

Sparreholm Castle in Sörmland

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Sparreholms Slott is one of the most bizarre domains I already visited in Sweden. In addition to an idyllic castle, you’ll find the largest collection of jukeboxes in Europe, an extremely refined private collection of vintage cars, a bicycle museum, a nostalgic café and a horse center. If you find this a somewhat strange combination, then I can tell you that this applies to the collections as well. Something for everyone!

Sparreholms Slott

I visited Sparreholms Slott – Sparreholm Castle in July 2016, along with some other travel bloggers, as part of a press trip to Sörmland. Sparreholm Castle is one of those gems that I might not have visited otherwise. And although vintage cars and bicycles usually don’t appeal to me, I did enjoy this place. Let me introduce you to Sparreholm Castle.

The history of the castle

Sparreholms Slott

Sörmland is just south of Stockholm and is known as Stockholm’s Country Side. It is a region with 400 castles and country houses. Over the years there have been several country houses and castles on the Sparreholm domain. Sparreholm was originally called Hyltingenäs. Around 1580, the domain came into the hands of the Sparre family. In 1643 they changed the name of the domain to Sparreholm. In 1757 the family left the domain. The castle came into the hands of Baron Antoine De Geer’s widow. The castle would change owners several times until the current owner Anna Karinen bought it together with her family in 1996. They completely renovated the castle and now offer a diverse range of activities on the property.

Jukebox museum

Sparreholms Slott

Above the summer bar you’ll find the jukebox museum. They boast that they have Europe’s largest jukebox collection. The collection ranges from phonographs to gramophones to modern jukeboxes. The collection is simply magic when the lights in the museum are turned off and the space is transformed into a disco.

Sparreholms Slott

Bicycle Museum

Near the jukebox museum is also a unique bicycle museum with dozens of old bicycles. The owners of Sparreholm Castle are clearly collectors. Collectors of just about everything.

Oldtimer collection

Sparreholms Slott

In the car museum you will find vintage cars from 1800 to contemporary cars. It is one of the most exclusive private collections in Europe. They have around 60 classic cars, including a 1936 Mercedes 540K that was once owned by Prince Gustaf Adolf, the father of the current Swedish king. In addition, they also have the Cadillac V8 from King Gustav V who gave the name to Kungens Kurva (= the shopping center near Stockholm where you find one of the largest Ikeas in the world).

Sparreholms Slott

The Horse Center

The horse center is active throughout the year. They also offer weekend trips with riding lessons. This way you can go for classic dressage with their lusitano horses and modern riding techniques.

Practical

Sparreholm Castle can only be visited by appointment. Only during the Swedish summer holidays (from midsummer to mid-August) can you visit the domain spontaneously.

Thanks to Visit Sörmland.

Julita Manor – a daytrip in Sörmland

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The largest open air museum in Sweden can be found at the edge of the Öljarenmeer, in the heart of Sörmland, near Katrineholm and Eskilstuna. Julita is part of Nordiska Museet in Stockholm. In the Middle Ages it was a monastery, later several members of the Swedish nobility owned it and now it is an open air museum. The last resident, Artur Bäckström, lived here until 1941 and donated the estate after his death to the Nordiska Museet. Unlike many other houses nearby, Julita Manor is still a working farm. The Swedish Museum of Agricultural Sciences is even located there.

Julita Manor - Sörmland

Julita Manor

Julita

The Julita manor house dates from 1760 and was built after the previous building was destroyed by fire. Julita Manor is fully equipped and shows you how they lived 100 years ago. It really feels like Artur can walk in anytime. Besides Julita manor you’ll find two smaller buildings: the garage where once the carriages were repaired and an office. It was striking that the people were living where they worked. No ‘out of office’ for them!

Julita

Besides the original buildings like Julita manor, there are +350 buildings from different eras and different parts of Sweden, collected by the last owner. You can compare it to Skansen and Kulturen.

red houses at Julita

You can follow several themed walks to visit Julita. These walks take about 45 minutes so you can combine some in one day if you want. Julita is a great day trip, very suitable for families with children as well. There are several eateries and it is also a perfect place for a picnic.

picnic

Practical

Opening hours

During the months of May and September Julita is only open during the weekends. From June till August they are open every day. For the latest schedule, take a look on their website.

How to reach Julita

Own transport is the easiest way to reach Julita but you can also get there by train and bus: take the train to Katrineholm and then change to bus 405 or 714.

Tip: download the app Sörmlandstrafiken to consult timetables and buy tickets. You can buy your ticket on the bus, but you can not pay cash onboard the busses (only cards – Maestro or credit card).

Events

Events at Julita that are not to be missed are the Christmas market (already at the beginning of November) and midsummer. In September, they have an annual ‘apple day’. In July there is the Julita Festival, a music event with classical music.

Julita Manor - midsummer

The domain of Julita is very extensive. You could spend more than a day there. For those looking to overnight: there is a youth hostel and you can also stay in the 17th century rooms of the mansion.