Built to defend Copenhagen from sea attacks in the 19th century, Charlottenlund Fort now offers refuge to those seeking a tranquil day by the sea and in the sun
Charlottenlund Fort's twelve cannons were built to protect the city from naval invaders. But in 1932, the facility was closed, and the surrounding grounds turned into Charlottenlund Beach Park, one of the more distinctive summer relaxation spots the city has to offer.
The park can be reached by bike in under thirty minutes from the city centre by following the picturesque coastal road. This originates in the inner city as Østerbrogade, becomes Strandvejen as you cross over the S-train tracks at Svanemøllen, and then leads you into the wealthy suburb of Hellerup, with its old centre and numerous cafes.
Unlike other beaches, such as Amager Strandpark, the beach around the fort is greener, with a sense of history the newer ones lack. People have been basking here for over eighty years, walking along the defensive ramparts and diving into the ocean to cool down.
During the summer, several open-air concerts, ranging from operetta to rock music, are held on the field by the ocean, offering a variety of things to enjoy throughout the sunny season.
Atop the fort, you can get a bite to eat at Restaurant Charlottenlund Fort, which provides its guests with a panoramic view of the area. Reasonably priced and with a large Sunday brunch menu, it is a great way to spend a nice time in good company. If that's fully booked, the round Café Jorden Rundt a little farther up the road also has a nice view of the sea.
If sitting on the beach for a day makes you bored and restless, cross the street to the woods that encircle Charlottenlund Palace. Its new look was completed in 1881, when it still served as a summer residence for the royal family.
Although the palace is now part of the Danish Technical University, its surrounding woods retain a romantic feel, with small surprises and odd constructions scattered within them. This unique charm makes it the most visited wooded area in the country.
If it's a sunny summer (fingers crossed, this May has been miserable) and the city is getting you down, buy a few beers, jump on your bike and enjoy a beach with a bit of history.