Germany Trip Plan:
Stunning Nature Park Senne - between Gütersloh und Bielefeld

Germany trip plan: Stunning Nature Park Senne - between Gütersloh und Bielefeld
Senne landscape, GNU-Nikater
[ source: Wikipedia]

Spend a week of perfect relaxation in the beautiful landscape of the Senne, characterized by heath, moor land and forests. The Hollywood and Safari- Park Stukenbrock invites you and your family to an exciting day. Historical castles, museums and charming towns remind you of days gone by and display a colorful vibrant day to day life.




Note: This is a trip plan (self-driving, stay in a vacation apartment, explore on your own)
Duration: 7 days
Recommended Destination Airport: Frankfurt Airport

Trip Plan Details:

Spend a week of perfect relaxation in the beautiful landscape of the Senne, characterized by heath, moor land and forests. The Hollywood and Safari- Park Stukenbrock invites you and your family to an exciting day. Historical castles, museums and charming towns remind you of days gone by and display a colorful vibrant day to day life.

The Senne extends southwest of the Teutoburg Forest, roughly between the town of Gütersloh to the northwest and Paderborn to the south, in the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia. To the west it reaches to the Münsterland. The Senne is characterized by a layer of up to 60 meters sandy soil, which was deposited here to the end of the last ice age. Once, the heath and moor land took up almost the entire Senne. Today it still covers an area of about 5,000 ha, most of which is a Nature Park, highlighting and preserving the unique features of this region.

Cost Estimate:

We compiled some starting prices and rough estimates to help you better with your Germany trip planning.

Lodging: starting at $760 for 2 persons / 7 days
Admissions: starting at $250 for 2 persons / 7 days
Car Rental: starting at $420 / 7 days
Gas: starting at $250 / 7 days
Estimated Total Cost:2 persons, starting at $1680 / 7 days
 4 persons, starting at $1730 / 7 days

Travel Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at the Senne and sightseeing Gütersloh

Day 1: Arrival at the Senne and sightseeing Gütersloh
Pedestrian zone in Guetersloh
[ source: wapedia.mobi/de]

Once you moved in your vacation apartment, you might like to get a first impression of your new surroundings and find some good shops, grocery stores and restaurants. Gütersloh has the typical German lay back feeling of a middle size city. Around the church square you will see some beautiful historic half timbered houses, which are also part of the pedestrianized main shopping zone. Here you will also find the City Museum, housing an extensive permanent exhibition of the city's history. The industrial and the medical history of the region are the other themes of the museum. The history of the appliance manufacturer Miele Gütersloh (1899) can be explored in the Miele Museum. While visiting Gütersloh you should talk a stroll trough the town's park and the Botanical Garden, stretching along the River Dalke. It is considered as one of the most beautiful in Germany.

In Gütersloh as well as throughout the region the traditionally hearty Westphalian kitchen is found. Try Pumpernickel bread, topped with fresh butter and Westphalian Ham! Specialty drinks are the Steinhäger-Wacholderschnaps and Boonekamp, a bitter, locally called Verler Heimatwasser, and specially brewed beers.


Day 2: Rheda-Wiedenbrück and the Moated Castle Rheda

Day 2: Rheda-Wiedenbrück and the Moated Castle Rheda
Wallpaper Room, Castle Rheda
[ source: schloss-rheda.de]

You can look forward to a day of beautiful discovery of the formally two historical town centers, and during a visit to one of the oldest Moated Castles in Westphalia, Castle Rheda. Complete ensembles of richly ornamented half timbered houses dominate the townscape of Rheda-Wiedenbrück and you will be busy to explore them all. In between take a well deserved break in one of the cozy cafes, or enjoy a shopping spree.

Coming from the Flora Westfalica Park in Rheda-Wiedenbrück you will reach the idyllic Moated Castle Rheda. When visiting, you will feel like opening a book about architectural history, a result of many centuries adding more towers and wings. In records it was first mentioned in 1170 and is nowadays still inhabited by the baronial family Tecklenburg-Bentheim. The castle ensemble combines several architectural styles - a chapel tower of the 13th Century, a renaissance-era residential wing with a gallery, and a main building in Baroque style. Among the attractions of the castle are also the Coach Museum and the toy- and costume collection. The displayed carriages were collected over four centuries, including children carriages, sleighs and a legendary horse skeleton.


Day 3: Heath Nature Parks Senne

Day 3: Heath Nature Parks Senne
Senne with view of Teutoburg Forest, GNU-Nikater
[ source: Wikipedia]

In direction of the town Hövelhof there are several protected areas, perfect for hiking. Included is the 287-acre large Moosheide, Moss-heath, with its characteristic sand dunes. Best start your walk on the western edge of the army training area Senne between Stukenbrock and Hövelhof. Here you will find with many interesting plants and animals all the typical habitats of the Senne. The change of dunes and valleys, open heath and pine forests, wetlands and sand fields makes this conservation area to a scenic destination with high recreational value. It is a Nature Reserve full of beauty and diversity and you will find plenty of opportunities to admire the unique landscape. Another destination is the Heidschnucken sheep farm, which is with 800 animals the county's largest. Or hike the Senne-trail Hövelhof, which explains in an exemplary manner the nature, landscape and culture of the Senne area. At 12 various stations, typical and historic attractions are displayed.


Day 4: Bielefeld and Sparrenburg fortress

Day 4: Bielefeld and Sparrenburg fortress
Donjon tower of the Sparrenburg, CC-Daniel Schwen
[ source: Wikipedia]

Bielefeld, located at the western and eastern slopes of the Teutoburg Forest has its historical city center on the east side. Enjoy a leisurely walk between beautiful restored houses or go on a bargain hunt in the many shops, boutiques and malls around town. The famous landmark and most visited spot of Bielefeld is the Sparrenburg fortress, not far from the town's district Bielefeld-Mitte. It stands on the Sparrenberg at a 591 ft altitude, and towers 197 ft above the city center. From here, you can enjoy great views. The fortress foundation dates back to the 13th Century, and since then had served as a safeguard for the Bielefeld Pass over the Teutoburg Forest and the city of Bielefeld. The above-ground parts of the Sparrenburg can be visited year-round, free of charge. The rest of the castle can be visited daily from April to October, including the ascent of the 120 ft tower and the front part of the 935 ft subterranean Casemates.

Travel-tip: A supra-regional attraction is the annual Sparrenburgfest held on the last weekend of July, where carnies and merchants reenact the medieval way of life!


Day 5: The Hollywood and Safari-Park Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock

Day 5: The Hollywood and Safari-Park Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock
White Tiger, Safari Park Stukenbrock, CC-AQ
[ source: Wikipedia]

Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock is located in the eastern tip of the district Gütersloh and is characterized by the charms of the beautiful Senne scenery on the southern slope of the Teutoburg Forest. Anyone who thinks that limits the wildlife on deer, foxes and hares, is in for a surprise at the Hollywood and Safari-Park Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock. The only white lions of Europe relax on the Senne sand and even white tigers, giraffes and elephants roam the new found wild. On an area of 650,000 square meters, the park offers a combination of amusement and safari park with 600 animals from around the world in natural surroundings. Family fun is guaranteed with the exciting twenty-adventure attractions of the park and magical shows at the Hollywood Theater leave a stunned audience.


Day 6: Detmold - the Renaissance Residence castle and garden

Day 6: Detmold - the Renaissance Residence castle and garden
Residence Castle Detmold, GNU-Nikater
[ source: Wikipedia]

Today's scenic drive passing gentle hills and green valleys will bring you to the heart of Lippe-County and the charming city of Detmold. Maybe you like to take the last opportunity to shop for some souvenirs in the historic center. This is also the location of the residence castle of the earls and sovereigns family line zur Lippe. The castle is one of the most important buildings of the Weser Renaissance, giving the city Detmold still today the special appeal of a former residence. The historic interior provides an unforgettable look at the history and culture, with examples of different styles from the Renaissance to the beginning of the last century. Particular interesting are the King's Halls with the 300-year-old Flemish tapestries. In vibrant colors, eight large tapestries depict the actions and campaigns of Alexander the Great. The Castle Square is surrounded by long wings with corner pavilions, which served the residents of the castle as a coach house, stables and riding school. The former riding school has been rebuilt in the 1950s to the City Hall.

The Palais garden was created in the early 18th Century as a French-style parterre garden, and 100 years enlarged and transformed into an English landscape garden. The whole Palais garden is protected as a historical monument and contains old mammoth and other exotic trees and several fountains and cascades. On the slopes of Mount Büchen is a barred sandstone portal, which leads into a mountain cellar, which served a brewery for the ice storage.


Day 7: Departure

Day 7: Departure
Street cafe in Rheda
[ source: schloss-rheda.de]

The Nature Park Senne is worth a visit in every season, and particular colorful in late summer when the heath is in full bloom. This region is a one of its kind in Germany, attracting an ever growing number of nature lovers, hiker and biker. In combination with a visit of the surrounding cities and attractions, it makes for a perfect family holiday destination.


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Where to Stay?

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Bielefeld

Bielefeld
[ source: Flickr ]

Bielefeld is a county borough in the Regierungsbezirk (regional district) Detmold in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on both the western and eastern slopes of the Teutoburg Forest. With its population of 326,000, it is…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Bielefeld Vacation Rentals


Gütersloh

Gütersloh
[ source: Flickr ]

Gütersloh is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the area of Westphalia and the administrative region of Detmold. Gütersloh is the administrative center for a district of the same name. Gütersloh has a population of 96,200 people.  [ + ] More Details

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Osnabrück

Osnabrück
[ source: Flickr ]

Osnabrück is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany, some 80 km NNE of Dortmund, 45 km NE of Münster, and some 100 km due west of Hannover.  [ + ] More Details

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Rheda-Wiedenbrück

Rheda-Wiedenbrück
[ source: Flickr ]

Rheda-Wiedenbrück, on the Ems river in the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, is actually two towns in one—which here means not one but two old town centers, filled with beautiful half-timbered houses from the 16th-18th centuries. A modern, fully-equipped…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Rheda-Wiedenbrück Vacation Rentals



How to maximize your savings and spend less during your Germany vacation?

You can cut down your vacation costs significantly by following these simple rules:

  • Instead of eating out in restaurants most of the time your vacation rental apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen. By preparing your breakfast and dinner yourself you can save lots of money, but you can also live a more authentic Germany vacation by trying out local foods and recipes. (see some German recipe suggestions.)
  • Use public transportation instead of a rental car. We provide you with links and details on how to get around using public transportation. Check out the corresponding Live Like a German travel guide for more details.

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