One hour from: Copenhagen

On the trail of Denmark's sweet prince
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The Independent Travel

It's easy to travel independently in Denmark, and there are plenty of possibilities for a day out from the capital city.

It's easy to travel independently in Denmark, and there are plenty of possibilities for a day out from the capital city.

Humlebek

This pretty coastal town, north of Copenhagen, has some great beaches and two harbours, but the main attraction is the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Built on a seaside knoll, this futuristic complex houses a world-class collection of 20th-century art, including works by Picasso, Bacon and Warhol. The setting is a masterpiece in itself, juxtaposing art, architecture and landscape. Don't miss the sculptures in the extensive grounds.

By car: take route 152 north from Copenhagen. By train: take the Yresund train from Copenhagen central station towards Helsingr.

Elsinore Castle

Helsingr, or Elsinore, is best known as the setting of Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet (performances of which are staged here). Its castle, known to the Danes as Kronborg, has dark dungeons and magnificent royal chambers filled with period furniture and hung with tapestries and paintings. The Great Hall is one of the longest Renaissance rooms in Scandinavia.

By car: take route 152 north from Copenhagen. By train: take the Yresund train, as above.

Roskilde

Denmark's capital in the Middle Ages and home of the Viking kings, Roskilde is dominated by its cathedral, built between the 12th and 13th centuries. Five Viking ships recovered from the nearby fjord are on display in the Viking Ship Museum, while at the boatyard you can watch boat-builders working on a reconstruction of a 30m-long warship.

By car: take route 21, then route 156. By train: take the Roskilde train from Copenhagen central station.

Bakken

Bakken is the world's oldest amusement park. Set on the edge of a deer park, which was once a royal hunting ground, it has more than 100 attractions, including rides on Viking ships, swans and the like. Those who don't enjoy such things can follow walking trails to Eremitagen, the old hunting lodge.

By car: take route 152 north to Klampenborg. By train: take the Yresund train from Copenhagen central station towards Helsingr and alight at Klampenborg.

Frederiksborg Castle

This grand lakeside castle, dating from the 16th century, sprawls across three islets and was once the summer residence of the royal family. Don't miss the Coronation Chapel, Audience Chamber and Knights' Hall, which boast gilded ceilings and giant tapestries. The castle also houses the National History Museum, with exhibits covering more than 500 years of Danish history.

By car: drive north-west on route 16. By train: take the Yresund train from Copenhagen central station towards Helsingr. Change at Hellerup to the S-train and alight at Hillerd.

Return flights to Copenhagen with Go (0870 607 6543; www.go-fly.com) start from £70. Hertz (0870 848 4848; www.hertz.co.uk) offers three-day car hire from £169.

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