Q&A: How easy is it for four of us to get around Denmark without a car?

The Independent Parent: Your questions answered

I don't drive, and I have two children aged eight and four. My wife and I are planning a holiday to Denmark in August, travelling by ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg. Do you have any tips or suggestions for family accommodation and public transport, which would allow us to see the country over a fortnight, taking in Legoland and Copenhagen?

Q I don't drive, and I have two children aged eight and four. My wife and I are planning a holiday to Denmark in August, travelling by ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg. Do you have any tips or suggestions for family accommodation and public transport, which would allow us to see the country over a fortnight, taking in Legoland and Copenhagen?

Richard P Wallace, Norwich

A First things first. If you have yet to book your ferry tickets, DFDS Seaways (08705 333 000, www.dfdsseaways.co.uk) operates the ferry between Harwich and Esbjerg. I was quoted £432 return for a family of four to travel in August in a four-berth cabin with a shared bathroom, booking 21 days in advance.

Fortunately, thanks to an efficient public transport system, travelling in Denmark without a car is relatively trouble-free. The easiest option for families is to use trains that link all the main cities with hourly connections. However, frequent and comprehensive as the rail system is, it does restrict travellers to the main cities and towns. To get to more remote places, you will need to use both trains and buses. Even then, your destinations will be somewhat limited.

There is no rail pass that will give you unlimited travel on the rail system and pre-booking will not, in most cases, save much money. Unless you are travelling long-distance (say, Esbjerg to Copenhagen, which costs DKr534 (£45) per adult return) you do not need to reserve a seat in advance; in this case reservations can be made a day in advance at the departure station. One excellent aspect of travelling by rail in Denmark, however, is that for every paying adult, two children (up to 12) go free, and children aged between 12 and 16 travel on a 50 per cent discount. For online journey planning, timetables and ticket prices, visit the website www.dsb.dk/english/ or contact the Danish Tourist Board on 020-7259 5959 or see www.visitdenmark.com.

Transport passes are available in cities such as Odense and Copenhagen; for example, the Copenhagen Card entitles you to unlimited transport by bus and train within the greater Copenhagen area, along with free admission to 70 museums and attractions. It costs between DKr215 (£18) for 24 hours, to DKr495 (£39) for 72 hours, and is available from the city's Tourist Information Centre (opposite the main rail station) or any mainline Danish State Railway station (DBS). However, buying a card such as this is only really worthwhile if you're going to be doing a lot of travelling and plan to visit many attractions.

The tourist board's website allows you to search for family holiday information, offering lists of attractions and hotel-booking facilities. Although well suited to families, most of Denmark's inns and summer houses will be difficult to reach by public transport. A better option is to base your family in a city, staying in B&B accommodation rather than hotels, which can often end up being quite pricey for families.

Although the Danish peak season is July (children go back to school in the first week of August), booking ahead is still recommended. B&B bookings can be made through the local tourist office at each destination (free of charge) and via listings available from the UK office and website. In Copenhagen itself, Meet the Danes (00 45 33 46 46 46, www.meetthedanes.dk) is a free homestay and B&B booking service.

The easiest way to get to Legoland is by direct bus from Esbjerg (59km south-west of the park's home in Billund). Buses depart hourly from the central bus station (located a five-minute cab ride/10-minute walk from the port) and one-way tickets cost DKr70 (£5) per adult (free for children of 12 and under; £2.50 for 12 to 16-year-olds). Moving on from the park, the most common route is to take the public bus (half an hour) to Vejle, where there are good onward rail links to major cities such as Arhus, Odense and Copenhagen. Legoland (00 45 75 33 13 33, www.legoland.dk) itself has accommodation in the shape of the "Kids House", 28 family rooms located within the park. The price of a one-night stay, in a family room sleeping four, including two days' family admission to the park, is DKr2,130 (£178).

A good central base, midway between Legoland and Copenhagen, is Odense, on the island of Funen, with direct rail connections to both destinations, plenty of family attractions and excellent beaches within easy reach on the south and east coasts. Family rooms (sleeping three or four) in a B&B start at about DKr400 (£33).

For a rural escape between cities, located on the south coast of Funen, Danland is a holiday village on the beach, just outside the little coastal town of Faaborg. Located 40 minutes south of Odense by bus, Faaborg has good connections to local attractions such as Egeskov, one of Denmark's most famous Renaissance castles, complete with antique-car museum, maze and children's playground (around half an hour away by bus). Danland is 10 minutes' walk (five by cab) from the central bus station in Faaborg; rooms cost from DKr3,428 (£285) per week for a self-catering apartment sleeping four, based on travel after 19 August (for information contact 00 45 62 61 38 00, www.danland.dk).

Q We are planning to visit London in August with our children. We promised to take them on the Millennium Wheel. Is it best to leave it to chance and just turn up? If so, what is the best day and time?

M Henry, Lincolnshire

AThe people who run the British Airways London Eye, as it is officially known, recommend you book in advance for your half-hour "flight" – particularly as plenty of families and tourists will have the same idea in August. You can buy tickets by phone on 0870 500 0600 or at www.ba-londoneye.com. From May, tickets cost £10.50 for adults and £5 for 5-15s (under 5s go free). No family concessions are available.

The problem with booking ahead is that you could get a grey or rainy day. If you want to take a risk on the day, turn up as early as possible. The first "flight" is at 9.30am (except on Wednesdays outside school holidays, when it is 11am). Tickets for the first flight each day are kept back, so even if all other flights are fully booked, it means you still have a good chance if you get there by 9am.

The later in the day you go, the longer you are likely to have to wait, and insummer the whole day can quickly book out. One time to steer clear of, though, is evenings. From 1 May the last flight is at 10pm – and this is the most popular time, as many people want to see London by night.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas