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.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game