Round trip of South Westphalia: Rivers. Castles. Münsterland
7 days / 6 nights | Self-guided cycling tours
Discover the beauty of Münsterland's park landscape and the many moated castles on your bike ride.
You will bike along numerous streams, through forest and meadows across Münsterland's characteristic "Pättkes".
In addition to Westphalian manor homes and old country estates, this tour will take you past the most famous castles in the Münsterland: Castle Vischering and Castle Hülshoff. The shorter legs of the bike trip are the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at the castles and palaces, relax in a café along the bike path and discover the villages of Westphalia.
A cultural delight awaits you at the end of the tour: With your bike, you can discover up to 40 sculptures in public spaces scattered throughout the urban area. Cycling on the Promenadenring, a car-free boulevard around Münster's city centre promises an even more enjoyable ride.
An extra day is worthwhile in order to also visit Münster's many interesting museums and old town.
Day 1: Arrival in Münster
Travel to Münster and check in to the hotel with the option of visiting the city centre, walking distance from the hotel.
Day 2: Münster – Davensberg (Cycling 33 km / 21 miles)
The first stage is completely in line with the saying 2river, castle, Münsterland". A pleasant journey along the Dortmund-Ems canal to the Hiltruper See. Through the 'Hohe Ward' forest area, the route passes through 'Pättkes' (tracks) towards Albersloh where you come across the Werse, one of the eight major rivers making their way through Münsterland.
The Werse takes you to Rinkerode where you will find the Haus Göttendorf country estate, built in the 17th Century by the von Galen family. The two Haus Borg and Haus Bisping moated castles are to be found nearby. The last stretch of the stage is through the mystical and pristine Davert wooded area to Burg Davensberg, now a museum primarily dealing with vintage farm implements.
Day 3: Davensberg – Lüdinghausen (Cycling 33 km / 21 miles)
Today's stage has two divine moated castles. Country paths take you to the Westerwinkel Baroque castle and Schloss Nordkirchen, the Versailles of Westphalia. (with UNESCO protection). The castle has a restaurant tempting you to a short break with a fantastic view of the courtyard.
The last stretch of today's stage is along the River Stever to the beautiful town of Lüdinghausen. Overnight stay right next to the castle buildings.
Day 4: Lüdinghausen – Senden (Cycling 31 km / 19 miles)
Today starts with visits to Burg Lüdinghausen and Burg Vischering, along the river on foot from the hotel. Burg Vischering was partly destroyed in the Second World War and rebuilt in the 50s/60s. It is still owned by the Vischering family, who have set up a museum about the history of the castle. Cross the Dortmund-Ems canal and cycle to Buldern continuing through greenery and past typical Westphalian farms. Restaurants, cafés and ice-cream shops invite you to take a short break in Buldern. You come once again across the Dortmund-Ems canal, which takes you to Sendener Schloss (with its beautiful gardens) to Senden. Spend the night at Hof Grothues-Potthoff, known for its delicious asparagus dishes.
Day 5: Senden – Nottuln (Cycling 30 km / 19 miles)
Today's cycle stage takes you along the Stever to Appelhülsen. Just before Appelhülsen the route takes you to Haus Klein-Schoenebeck, an estate from the 14th Century. After leaving Appelhülsen you come across an old friend, the Stever, which takes you towards Nottuln. Before reaching Nottuln you get to the highest point of Münsterland. At an elevation of 188 m is the 32m-high Longinusturm, built of typical Baumberg lime sandstone. From the tower you can make your way to Nottuln, today's destination.
The last stretch is an easy 4 kilometres downhill to your hotel.
Day 6: Havixbeck – Münster (Cycling 31 km / 19 miles)
Today you have plenty of time to discover all sides of Münsterland. The first stretch is along a track around the Baumberge hills to the Schlauchbach stream and just before Havixbeck. Just after leaving the stream you come across Burg Hülshoff, birthplace and childhood home of the poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. Since 2012, seeing the castle from inside and enjoying the food in the castle yard is possible.
Haus Vögdeding and Haus Rüschhaus are two other estates worth seeing on the route. The short story 'Judenbuche', perhaps the best known work by A. von Droste-Hülshoff, was written in the 'Rüschhaus'. Another highlight awaits you at the end of the tour with the castle in Münster. Built by J. C. Schlaun, since 1954 it has housed the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität.
Behind the castle are the Botanical Gardens and the café in the castle grounds, which tempts you to one last rest before heading back to the hotel.
Day 7: Münster
End of the tour after breakfast or extension day.
Also available for booking: Extension Day
Münster – Sculpture Projects (Cycling 18 km / 11 miles)
Booking an extra night gives you time to experience art in the open. Every 10 years the 'Skulptur Projekte' take place in Münster and leaves its mark around the city by integrating some of the sculptures in the urban landscape.
Off cycling towards Aasee, a large artificial lake in the centre of Münster. Here you will find the 'Giant Pool Balls' by Claes Oldenburg, perhaps the most well-known work of the Skulptur Projekte. Past the Wilhelms-Universität, you continue to the promenade, a paved car-free boulevard laid along the city's old ring of fortifications and which takes you along a shady path once round the city centre. Discover the city on foot and maybe end up looking for more sculptures.
It is worth visiting the Friedensaal in the Town Hall,Dom and/or one of the many museums. Or wander through the city in typical Westphalian calm by popping into one of the typical cafés, stroll around the 'Prinzipalmarkt' and bring your tour to a relaxing end.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.