Against a broad horizon, famous castles, romantic palaces and picturesque manor houses gather in the western Münsterland. Surrounded by the lush greenery of the Hohe Mark Nature Park and the park landscape of Münsterland, this cycle tour is a real treat. On more than 310 kilometres, historic buildings and pleasant towns alternate on the western course of the 100 Castles Route.
For those who do not want to plan their own cycling tour on the West Course, the multi-day package cycling tour is an ideal option.
Haltern am See is one of the most beautiful towns in the Münsterland region and our starting point for the western course of the 100 Castles Route. The lake shines deep blue on the lakeside promenade, the historic town hall catches the eye in bright white and nature presents itself in fresh green. You should take some time for Haltern am See. Take a relaxed stroll through the alleys of the town or go in search of clues in the Roman Museum, which is well worth a visit.
The Hohe Mark Nature Park accompanies cyclists to Lembeck Castle. Surrounded by deep woods and a small farmstead, the view is particularly stately and representative. The English garden is hidden behind high walls. A highlight is the rhododendron blossom in May. Then the park is transformed into a veritable sea of colour. The atmosphere becomes particularly romantic when the numerous English roses blossom in the summer months.
The landmark of Raesfeld is undoubtedly the magnificent moated castle. The castle towers high above the roofs of the town and heightens the anticipation even before your arrival. You can walk around the castle, which also houses a restaurant, on a path. The black swans on the large castle pond make the building a true "fairytale castle". The paths in the adjacent historic zoo are wonderfully peaceful. Small forests alternate with dreamy ponds and open meadows and heathland.
Away from the major traffic routes and with practically no metres in altitude, the 100 castles route strives towards Bocholt's city centre, which is well worth seeing. "Urban flair and relaxed serenity await you on a walk through the city.
The Anholt moated castle near Isselburg would be worth a trip on its own. The large castle is idyllically framed by moats and castle grounds. It would not be surprising if a knight came through the castle gate the next moment. Today, the castle houses a hotel and several restaurants. The history of the castle and its inhabitants is told in the museum in the inner courtyard, which is well worth seeing.
The cycle route runs within sight of the Dutch border past Rhede Castle to Borken. Gemen Castle is certainly one of the most unusual buildings in Münsterland. The castle, whose oldest section dates back to 1280, looks back on an eventful past. You should not miss a tour of the grounds.
Under the wide skies of the western Münsterland, the west course takes you through beautiful villages and past charming buildings such as Ramsdorf Castle and Velen Castle to Ahaus. The town's castle nestles right next to the town centre. Mighty walls and deep moats make it impregnable only at first glance. Take some time.
On your way south, the 100 Castles Route takes you to some of the region's most beautiful secrets. It starts with the Burgmannshöfe in Heek. On the banks of the Dinkel, the "Keppelborg", the "Hohe Haus" and the "Lange Haus" of the former Burgmannshöfe still stand today. Gently embedded in their surroundings, the Burgmannshöfe are a small journey back in time. Only a few kilometres away, Asbeck Abbey from the 12th century surprises with its magnificent cloister. The monastery blends harmoniously into the very beautiful district of Legden Asbeck. Past Loburg Castle, the 100 Castles Route meets the district town of Coesfeld. Perfect for a rest in the shade of the market square.
Buldern Castle near Dülmen is somewhat hidden, but it is worth taking a look around the corner. At any time of year, the castle lies picturesquely on the edge of a lake. The last castle on the cycle route is again in Haltern am See: Schloss Sythen appears less spectacular at first glance than its predecessors - all the more surprising is the small castle with its extensive gardens.
Lembeck Castle marks the southern border of the Münsterland region halfway between Haltern am See and Raesfeld. Almost out of nowhere, the large castle complex suddenly rises up into the air. Through the castle gate you enter the castle park, whose formal design contrasts with the wooded surroundings.
Raesfeld Castle enjoys great popularity. Why is that? You'll find out for yourself on your bike tour. The moated castle is surrounded by freedom, where small houses nestle harmoniously against the castle. On the other side, the historic zoo opens up into a beautiful natural space.
A real jewel awaits you in the western Münsterland: the castle lies imposingly surrounded by large expanses of water in the Münsterland park landscape. The historic building houses a hotel and an extremely interesting museum. The café and restaurants offer a stylish ambience for a rest during your bike tour.
Gemen Castle is the landmark of the district town of Borken. Although the name does not suggest it: Gemen Castle is a castle. Whether it is a castle or a fortress, visitors enjoy its unusual shape. You should definitely plan a walk around the castle.
Ahaus Castle is located in the middle of the town. It was once the residence of the prince-bishops of Münster. Today it serves as a museum, event space, academy and registry office. A tour of the castle gardens provides surprising insights. Afterwards, treat yourself to a stroll through the beautiful pedestrian zone of Ahaus.
Since the 12th century, Asbeck Abbey has shaped the image of the small village at the gates of Legden. The historic cloister still fascinates visitors today. You can get to the bottom of the history of the former nunnery in the Abbey Museum.
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