Famous castles, romantic palaces and picturesque manor houses are set against a wide horizon in western Münsterland. Surrounded by the lush greenery of the Hohe Mark Nature Park and the parkland of the Münsterland region, this cycle tour is a real treat. Over 310 kilometres, the western section of the 100 Castles Route alternates between historic buildings and charming places.
For those who don't want to plan their own cycle tour on the western route, the multi-day package cycle tour is the perfect option.
Haltern am See is one of the most beautiful places in Münsterland and our starting point for the western course of the 100 Castles Route. The lake shines in deep blue along 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.
The Hoch Mark Nature Park accompanies cyclists to Lembeck Castle. Surrounded by deep forests and a small farmstead, the sight appears 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 bloom in the summer months.
The landmark of Raesfeld is undoubtedly the magnificent Water Castle. The castle towers high above the roofs of the town and heightens the anticipation even before arrival. A path leads around the castle, which also houses a restaurant. 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 as you stroll through the city.
The Water Castle Anholt near Isselburg alone would be worth a trip. The large castle is idyllically framed by moats and castle park. 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 Schloss Rhede 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 plan a tour of the grounds as part of your tour.
Under the wide skies of the western Münsterland, the West Course takes you through beautiful villages and past charming buildings such as Burg Ramsdorf and Schloss Velen to Ahaus. The town's castle nestles right next to the town centre. Huge 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.
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.