One highlight after the other is offered on your bike tour around Ahaus. This fantastic circular tour is about 50 kilometres long. If you need more information or would like to charge your e-bike, you can do so at the nearby tourist information office in the town centre. There is also a bicycle rental shop in the immediate vicinity. There is a caravan park just a few metres from the pedestrian zone. Along the entire route, you will pass many gastronomic offers, such as ice cream parlours, restaurants, pizzerias, cafés: there is something for everyone here.
From the car park, head north towards the Ahauser Aa. Turn right here and ride along the Flörbach for quite a while, past many wide fields and small forests. You pass the firewood farm Haus Horst and can already see Haus Horst from here. It was founded around 1580 by the married couple Jakob (I) von Keppel, Burgmann zu Nienborg, and Elsebe von Münster on the farm of the same name on the Ahauser Aa in the far west of the Ahle farming community as a noble residence. Today it is privately owned and the castle is best seen in the "leaf-free season".
The route continues along extensive meadows and fields, just under 10 kilometres to Nienborg. On the way you pass the Donseler Feld nature reserve: pure relaxation and tranquillity. Our route leads along the Old Water Mill, which was built in 1368, restored in 1984 and is now privately owned. Therefore, it can also only be visited from the outside. Past the water mill, we continue a little further along the road to the next stop on this little journey:
Even from a distance, you can see the three-tiered gables of the Hohes Haus castle complex, typical of the Münsterland region. It belongs to the Burgmannshöfen Nienborg. In those days, sovereigns used to have loyal men to protect their castle and town, so that they could be present as officials (for administrative tasks) or knights (for defence). This led to the formation of the Burgmannen (servants), who inserted themselves between the nobility and the peasants with noble rights. The Burgmannen later had a number of administrative rights: organisation of the town defence, approval of the election of the town judge and the mayors, as well as supervision of weights and measures, for which they alone included the wine tax and set new prices for wine. This enabled them to constantly increase their wealth, so that they built themselves ever more magnificent houses - Burgmannshöfe. Today, six of the eight Burgmannshöfe still exist with buildings from different eras, and only small remains of another.
You can take a tour of the house by reservation. The Dutch von Boenninghausen family is happy to open the gate and tell you about life in and around Nienborg at that time.
Before you continue, you can charge your e-bike here.
On the next stretch, you will pass two more possible stops: First, the Lange Haus beckons. This former castle still has three manor houses, the gatehouse and remains of the massive circular wall. Since 1989, the Landesmusikakademie NRW has been using a large part of the building. A little further on from the track you can see the Keppelborg House, whose roots go back to the 15th or 16th century. The current owners are now happy to open their doors to guests and invite them to stay overnight. The adjacent, spacious park is an oasis of peace that you can enjoy with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Let the past have its effect on you!
From here it's a nice stretch along the Donaubach stream towards Heek. Here you could take a short break at an ice cream parlour or café. After you have passed the village, there is another beautiful scenic stretch along the Dinkelnierung nature reserve. Lapwings, oystercatchers and the endangered godwit are at home here. Amphibians and dragonflies live at the small water bodies. In the south of the reserve, a bridge over the river opens up a wide view of the lowland landscape. Keep your eyes open, because you might even spot grey wagtails, moorhens and tufted ducks here. After a few kilometres you reach the Düstermühle.
Here rests a beautiful old brick water mill dating from 1151 (documented) on the Dinkel. Situated right next to an inn, it invites you to linger a while. Every year at the end of August, the Düstermühlenmarkt takes place on the grounds around the Düstermühle. For one weekend, the area is transformed into a huge market with a folk festival and an animal market. There is also an e-bike charging station here.
The cycle tour continues along fields and stretches of tranquillity. Then you will experience a cultural highlight of this circular tour: Asbeck Abbey.
Asbeck Ab bey in Legden-Asbeck, founded in the 12th century, was initially a double monastery of the Premonstratensians. Later it was a purely nunnery before being converted into a ladies' convent in the 16th century. The institution existed until 1805. Many interesting places can still be visited here today:
Did you already know? Therese von Zandt, Ludwig von Beethoven's mistress, lived here from 1783 to 1803.
Take the opportunity to make a short detour: a little further to the south-east is the beautiful Asbeck village pond, a near-natural pond with an artificial watercourse. Here you can unpack your picnic souvenirs and make yourself comfortable at the seating area.
Now we cycle on the penultimate stage past small streams, wide fields and small woods, with the Steinkuhle nature reserve next to us, and ride to Legden.
Haus Egelborg is a moated castle on the upper reaches of the Dinkel, extending over two islands. In 1400 it passed from the Lords of Were into the possession of the Lords of Billerbeck. Knight Jobst von Oer-Nottbeck took possession of Haus Egelborg in 1670 through marriage. His descendants still run the estate today.
The Haus Egelborg estate lies quietly and secluded in a wooded area in Legden. The path first leads over a bridge to an outer island enclosed by a moat with a few farm buildings and tree-covered lawns. Baron von Oer welcomes the guests at the large neo-Gothic gatehouse of the Egelborg for the guided tour. During the tour of his traditional estate, he talks about the history of Haus Egelborg. The tour also includes a visit to the house's own chapel.
Registration for the events is absolutely necessary.
From here you get on your bikes for the last time and ride the last stage of your route towards Ahaus. The crowning finale of this tour awaits you here: Ahaus moated castle.
The Baroque hunting lodge was built towards the end of the 17th century by Capuchin monk Ambrosius von Oelde on the site of an 11th century castle. In the middle of the 18th century, an extension with a sweeping flight of steps was added to the castle. After the castle was completely destroyed in the Second World War, it was later acquired by the district of Ahaus and rebuilt. Today, the rooms of the castle are partly used by the Ahaus Technical Academy. It also houses the Torhaus Museum and the School Museum. In addition to the museums, the Prince's Hall, the Garden Hall and the castle park are open for tours.
Not all offers and services along the cycle route can be fully used yet. Here we keep you up to date on what you can experience on your cycle tour.
High House - Burgmannshöfe Nienborg
On this cycling tour you can travel in an environmentally friendly way by public transport, because you can start your tour directly from the train stations. You only need to cycle 4 to 5 minutes to get to the route.
A suitable starting point for this circular tour is car park P1 in the immediate vicinity of Ahaus Castle. There are over 200 parking spaces here, day tickets are available for 3 euros, free of charge on Sundays.