I work as a tour guide in Copenhagen and North Sealand in the summer months and throughout the year. I specialize in walking tours for groups and families around the historic, artistic and culinary sights of this vibrant capital city. I’m a well-travelled British author, photographer, cook, historian, journalist, and photographer who can guarantee you and your group a rich, insightful and humorous experience of this great city.
The aim of the tour: The quest is to discover the heart and the modern pulse of the beautiful old city of Copenhagen. We’ll meet at the city hall, then onwards to the site of the first settlement at Christiansborg. Our tour takes us through the medieval streets of the old city, on a short boat ride, a walk by the beautiful harbour, a visit to see the Queen at Amalienborg, and ending the tour in jaunty Nyhavn
What we’ll do:You’ll meet your guide, Heather Gartside on the steps of the Copenhagen City Hall (Rådhuset) and then take a walk around the old cobbled streets, the site of the first settlement, and a taste of how Copenhagen should be seen – from the sea. Heather loves to bring history to life as a writer and historian, so be prepared for some time travelling as you take in such sights as the City Hall, the statue of Hans Christian Andersen, Tivoli, the site of the Danish parliament at Christiansborg (crowds permitting, we can take a trip up the highest tower in the city too), a refreshing boat ride to Gefions fountain, a glimpse of the Little Mermaid, the Queen’s residence at Amalienborg, and the jaunty harbourside up to Nyhavn where we’ll end this tour. It’s a packed three-hour adventure where we’ll cover approximately 6km on foot, with lots of small details about life in the good old/bad old days and living in Copenhagen today. Heather’s aim is to give you a great foundation for your stay in the fairytale capital of the world, and possibly the urge to retrace your steps and visit some of these historical gems later. This charming tours is a walking one, so please dress for the weather and be ready for some pavement pounding!
What else you should know:Heather welcome groups large and small, but a minimum of two people is preferred. Children under 11-years old are free, babies and toddlers welcome. With group bookings over five, guests are welcome to suggest other time slots and sights.
Meeting on the causeway leading to the former royal palace of Hirschholm: in two hours Heather will bring to life the drama, intrigue, and tragedy of the Rococo palace which was said to have rivaled the palace of Versailles in terms of grandeur in the 18th century. We will take a grand tour of the site; where we can trace the outlines of the formal lakes, the sites of mazes and fountains, and the alleys of linden trees now overgrown and arthritic in their twisted shapes. Heather knows the subject matter well and has written a book, Middle Distance, based partially upon the dramatic royal shenanigans, romance and ensuing tragedy of an affair between the English-born crown-princess of Denmark, and the German doctor of mad King Christian the seventh in the fateful summer of 1771, a year in Danish history books known as “The Hirschholm Summer”. As you walk the royal alleyways you may begin to absorb the “snap” in the air, the vacuum left by the untimely disappearance of this thriving and decadent palace – maybe you’ll even see a winter ghost!
Meeting in the entrance hall of the very grand Helsingør (Elsinore in English) railway station you’ll get to rendezvous with Heather, she’ll be waving a blue European Union umbrella. Once assembled, Heather will take you for a stroll around the cobbled streets of the city of olde Helsingør – a city steeped in hidden historical gems from the Middle Ages until the 19th century, a time in which it was a bustling commercial port due to a startlingly good idea – 400-years of “legal piracy” in which the residents of Helsingør indulged to leave the grand building we see today. Heather will lead you through hidden courtyards for a little time travel into the past with her rich and intriguing stories. The tour will then lead towards the magnificent fortress of Kronborg. We will pass the site of the old shipyards, now rejuvenated into a wonderful library, cultural centre, and maritime museum. We’ll take in the view from the top of the building, then head towards the battlements of the vast fortress and royal palace of Kronborg, the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet with magnificent views across the sound to Sweden.