Edsviken Ulriksdal

Wild swimming at Edsviken near Ulriksdal

Edsviken Ulriksdal

a wonderful small beach on Edsviken near Ulriksdal

As i write this, I’m in the middle of a summer London heatwave and it’s been 30 degrees or so all week. All I wish right now is that I still lived in Sollentuna and that I could nip down the road for spot of wild swimming at Edsviken near Ulriksdal slott. The picture here is of Matilda sitting on the beach early one sunny summer morning in 2009. It’s taken from a tiny beach which is a local hidden secret, ironically though it’s only a few hundred metres from a major tourist site at Ulriksdal Slott.

As I’ve written on other pages on this site Edsviken is full of many wild swimming opportunities and this is another great one. For me I used to walk south from my house, past Silverdal and the police high school along a beautiful lakeside path for about 30 minutes and then you come to this little quiet secluded beach (there’s a map below of the exact location).

This beach is absolutely tiny though, there’s only room for a few families, but the swimming is great as it’s a gently sloping beach where small children can happily paddle quite a long way without getting into trouble. Once you go out about 5 metres though, there’s a bit of a shelf where the adults can kick off from and do some proper swimming. You might also be able to see in the background a small island which the more adventurous can swim over to.

The thing which is strangest though about this beach is that it’s incredibly close to the fantastic tourist site of Ulriksdals Slott. You simply walk north past the slott itself for about 300 metres and you come to this glorious private beach, but noone ever goes there whilst visiting the slott (castle) as who takes their swimming trunks on a tourist castle visit. This is sad for the people visiting the slott, but great for those in the know who fancy a chilled swim. For those with children there are always ducks on the beach as well which adds another entertainment. Sarah describes it to me as “The beach where the ducks are there eating ants” which is pretty accurate.

Finally on the ridge up above the beach is the Ulriksdals Garden cafe (Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal), which is another local secret (in fact I’d call it a local institution) with the most amazing vegetarian buffet lunch. More on this on another post, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

 

edsviken kayak

Kayak from Brunnsviken to Edsviken

edsviken kayak

Graham kayaking on Edsviken near Tegelhagen

When I lived in Tegelhagen I was always thrilled by the fact that 15 minutes walk through the woods from my house was the amazing lake of Edsviken. Just beyond Edsviken if I took the bus or cycled a little further was the connected lake of Brunnsviken, and one of the things I loved to do was hire a kayak at Brunnsviken kayak club and kayak from Brunnsviken to Edsviken, stopping at a beach for lunch.

BKK is a great club as it’s easily accessible by public transport or road and has great equipment for hire at good prices if you’re not a member. If you’re a beginner or short of time you can just hire for an hour and paddle gently round Brunnsviken itself. There’s a couple of cafes and beaches and some lovely spots and views.

If however you’re feeling a little more adventurous, then you can head under the bridge which is actually the E18 road and you’re in open water. If you turn right you’ll come down to the main harbours for the large international ferries, and you can effectively paddle right out to sea from there (watch out for the ferries though!).

However if you turn left, you turn north into Edsviken, which is closed water and you can paddle up to one of the many lovely beaches along the way, or you could even stop at Ulriksdals Slott, where there are wonderful gardens and a castle, and a couple of great cafes as well.

Here’s a map showing where BKK is where you can pick up the kayak, and you can see that the exit from the lake is on the eastern side under the E18.


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Just watch out as you go under the bridge as there are boat traffic lights there, and it’s a very narrow channel. Watch out for bigger boats coming the other way! Depending on your paddling speed you can easily get well up into Edsviken in about an hour. I’d recommend one of the beaches on the west side, at either Ulriksdals Slott or a bit further north, but basically you’re free to pull in wherever and that’s the joy of kayaking in Sweden. Just remember to take a packed lunch!

If you don’t fancy arranging your own trips manually when you get there, you can book a kayak tour in Stockholm directly here through our partner site.

open water swimming at Edsviken

Swimming at Edsviken in Sollentuna

One of the most glorious things about Stockholm in the summer is the near constant possibility to go swimming in open water, either in one of the many lakes or in the sea off one of the many islands of the archipelago.

open water swimming at Edsviken

A glorious view south across Edsviken

This picture is taken at a wonderful lake in Sollentuna which is in the northern suburbs of Stockholm. The lake is called Edsviken and it stretches north south more or less for about 20 km, before it actually reaches the sea. There are numerous individual spots where people can just turn up and have a quick dip, and there’s loads of other activities to be had along its borders, which I’ll detail in other posts. For example, on other occasions I’ve hired a kayak (swedish only site) in town and paddled up to this and other swimming spots. But that’s a bit of a full day commitment and one for another post! The particular spot marked on the map below is one of my favourites as because of the rocks here, meaning that there’s great opportunities to jump in from a few feet up. This is always great fun in my mind, but for the less adventurous, there’s an easy path down to the edge of the water and nice shallow sections where you can just wade in and out if you don’t want to actually swim. Just be careful though, as rocks above tend to mean that there’s rocks below and as with all open swimming you need to be careful as there’s no lifeguards to save you should you get into trouble.

Here’s a map of the actual location. You can walk , drive or get the bus there, it’s fairly accessible (or kayak of course which is the truly stylish way to arrive!). There’s no facilities there though, as it’s just one of many little public spots all along the edge of the lake, so make sure you take some food and drink with you if you’re planning on staying a while, and remember that there are no toilets as well!


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