farm visit at Järvafältet

A farm visit and lunch at Järvafältet nature reserve

For all my years as a Stockholm resident, my favourite family activity every week was to to do a farm visit and then eat lunch at Järvafältet nature reserve in the northern suburbs of Stockholm. The nature  reserve itself is quite large, it takes a few hours to cross it from side to side by foot , but on the eastern border, there’s a small car park, a wonderful cafe and a children’s visiting farm where they can stroke certain animals and get close to them in their pens. I’ve written other posts about activities there, but this is the regular thing that I did with the kids pretty much every week.

You can get there by car easily, it’s about 20 minutes north of central Stockholm, straight up the E4, or you can take the commuter train to Häggvik station which is about 15 minutes from central station. It’s then about a 15 minute walk to the cafe. Here’s a link to a google map of the exact location.

Right next to the car park is the most wonderful cafe. It hasn’t got a huge menu, but as I said above it does the best egg and prawn sandwich in Stockholm in my opinion. It’s opening hours are quite short, normally 9 or 10am to 3pm, and it’s often closed Monday and Tuesday. During the week it also sells classic Swedish “dagens lunch” in addition to its standard sandwich and drinks menu. Mostly its frequented by families coming to visit the farm, or by people doing various outdoor activities in the nature reserve, whether it be running, cycling, cross country skiiing or just walking. It’s got a very easy going vibe, and is the building is a very classic Swedish wooden style. There’s lovely outdoor seating, which is good in both the winter and the summer assuming you’re appropriately dressed.

Here’s a photo of me and Matilda eating ice creams outside in winter on a wonderful sunny day.

cafe at järvafältet nature reserve

eating ice creams outside Helena’s cafe in Järvafältet

As any parent will tell you, it’s never too cold for ice cream! The views from the cafe are across some nice open fields where some Icelandic horses from the farm live and it truly is one of my favourite places in the world.

Just up the main path from the cafe, is the visiting farm where you can take the children (or the adults) to look at the animals. There’s no cost involved it’s just open most days until 4pm and you’re welcome to wander around. It’s used as a teaching resource to local school children as well sometimes. Being Sweden, if it’s winter time, all the animals are inside, but in the summer they’re all out in various pens and fields, some of wish you can go in a stroke the animals.

There are sheep, cows, chickens, horses, rabbits, pigs and goats. Sometimes in the summer they have special days where they do pony rides or horse and cart rides, which are also great for the children. Sometimes you’ll even meet the big friendly farm cat who loves to be stroked. All in all it’s very wholesome and fun.

Check out our other posts about Järvafältet. There’s site about the farm as well and some good pictures of the cafe on their site. (only in Swedish).

Wilderness Camping at Järvafältet

Järvafältet is one of my favourite places in the whole of Stockholm and it deserves (and gets) it’s own tag on this site. There are so many things you can do there, most of which are classic hearty outdoor Swedish activities. One of the many great things you can do there is what I would call wilderness camping.

Wilderness camping at Järvafältet

Morning coffee at the wilderness camping site

Here’s a picture of me warming up on an October morning round the camp fire at one of the many official camping sites in the Järvafältet nature reserve. When I say official, it means that you’re allowed to build a fire there, which unlike a lot of Sweden, you’re not allowed to do in most of the nature reserve. At each site there’s a small wooden box which is filled with fire wood by the people who manage the reserve. Beyond that it’s not actually a site, it’s far more what I would describe as wilderness camping, which is why I love it. Anyone is welcome to help themselves to this and have a nice camp fire, but there’s no other facilities beyond this. You need to collect water from the lake or bring your own, you need to go to the toilet in the woods, and most of all you need to ensure that you take absolutely everything with you when you leave. It’s just how I like wild camping. The only thing you need to do is to check where the official fire pits are on the map before you make fire. Beyond that the world is your oyster.

The catch – well there isn’t any, but the amazing thing about Järvafältet is that you’re never really more than an hour away by walking from a mainline railway station or a bus stop, and you’re only 20 minutes north of central Stockholm.

I was lucky enough to live just round the corner from here for many of the years that I lived in Stockholm, and I was to be found there most weekends. You can view many of the other great things in this reserve by reading other posts tagged Järvafältet.

In summary – just go there, it’s amazing and it’s on everyone’s doorstep. You can download a PDF map of the area here which has various useful information on it. If you want a proper walking map though you’ll have to buy one. You can do this online obviously, or you could visit one of my favourite shops in Stockholm, which is right outside the central station, called Kart Centrum (translates as map central).