I have always loved forests. There’s something undeniably magical about them – the eerie stillness, the soft, dappled patterns of shade and sun, the rustling leaves – something magical, and something mysterious. I used to imagine that, like Bessie and her siblings in The Enchanted Wood, I need only wrap my arms around the trunks of great big trees in the woods, press my little ear to the bark, and that they would then whisper to me through the rustling of their leaves, telling me their secrets.
After living in the city for a few months, I start to crave nature. I dream about open fields, empty beaches, and thick forests. It’s like my soul needs refreshing. So, you can only imagine my excitement when my fiance told me he’d booked a weekend away near a real European pine forest in Northern Germany.
In April my fiance and I discovered a lovely gem of a place tucked away in Northern Germany, south of Hannover. Perfect for a romantic weekend away, Gaestehaus Tannenhof (Hotel Tannenhof) is situated just outside of the town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld, and nearby the quaint town of Buntenbock. Flanked by thick pine forests and about two minutes walk from the lake, Hotel Tannenhof is an ideal place for an escape from city life.
The host at Tannenhof Guest House is passionate about his job, and he spent quite a while telling us about the region and recommending walking trails. He must have guessed that we were city slickers, as he recommended that we “dip our fingers in the river” for a real outdoors experience.
The area surrounding the hotel is perfect for long walks, and we spent several hours exploring the paths that wound past the lake and through several thickets of trees. The peace and quiet is soothing, and being surrounded by nature is incredibly healing. Just breathing the damp, cool air of late spring set my mind at ease.
If you’re a lover of the outdoors like I am, then I’d highly recommend a visit to this region. There are many hours of walking trails, mountain biking tracks, open fields and pastures, and so much green that your brain doesn’t quite know what to do with it, besides relax in contentment. I can imagine it’s stunningly beautiful in winter, and there’s a ski lift not too far away.
The tiny town of Buntenbock is well worth a visit, and we spent a day here walking and relaxing in the weak spring sunshine. There are a series of lakes to see, and a few lovely walks in the woods. With our backpacks on and water bottles in hand, we were ready to tackle the rolling green fields and winding paths.
The town is so small that we felt awkward walking through it. I spotted a horse from across the road, and to my delight, he sauntered over to say hello. He had the softest nose ever, and it was covered in cool dew droplets. After deciding that I had no treats, he walked away and resumed his grass-chomping.
After half a day of walking, we stopped for lunch at a tiny restaurant in Buntenbock. We were blown away by the food – fresh, huge portions, and absolutely delicious. The lady who served us informed us that everything was sourced from the local farms, and homemade.
Sadly we only had a weekend here, and so we only had a day or two to explore, but I have fond memories of the experience, and I’d love to visit again one day.
For information on the Tannenhof Guest House, click here.