Craig prepared our breakfast of yogurt and muesli and a fresh pot of coffee whilst I took the dogs for a walk down the country lane. It was a beautiful day, blue skies and glorious sunshine enough to make you want to skip along the country lanes.
We are in Munsterland.. a narrow region to the north of Münster. The land of horses and moated castles and by gosh do they like horses. Every where you turn you see fine horses of every size and colour including cute little shetland ponies. The castles in this region are surrounded by moats or built on islands to give their owners protection in the surrounding lowlands. The German word for castle is Schloss and there are almost 50 of them in this region, some converted into residences, some restaurants and some homes, as most remain to this day in the hands of the family of the original owners.
An hours drive and we arrived at our first port of call,the beautiful 17th century Raesfeld castle.
We parked up in the village aire which was completely empty and spotlessly clean. 8€ for overnight stays, 1€ for electricity and 1€ for fresh water. To our right a lovely mowed village green with a hedge of wild flowers and then to our left, the castle. We walked through the cobbled path to the castle passing the odd little trinket shop and cafe. We crossed over the moat and entered the castle grounds, it was stunning. Birds singing, duck quacking…or at least until Mac n Tosh arrived and disturbed the peace! They were eager to run wild but we rained them in and slowly walked around the perimeter of the castle. The castle is now a restaurant and wedding venue and today was no exception. Just as we walked round the back and crossed the bridge, a bride and groom and a small congregation appeared from the 14th century chapel. After a good walk around the ground we ventured a little further in to the castles haunted forest. With little walk ways, ponds, wild flowers and a huge variety of birds, it was truly a lovely walk.
It was such a nice day, we stayed in Raesfeld all day just chilling and enjoying the glorious weather in such a beautiful location.
(Click the slideshow below)
In the late afternoon, the dude’s had a snooze whilst we headed over to another castle. Schloss Lembeek was an elegant and grand Baroque building with a double moat. The castle now a hotel and restaurant was beautifully decorated with exceptional gardens.
Tonights sleep spot – The car park facing the Schloss, Raesfeld. We moved from the aire just because we could get a better view of the castle. Small, quiet and free located in the grounds of the castle. Very pretty spot with great views of castle, the moat and forest.
Raesfeld Aire GPS position: 51.765487, 6.830611
Route: Alpen to Raesfeld
Weather high 21 and low 3, sunny. Best weather so far.