“There is something about dark clouds and castles,” mused my partner as the horizon darkened. Rain and accompa­nying chill are loyal constants of the Danish autumn, and this afternoon was no different. We were at the edge of the thinly populated town of Helsingor (pronounced Elsinore), where the Kronborg Castle stands on a stunted hill. Shakespeare’s Hamlet has secured the castle a place in history and though supposedly fictional, a Prince Amleth did live here in the 13th century.

Helsingor is an hour’s jour­ney east of Copenhagen and is the last station on the famed train line that runs along the Danish coastline. You could also drive on the road that runs parallel to the train track; it was once voted as one of the top ten scenic drives in Scandi­navia. However, in autumn the weather could be fairly unpredictable.

Originally built as a fortress, this Unesco World Heritage Site earned fame as an eminent piece of architecture only after it became a castle in the 1580s. On its porch are old cannons from the time when the castle was under military adminis­tration in the 20th century. The cannons still work and are often fired as a salute to the Queen of Denmark as she passes by on her way to the summer house. Far off, one can see the Swedish side.

Denmark is famous for its castles. There are many scat­tered in the vicinity of Copen­hagen including Frederiksborg and Amalienborg Palace. On a day off, these castles, together with Kronborg, furnish a perfect getaway to those inter­ested in history, architecture, Shakespearean dramas or just in unconcerned walkabouts.