Bispingen is a small country town in Lower Saxony and a great base for exploring the Lüneburg Heath. Within its municipal boundaries lies the highest hill on the Heath, the Wilseder Berg (169 m), as well as the iconic heath village and tourist hotspot of Wilsede.
The Heath is a very popular German tourist destination and recreation area for the big cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Hanover, and Bispingen lies right at the heart of it on the sleepy little River Luhe and a good 15 kilometres northeast of the next largest town, Soltau. Bispingen has been developed in recent years to cater for the expanding tourist market and features Snow dome, Ralf Schumacher's Go-Kart hall and a Centre Parcs village on the outskirts. But it also lies within the Lüneburg Heath Nature Park itself with its quaint farming villages, forests and rolling heathlands grazed by moorland sheep (Heidschnucken), all linked by a network of signposted trails and cycleways.
Bispingen is accessible from the airport at Hanover which is a main international airport with regular flights from all over the world with services to most European capitals and major cities. The airport is situated 11 kilometres to the north of Hanover centre and has easy access to the autobahn. It is the ninth largest airport in Germany and is one of very few German airports which are open 24 hours a day, although there are few flights between 11PM and 4AM.
There is also an international airport in Bremen which has many of the budget airlines operating regular flights to most European countries. The airport is located close to the city centre and there is a tram which departs every 5 to 10 minutes (on Sunday evenings up to 30 min) to Bremen city centre and the journey takes 11 minutes and costs €2.30. This airport is also close to the autobahn links but is 116 kilometres journey to Bispingen.
Hamburg international airport is approximately 8 kilometres north of the city centre and is the fifth busiest airport in Germany. In 2009 extensive refurbishment improved road access and connections to the Hamburg S-Bahn system which will connect with the main Bahnhof in Hamburg city centre. The airport is 68 kilometres away from Bispingen and will take approximately 50 minutes by car it is still a viable alternative to Hanover and Bremen airports.
The nearest mainline railway station is Soltau, which has regular bus services to Bispingen. Soltau runs Regionalbahn (RB) trains. Trains run from Soltau from roughly 5:00-22:00. It is possible to get to Soltau from Hanover, Bremen and Hamburg.
Bispingen is easy to get to by road, lying just 2 kilometres off the A7 motorway from Hanover to Hamburg, at junction 43 "Bispingen".
Access from Hanover would be via the A7 exiting at junction 43 "Bispingen", the journey is 100 kilometres and will take approximately 45 minutes.
Driving from Bremen (westerly direction) will be on the autobahn A27 which connects to the A7 to the south-east of Walsrode. Driving distance is 116 km and an average driving time is 70 minutes.
Travelling from the north (Hamburg) is also via the route A7 exiting at junction 43. Driving distance is 68 km and an average driving time is 45 minutes
Hamburg is the only large city with an airport that runs buses direct to Bispingen. There are scheduled coach services from Hamburg town centre on coach line No 6920.
The town of Bispingen itself is small enough to walk or cycle around, but some of the sights are a car or bus drive away.
Taxis are available from:
- taxi Kohlmeyer, Borsteler Str. 5, ☏ .
- Taxi Rathie, Vor den Höfen 4A, ☏ .
- Wilsede (Park at Undeloh or Niederhaverbeck and follow the signed trails or take a horse-drawn cart.). One of the highlight's of the Lüneburg Heath, Wilsede's popularity stems from its charm as one of the few relatively unspoilt heath villages as well as its proximity to the Wilseder Berg, the heath's highest hill. As a result this tiny village of under 40 souls, receives over 100,000 visitors each summer. Since motor vehicles are banned unless you live here, most of them arrive on foot, by bicycle or on one of the many horse-drawn carts that ply the area from the nearest public car parks at Niederhaverbeck and Undeloh. The village is home to a heath museum (Dat ole Hus - see below) as well as a cafe, restaurant and shop selling typical heathland products.
- Wilseder Berg (Park at Undeloh or Niederhaverbeck and follow the signed trails or take a horse-drawn cart.). The Wilseder Berg is the Lüneburg Heath's highest point. Despite being all of 169 metres high, on a clear day it has outstanding views in all directions over the heath landscape. In good conditions the spires of Hamburg are said to be visible. At the top is a brass plaque on a pedestal which indicates the direction of various cities, towns and other points of interest. The hill is only accessible on foot or by horse and cart. The nearest car parks are at Niederhaverbeck and Undeloh from where there are trails and cart rides.
- Iserhatsche, Nöllestraße 40, 29646 Bispingen, ☏ . April-Oct 1000-2000hrs, Nov-Feb 1100-1600. A landscape garden with hunting villa and Montagnetto model castle. Amazingly decorated buildings both in and out with a restaurant available. €8 for children, €12 for adults.
- Brunausee, Verkehrsverein Behringen, Mühlenstraße, 29646 Bispingen - Behringen, ☏ . From 1000hrs for attractions. The seven hectre Brunausee is a perfect setting for a day out during the summer. With a beach area and 3km orbital walkway the small lake offers the chance of a swim or sun bath with a restaurant and children's play area. Free.
- 1 Dat ole Huus (Heidemuseum Wilsede), Wilsede 3a (Walk or take a horse and cart ride to Wilsede from one of the surrounding villages (e.g. Haverbeck, Undeloh)), ☏ . May-beg Oct 10AM-4PM. The oldest open air museum in Germany, Dat ole Huus, Low German for "that old house", nestles amongst trees in the hamlet of Wilsede on the Heath. This classic Low German house and farm was built around 1540 and renovated in 1742. It paints an accurate picture of life as a heath farmer in bygone centuries. €3; 16 and under go free.
- Treppenspeicher storage barn in Volkwardingen, one of the oldest of this typical Lüneburg Heath barn, built 1600, rebuilt 1702, restored 2001.
Places of Worship or Religious Significance
- Ole Kerk. 1353 church, made of boulders; used for baptisms, weddings, other services and concerts; open daily Easter to New Year's Eve
- Bronze Age burial ground in Volkwardingen with Bronze Age tumuli
- 1 Snow Dome Bispingen, Horstfeldweg 9 (Just off the A7 motorway. Take the Bispingen exit), ☏ . Mo-F 1-9pm, Sa 9am-9pm, Su 9am-7pm. Go skiing all year round at this superb indoor ski slope equipped with a 300 metre slope and snowboard park served by a six-seater chairlift and a slope open for sledging enthusiasts. Other services include children's slope, skiing school, equipment rental, shop and Bavarian-style restaurant. In outdoor area open in summer season the visitors can try out the "Nord Welle", Europe’s biggest standing wave, slack line and skating ramp. Equally good for warming up before a skiing holiday or just for a fun day out. Day ticket €36; 6-12 yrs €22. Reductions and deals available.
- Ralf Schumacher Kart and Bowl, Horstfeldweg 5 (just off the A7 motorway (Bispingen exit)), ☏ . Hours vary, but generally: Mo closed, Tu-Th 3-10PM, F 3-11PM, Sa 10AM-11PM, So 10AM-9PM. Go karting at Ralf Schumacher's Kart and Bowl centre. Expensive but fun! €12.50 for 10 min, slight reductions for longer periods; 8-11 yrs €8 for 8 min.
- Quad Barn, H.-J. Holst, Am Brunausee, ☏ . April–June: 13.00-17.00 Hrs July–August: 11.00-20.00 Hrs, Sept-Okt 13.00-17.00 Hrs. For children over 8. A 500m long sand track with a variety of quads available at differing prices based on time. 10 Minutes = €9 pro Quad, More than Six persons 30 Minutes = €19 pro Quad, 60 Minutes = €38 pro Quad.
- Luhetalbad, Förderverein Luhetalbad e.V., Trift 19, 29646 Bispingen, ☏ . A stadt pool with both indoor and out door pools. Availability of the pools is seasonal and there are lessons and classes available. From €1.80 for a child and €2.60 for an Adult.
- Centre Parc Bispingen, Töpinger Straße 69, 29646 Bispingen, ☏ . The Parc is located in the middle of the countryside in the Lüneburger Heide region. Sports lovers will have their fill of extreme sensations: Diving, rafting, racket sports and many others. The little ones will have fun in BALUBA, the indoor games universe, and in many games areas near your cottage. Do you want to get away from it all? Then the "Nature & Spa" area is for you - a Beauty and Well-being Centre, for a gentle massage or a relaxing facial. From €199 for a weekend.
- Greifvogel-Gehege Bird Sanctuary, On the Bundesstraße 209 (On the main road B209 In Bispingen), ☏ . See Website for the opening hours as they are seasonal. An opportunity to see wild birds in their own environment, utilising skilled trainers and handlers.They offer regular guided visits to the enclosure from May to October. The birds are not displayed in cages but are shown to the visitors sitting on pedestals. Each bird is introduced personally by the guide, as they carry them around on a gauntlet. Adults €6, Child €4.
- Upside Down House, Horstfeldweg 1 (From Hannover on the A7, take the Bispingen turn off and straight over at the first round-a-bout. From Hamburg on the A7 take the Bispingen turn off then turn left onto Behringer Straße then third left at the round-a-bout onto Horstfeldweg.), ☏ . Mo-So: 11-23 Uhr. The "Crazy House" (Verrueckte Haus) as it is known in Germany is a single storey family house which is upside down. All the furniture in the building is upside down. A very sensual experience. provides some excellent photo opportunities. Adult €5, Child €4, Under 3 Free, Group over 15, €4.
Bispingen is only a small country town with a few basic shops, but you can pick up souvenirs of the Heath and typical heathland produce at Der kleine Speicher in the high street (Haupstr. 7).
- E-Neukauf, Hauptstraße 11, Bispingen. This typical German supermarket supplies all your daily needs in terms of groceries and Drinks and also has a good selection of basic non-food items.
- Porzellanmanufaktur Calluna, Alte Landesstraße 2,, ☏ . Luneberger Heide Porcelin is the trade mark of this small manufacturer and outlet. As well as purchasing an elegant souvenir of Luneberger-Heide, visitors can tour the workshop and watch the skilled workforce making and decorating the porcelin.
- Kiebtzmarkt, Bahnhof Straße 18,, ☏ . Hardware/general store which supplies clothing,toys,garden items,tools,fishing equipment,equestrian goods and animal feed etc.
The food available in Bispingen is typical of most German towns. A selection of fast food type "Imbis" restaurants that serve the typical bratwursts and gyros dishes and a smattering of higher end restaurants that serve fixed menus.
- Heidegrill Bispingen, Bahnhof str 8, ☏ . For those on a small budget and a taste for takeaway this imbiss has both Turkish and German takeaway food.
- McDonalds, Horstfeldweg 3 (as you approach Bispingen from A7).
- Konig-Stuben, Luheweg 25, ☏ . This excellent restaurant serves a selection of local specialities as well as traditional German dishes and prides itself on its fish and game from local sources.
- Rieckmanns Tafelhuus, Kirchweg 1-2, ☏ . The award winning regional dishes served here conspire to make your stay a culinary delight. Specialises in German and Luneberger heide cooking.
- Akropolis, Hauptstraße 2, ☏ . For those who like variety this establishment serves Greek as well as German food,at low to medium prices.
- La Piazza, Soltauer Straße 2, ☏ . As the name suggests the main emphasis here is on Italian food such as Pizza pasta etc, at prices that won't break the bank.
- Hotel Landhaus Eickhof, Niederhaverbeck, on the heath. Old farmhouse 100 yards from the main car park at Niederhaverbeck, tucked away in the woods. Does a good hearty farmer's breakfast which you can work off by walking to the Wilseder Berg.
- Cafe-Restaurant Bockelmann, Nöllestraße 18, ☏ . also has a good restaurant serving local dishes with an excellent wine list - see "Stay" below.
- Da Capo, Hutzelerstr. 5, Bispingen, ☏ . Mo - Sa 17:30-22:30 hrs, Sonntags 17:30-22:00 hrs, closed Wednesday. Italian Cuisine
- Hedegrill, Harmshof 3, ☏ . See Eat
- De Ole Döns, Hauptstraße 12, ☏ . Has a pleasant beer garden and also serves tasty food.
- Wilseder Hof, Wilsede 2, ☏ . Hotel/restaurant with bar and beergarden situated near the tranquil Wilsede holiday area.
- Welcome2, Dorfstraße 8, ☏ . Modern German pub/disco for younger drinkers.
- Seeterasse Cafe, Uhlenstieg 13, ☏ . Serves Traditional German beer as well as coffee and a selection of cakes and snacks. Enjoy your drink with a relaxing view over the Brunausee.
- Hostel Bispingen, Töpinger Str. 42, ☏ . Check-in: Reception 08.00-12.45 & 16.00-19.00 hrs, for late arrivals (with prior reservations) again 21.45-22.00 hrs. The hostel closes at 22.00 hrs.. The hostel is conveniently situated near Lüneburger National Park making it a great location for travellers wanting to get out and explore nature. The hostel is suitable for groups and families with excellent facilities for all.
- Witthofts Guest House (Witthöft's Gästehaus), Wilsede 2 Bispingen 29646, ☏ . A small family hotel catering for up to 15 persons with a 20 person conference facility From €30.
- Das Kleine Hotel, Am Park 2c, 29646 Bispingen, ☏ . This small hotel has rooms that are very spacious and elegantly decorated. Gets good write ups in web searches. Single from €58, Double from €88.
- Hotel Rieckmanns Gasthof, Kirchweg 1-2 (From J43 on the A7 fol signs to Bispingen. Turn R at Esso station towards Soltau. 2nd L before the church into Kirchweg.), ☏ . 3* hotel on the Lüneburg Heath. Double rooms incl breakfast €67-92.
- Gasthof Menke, Niederhaverbeck 12 (in the little heath village of Niederhaverbeck NW of Bispingen), ☏ . In a Low German style house (huge farmhouse) in the heart of the Lüneburg Heath. Double rooms: €41 and 44 pppn.
- Hotel Bockelmann, Nöllestraße 18 29646 Bispingen, ☏ , fax: . 3 star family run hotel. Also includes a restaurant. From €45-129.
- Bispinger Heide holiday park (Centre Parcs), Töpinger Straße 69 (From the A7 take the L211 to Bispingen. Turn R in town centre onto Soltauer Str. Turn L onto L211 Töpinger Str.), ☏ . Available accommodations in this holiday park include cottages in the Centre Parcs village, a tree house, and houseboats. Diving, rafting, racket sports, and a beauty and wellness centre with massage and facial treatment are all available in the complex.
An Internet Cafe is available in the Tourist-Information Office in Borsteler Straße 6 Bispingen, other Internet cafes are available in larger towns in the area surrounding Bispingen such as Soltau, Bergen and most hotels will offer a wifi service. Mobile coverage in the area for the main suppliers, Vodafone, O2, D1 is good.
- Hanover, Is the capital of Lower Saxony,hosting many cultural events, annual commercial expositions such as the Hanover Fair and the CeBIT. Every year Hanover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the world's largest Marksmen's Fun Fair, and the Oktoberfest Hannover, which is the second largest Oktoberfest in the world.
- Hamburg, Germany's second city and largest port is around 40 minutes away on the A7/A1 motorways.
- Bremen, Bremen, home to the world famous Town Musicians, puts itself on the map as the pulsating, multifaceted heart of North West Germany. A popular hive of heritage, science, high technology and space industry keeps up breathtakingly pacy innovations. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser.
- Celle, Celle town is lined with half-timbered houses, most of them built in the 16th Century. There are a lot of excellent shops in the pedestrian precinct.
- Walsrode Bird Park Located in Walsrode about ½ hour away, is the largest bird park in the world and suitable for all ages.
- Serengeti Park, not far from Walsrode, is the largest safari park in Europe and a must for families.
- Soltau Therme, Thermal baths that offer swimming both in and outdoor, sauna, general wellness including cosmetics, massages and general therapy as well a restaurant.
- Heide Park,,Heide Park is a theme park in Soltau, Lower Saxony. With an overall area of over 850,000 m², it is one of the largets amusement parks and the biggest in Northern Germany.
- Timmerdorfer Strand,, Timmerdorfer Strand has everything to offer. Sandy beaches, lifestyle, culture, hotels, bars, nightlife and a multitude of events hosted throughout the year.
- Dinosaur Park, ,130 million years ago, huge herds of dinosaurs roamed the countryside around the Steinhuder Sea. The footprints of these huge creatures can be found right here in the park.