Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis is south of the busy industrial Ruhrgebiet and north of the beautifully forested Sauerland. This hilly district also sweeps down into the valleys of both the great Ruhr and the Ennepe rivers, after which the district is named.
Towns & Villages in the Ennepe-Ruhr Kreis
Most of the area has a long medieval history, and the districts coat of arms even holds this theme. Wetter and Hattingen are great examples of this, and have tiny streets lined with half-timbered houses and stores. Make sure you visit the Bügeleisenhaus in the latter, as it is an amazing almost triangular house wedged in a gap between two other streets.
It’s not just the architecture that is old in Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis. In the small town of Schwelm, many of the more elderly locals still speak an ancient dialect called Schwelmer Platt which is more related to the Dutch language than modern German.
And in the surrounding mountains you can find many caves having been carved out by the rivers in centuries gone by. One of which is the Kluterhöhle near Ennepetal — which at 5km/3mi in length is the largest natural cave in the country.