Herdecke is nestled snuggly along the shores of two of the Ruhr area‘s great reservoirs, Lake Hengstey and Lake Harkort, where it is backed by the lush greenery of local woods. You may find it hard to imagine a town with more innate beauty or opportunity for enjoying the great outdoors.
This area is actually considered part of the Ardey Mountains, which is the northwest edge of the Sauerland, a mostly rural and hilly region that covers much of southeast North Rhine-Westphalia. The valleys and forests here are ideal for walking, biking and camping, while the fresh lake waters make for perfect outings by canoe or pleasure craft.
Herdecke has been a market town since 1355, so you will certainly want to pay a visit to one of the two weekly markets, held on Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the year. The crowds of shoppers you will join are perhaps more interested in being entertained by the festival atmosphere than in buying anything, but there is much to choose from.
The pedestrian zone will be thronged with vendor stalls and merchant booths, offering meat, sausage, game, poultry, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, pastries, and piping hot fresh coffee. Clothing and household wares are available, too, as are beautiful flowers, cut or potted, and a variety of special seasonal products. Shop here to your heart’s content.
The old part of town is called the Bachviertel. Here you will see half-timbered houses and the architecture familiar to medieval villages in these parts. Be sure to take a look at the manor house known as Mallinckrodt, a beautiful Flemish gothic structure completed in 1896, which incorporates the tower of a former 13th-century castle.
And don’t miss a visit to the Gut Schede, a 17th century farmhouse, which was once the residence of industrialist Peter Harkort, for whom the nearby reservoir is named.