‘The hiiills are aliiive with...the sight of
heather?’ Yes, from August through till
September, Germany’s Lüneburger Heide
region hits its purple patch. Its heathlands
are transformed into oceans of mauve so
expansive that Prince could write songs
about them. There are heather festivals and
annual crownings of heather queens, and
tourists overwhelm local towns and villages.
Amidst this violet fury lies Uhlenköper, a tranquil eco-site ensconced in the itsy-bitsy village of Westerweyhe, near Uelzen.
Run by Gertrud and Thomas Körding, this
three-acre site has been carved up into areas for dauercampers (permanent residents),
caravans and larger tents, tenters and
cyclists. In between flow the site’s public
areas: a solar-powered reception (with
shower block, restaurant and bio-shop),
modest playground and – pièce de résistance
– a spanking new swimming pool with
sections for swimmers and paddlers.
Offsite fun can be had cycling, kayaking on the Ilmenau or checking out Natur Park
Sudheide, where you can glimpse the black-haired rams with white bodies that resemble
woolly pints of Guinness. If nothing else
they make a change from all that purple.