Circular Route No. 2: A lord-of-the-manor tour from one nest to the next

    Castles, manor houses, churches and storks

    Total length: about 39 kilometres


    Route: Hodenhagen - Ahlden (Aller) - Bosse - Frankenfeld - Hedern - Rethem (Aller) - Kirchwahlingen - Altenwahlingen - Böhme - Bierde - Eilte - Ahlden (Aller) - Hodenhagen


    Route profile:

    The circular route follows the Leine-Heide Long-distance Cycle Path and the Aller Cycle Path, as well as a secondary leg belonging to the Aller Cycle Path.


    Rail connections:

    Hodenhagen (connection to the Heide line (Hanover-Soltau-Buchholz/Nordheide)


    Stork nests along the circular route

       Hodenhagen: 1 nest at the entrance to the village

       Ahlden (Aller): at the former fire engine house, the Spritzenhaus

       Bosse: in the old village centre

       Frankenfeld: Frankenfeld Manor, on the Aller

       Herdern: in the village (nest unoccupied)

       Rethem (Aller): in the town centre

       Kirchwahlingen: near to the fortified church, Zum Heiligen Kreuz

       Böhme: centre of the old village and at the manor house

       Bierde: the horse paddock




    Roughly 39 km long, this circular route takes cyclists past a large number of stork nests. The best time to observe the adult birds and their young in their nests is from mid-May to mid-July. By mid-July to early August, the young storks will have become fledglings. During this period, the white storks can often be observed in the surrounding fields and meadows of the Aller-Leine valley.


    Due to a good, firm path, this route is family-friendly and suitable for bicycles with trailers.


    The circular route starts in Hodenhagen. Hodenhagen is known for its Serengeti Park, which is a great day out for people of all ages. Home to animals from five different continents, the Serengeti Park Hodenhagen is open from the end of March to the end of October.

    Leaving Hodenhagen, the path follows the Leine-Heide Cycle Path to Ahlden (Aller). The first official mention of Ahlden, with its manor house on the Alte Leine river, dates back to 1140. Ahlden House is renowned as the scene of the Princess of Ahlden’s tragic love affair, the story of which can be found in the PDF attachment.


    It is worth taking a look at St John the Baptist Church (St.-Johannis-der-Täufer-Kirche) in the village, especially the bible garden behind the church. The church is open to visitors from May to September. The stork nest in Ahlden (Aller) can be seen by the former fire station, the Spritzenhaus. A video camera has been set up to film this nest, which gives you the opportunity to observe the activity of the young storks.

    Leaving Ahlden (Aller), the path follows the Aller Cycle Path through the small village of Bosse and on to Frankenfeld. The first stork nests that you will see are in Bosse, followed by those on the Frankenfeld manor-house estate in the small village of Frankenfeld.

    Leaving Frankenfeld, the route continues along the Aller Cycle Path to Rethem (Aller). The village of Rethem (Aller) is steeped in more than 650 years of history. A post mill dating back to 1593 can still be seen standing in Londy Park. Today, Londy Park is used as a venue for events. It is worthwhile strolling through the town centre because there are several stork nests to spot here.


    Following a secondary leg of the Aller Cycle Path, the route continues on to Kirchwahlingen. A fortified church that dates back over 1000 years, Zum Heiligen Kreuz, will greet you as you arrive in Kirchwahlingen. The church opens its doors to visitors from May to September. Stork nests can be found close to the church.


    Following the secondary cycle path, the route continues on to Böhme and Bierde. Stork nests can be found near to the estuary in Böhme, and on the marsh in Bierde (heading towards the bridges over the Aller).


    Leaving Bierde, the cycle trail heads on to Eilte. Just past Eilte, the secondary leg rejoins the main Aller Cycle Path, which takes you back to Ahlden (Aller) before joining the Leine-Heide Cycle Path, which brings you back to the starting point at Hodenhagen.


    Our TIP: Take a break from the saddle and watch the storks on TV!

    Do you fancy peeking inside a stork nest and watching a couple of young storks build their nest and breed? Many years ago, a pair of storks made their nest on top of a house, which belongs to Rolf Kreth, a master carpenter. Ever since, this nest has been their home. A video camera set on the storks’ living quarters now gives visitors a unique glimpse inside the nest, allowing them to observe the activity of the stork family on top of the roof. The TV screen is located in the window of the carpenter’s shop, Tischlerei Kreth.


    Address of the stork TV: Lindenstraße (opposite the former fire station), 29693 Ahlden (Aller).