Visit Västerbotten

Slowly We Walk through Town

You can hike in the alpine mountain or coastal landscapes of Västerbotten. But don't forget walking around in its cities. There are many interesting discoveries to make here - and everything is within walking distance.

They are planning to see quite a bit of Norrland this summer. Of course, this requires a lot of time, but Birger and Sara are in no hurry. Sara retired this past spring, and Birger left his job behind him almost two years ago. They hail from Mälardalen and they've been in Norrland several times before. Now they're in Skellefteå and aim to take three hours to catch a glimpse of summertime Skellefteå.

Got a Map at theTouristInformationCenter

They've parked their camper a short distance away. They've gotten a map at the tourist information center, and after hearing what sights they wanted to see, the agent circled a suggested walking route in pen on the map.
  "This is how we take bites of Norrland," says Birger. "Without expectations but with curiosity. And tourist information centers are always a good place to start."
  "Bonnstan is supposed to be something extra special," says Sara. "So of course we have to see that."
Birger opens up the map and finds the old church town.
  "It's apparently been there since the 1600s," he says.
  "Right, though it's burned down at least once during that time," Sara corrects. "That's what the boy at the tourist information center told us."
Bonnstan is what residents of Skellefteå call their church town. It's a stone's throw from Skellefteå Landskyrka and not quite two kilometers west of Skellefteå's city center. Church towns are not all that unusual in Norrland. They hark back to the time when church attendance was mandatory. The distances were just as great then as now, but the means of transportation took a lot more time. This meant that church towns grew up near the large churches.
  "Maybe you could say that that's where the cities were founded," wonders Birger.
Sara laughs and calls her husband an amateur historian. Birger, seeking revenge, looks at the map and says that they'll also pass the Skellefteå Museum and that they can certainly ask about Skellefteå's origins there.
  "I don't think it's inconceivable that there is some truth in my speculations."
These days, all of the rooms in Bonnstan are privately owned, and during the summer, many stay in them. This is why Skellefteå's church town is considered particularly dynamic. And genuine.
  "It's apparently the only one that is still without electricity," says Birger.

Coffee at theSkellefteåMuseum

Sara nods in agreement.

  "We'll also have a cup of coffee at the country store at the SkellefteåMuseum," says Sara. "It's right between the SkellefeåMuseumand Bonnstan. And there are ponds with swans in them there, too. I think I have some breadcrumbs we can feed the ducks with."
  "Shouldn't it be swans in a swan pond?" says Birger, peering at Sara.
In addition, there's a waffle café in the middle of the river, on Kyrkholmen Island.
  "The guy at the tourist information center said that when the wind is right, you can smell the waffles in Bonnstan," says Sara, "but I think he was exaggerating."
  "Coffee break again," says Birger, "in that case it will have to be juice with my waffle. Too much coffee makes it hard for me to sleep." 
They fold up the map, wipe a bit of ice cream from their hands, and look towards Nordanå and Bonnstan. That's Skellefteå's heart and cultural stronghold.
  "Should we walk along the river or through town?" Birger asks.
  "Along the water, of course."
  "Then we'll walk through town on the way back."

Suggestions for walks

Skellefteå C-Nordanå-Country Store at Skellefteå Museum-Bonnstan-Kyrkholmens Waffle Café-Skellefteå Landskyrka.

This walk takes approximately 20 minutes one way. If you schedule your walk around lunchtime, Nordanågården is a pleasant restaurant with traditional manor atmosphere.

NOTE! It's a good idea to walk along the river one way and through town the other. If you want to take a longer walk, take the old wooden bridge, Lejonströmsbron, over the river and walk along the southern side to Skellefteå C.

You can find more walks in Skellefteå at