Rabjerg Mile sand dunes Denmark

Idyllic towns and villages aside, northern Jutland can be rough; pounding surf from the North Sea, winds sweeping in. The landscape around the pretty seaside village Skagen is remarkable, almost primeval: the heath, old mounds, interesting vegetation and Rabjerg Mile – or Råbjerg Mile, as is its proper name in Danish – the enormous migrating sand dunes; somehow unexpected in mild and mellow Denmark. Moving 10 – 20 metres eastwards every year, it mercilessly kills everything in its wake: flowers, shrubs, worms, any attempt at life.

The sand feels cool to the touch, different somehow from beach sand. Kids run barefoot through the sands, playing and laughing. Cat does cartwheels and splits. Pure joy.

Tomorrow: Aalborg and Århus