Münster is surrounded by the Münsterland, a flat and rural region dotted with about 100 castles and palaces, some of which are still owned and inhabited by the landed gentry. Many are protected by water-filled moats, which today offer little protection from tax assessors. The region is a dream for cyclists.
The following trio of castles offer the greatest tourist appeal and are relatively accessible from Münster.
10km west in Havixbeck; half day
Catch a glimpse of the life and times of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, a seminal 19th-century German poet at the red-brick chateau where she was born. Lovely gardens to boot.
30km southwest in Berenbrok; half day
Westphalia’s oldest castle, medieval Burg Vischering is surrounded by ramparts and moats and conjures romantic images of knights and damsels. A museum provides insights into medieval lifestyles.
8km northwest in Schonebeck; half day
Pick up literary vibes in the baroque mansion – with original furnishings – where Annette von Droste-Hülshoff penned some of her finest work. It's surrounded by inspiring gardens.