Top 10 locations for photographers and hikers, just across the border in Osnabrücker Land

As a resident of the border area, I am lucky enough to consider the German border region Osnabrücker Land as my playground. The Osnabrücker Land, as the name suggests, is the outlying area that surrounds the city of Osnabrück. Geologically, the Osnabrücker Land is a unique and versatile region, which is home to no less than two mountain ranges. The Teutoburger Wald in the south and the Wiehengebirge in the north-east. I would like to take you to my ten favorite photo spots in this special area!

1. Venner Moor

The Venner Moor largely consists of a protected nature reserve that contains a unique peat landscape. Located in the north-east of the Osnabrücker Land, this peat bog area has gradually been given back to nature after years of peat extraction. Peat is still mined today only in the northern part of the area. The Venner Moor is characterized by a network of peat lakes and surrounding fields and woods. There are plenty of footpaths where you can walk all year round. Because this is a wetland area, it is a very good place for bird watching.

The mysterious Venner Moor
Meadow landscape around the Venner Moor

2. Lechtinger Muhle

The fact that there are also quite a few windmills in North-West Germany is no longer a secret for most Dutch people. The white-colored Lechtinger Mühle is a beautiful example that you will find near the town of Wallenhorst, just north of Osnabrück. It is also worthwhile to walk past the pilgrimage church of Sint Johannes van Rulle. You can reach this with a ten-minute walk from the mill. On Saturdays it is possible to order home-made (bio) baking products such as flour and bread.

The Lechtinger Mühle during a flaming sunrise

3. Freed

The Freeden is a wooded hilltop of 269 meters with a very special ora; each spring, parts of the hill emerge as a veritable floral oasis in which the purple and white of the corydalis, known locally as the ‘Freeden flower’, is the dominant colour. There are also more ground bloomers to discover.

The wood anemone, wild garlic, spotted arum, woodruff and wood violet are all among the spring bloomers that can all be seen before the beech trees get their leaves. You can imagine that such a spectacular natural phenomenon attracts many visitors every spring. That is why it is very important for everyone to stay on the trails.

Bloom on the Freeden

4. Number of seats

The Zittertal is a very beautiful place that is centrally located in the Osnabrücker Land and is ideal for a nice, family-friendly walk. In some places you have pleasant views in which the hills of the Teutoburg Forest can be clearly seen in the background. The typical black and white half-timbered farms are also never far away. Halfway through the walking route (which you can find on this website) you can enjoy a good Kaffee und Kuchen at Gasthof Zittertal.

Postcard motif, Zittertal

5. Bad Essen

Lovers of traditional half-timbered towns will get their money’s worth in Bad Essen. The old center consists almost exclusively of black and white half-timbered houses in various shapes and sizes. Centrally located in the village, as it should be, is the St-Nikolai Church with its striking turqoise colored roof. At the Kirchplatz it is old-fashioned enjoyment on one of the terraces, especially in the weekends.

The St.Niklauskirche in Bad Essen
The Kirchplatz of Bad Essen

The center is within walking distance of the spa park, which is another eye-catcher of the town. The Sole-Arena is a circular saline structure with walls of wooden twigs along which spring water drips or evaporates. This evaporation causes a kind of dew formation that seems to be very healthy for the respiratory tract. In short, Bad Essen is reason enough for a day trip.

6. Borgloher Switzerland

There are several places in Germany that are nicknamed ‘Schweiz’. The Saxon Switzerland on the Czech border is by far the best known, but the Osnabrücker Land also has its own ‘Schweiz’. The Borgloher Schweiz is located in the municipality of Hilter. Here you can best experience the typical rolling landscape.

Foggy sunrise at the Borgloher Schweiz
Half-timbered houses near Borgloh
Landscape near Borgloh

The area is located around the town of Borgloh and has a rural character. Between the farmlands you will find quite a few wooded areas and scattered half-timbered farms. It’s a picturesque setting. Although it’s not much, De Borgloher Schweiz lives up to its name with its own ski slope, with drag lift!

7. Artland

In the sparsely populated north of the Osnabrücker Land, the landscape becomes a lot flatter. Here the landscape is mainly dominated by agricultural plots and small village centers. There is also a lot of traditional architecture to discover in this area; Seen from the B-roads, you often spot a large striking half-timbered farmhouse, with an imposing facade. Proof that you are in Artland. There are about 600 traditional farms scattered across the Artland, which play an important role in the Northern European cultural landscape.

View of the Artländer Dom with deer

8. Wacholderhain Merzen

In the state of Lower Saxony this is certainly not the best known, and auf jeden fall not the largest heathland. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a look. And of course I did that during the heather bloom, mid-late August. The juniper bushes stood out beautifully against the purple carpet of heather flowers. When I visited, a large part of the area was fenced off with a sheep fence.

Sheep among the juniper berries at Merzen

Too bad, but also a nice sight to observe the sheep herd in the blooming heathland. If you have brought a camera with a telephoto lens, you are a happy man or woman. Oh… and don’t be alarmed by the big watchdog. I did.

9. Hagen

Hagen am Teutoburger Wald is located in the extreme south-west of the Osnabrücker Land. The town is best known for its horses and cherry trees. Well, I don’t care much about cherries myself, but a cherry tree that is in full bloom in spring I think is an incredibly beautiful photography subject. And then you are in the right place in Hagen.

View of Hagen
A blooming rapeseed field near Hagen

Once you have captured the first rays of the sun with your camera, you can decide to go for a nice walk, such as the Borgberg route. Along the way you will see beautiful views with pleasant photo motives such as the rolling landscape, green meadows and traditional half-timbered farms.

10. Mel

Just before you leave the rural district of Osnabrück, you first pass the town of Melle. With about 47,000 inhabitants, Melle is the 2nd largest city in the Osnabrücker Land (after Osnabrück). Melle is pasted against the Wiehengebirge. The hilly forest area north of the city is also called the Meller Berge.

Grönegau open air museum near Melle
Diedrichsberg and the Diedrichsburg, Melle

Here are several hilltops with watchtowers: The Diedrichsberg with its Diedrichsburg, The Eickener Egge with the Ottoshöhe and the Stuckenberg with the Friedenshöhe. You can also combine these in a nice circular walk. When you have finished walking you can take a look at the Grönegau park; a free open-air museum in which different types of half-timbered farms can be seen.

Osnabruecker Land

Osnabrückerland is one of the most beautiful and charming regions in the northwest of Germany. A versatile holiday destination, ideal for nature lovers, bon vivants, active holidaymakers and city trippers.

Enjoy idyllic outdoor life in the countryside, the wellness options in spas with medicinal baths, the countless hiking and cycling routes and the exciting stories about Romans and Germans. And then there is the city of Osnabrück with the Town Hall of the Peace of Westphalia and many other sights, museums, popular shopping streets and regional specialties, both in the city and in the countryside. More information can be found at

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