Umeå is sometimes referred to as the “City of Birch Trees”, after the trees that were planted along every street following a devastating fire in 1888. Most of the city was burnt to the ground in the blaze, and two-thirds of the town’s three thousand inhabitants lost their homes. In the rebuilding which soon began apace, two wide esplanades, one of which is Rådhusesplanaden, were constructed to act as fire breaks and help prevent such a disaster happening again. A decree was then handed down stating that the birch was the most suitable tree to add life to the town’s newly reconstructed streets; even today, the city council places ads for free trees in the local papers and provides free birch saplings every spring to anyone who wants them.

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You’ll soon be able to stay at the ICEHOTEL throughout the year

You’ll soon be able to stay at the ICEHOTEL throughout the year

The ICEHOTEL, constructed from snow and ice each year, has long been Swedish Lapland’s blockbuster attraction. It features in our list of the top 21 things to…

19 Apr 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Trail-running in the stunning Swedish countryside

Trail-running in the stunning Swedish countryside

Ros Walford goes leaping over granite rocks to give you the lowdown on Sweden’s only coastal trail-running race.  What is this strangely named Icebug Xperie…

09 Nov 2015 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

On the face of it, Scandinavia isn’t a very sensible place for a holiday. For one thing, it’s almost always going to be colder than the place you’re leavi…

09 Oct 2015 • Steve Vickers insert_drive_file Article
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