Some 120km east of Jönköping, and reachable on Routes 31 and 33, is Vimmerby, near where one of Sweden’s most popular children’s authors, Astrid Lindgren (1907–2002), was born. Her most endearing character, Pippi Longstocking (in Swedish, Pippi Långstrump), burst upon the world in 1945. Pippi had red hair and long thin legs on which she wore non-matching stockings. Wealthy and energetic, she could do as she pleased, and her adventures appealed hugely to children everywhere.

Lindgren’s face has appeared on a Swedish 6kr stamp; her eighty books have, in total, sold more than 80 million copies worldwide. Yet her writing hasn’t simply been about lighthearted adventures: her cleverly conceived tale, Bröderna Lejonhjärta (“The Lionheart Brothers”), tries to explain the concept of death to children.

In later years, she became a Swedish Brigitte Bardot figure, campaigning on animal-rights issues, and was also involved with children’s rights. Following her death in 2002 in Stockholm, she was buried in the family grave in Vimmerby cemetery, and today, Vimmerby is home to Astrid Lindgren’s Värld (June–Aug daily 10am–6pm; 335kr, children under 13 225kr; w alv.se/en), a theme park where actors take on the roles of her most famous characters. Trains to Vimmerby run from Kalmar, as does bus #325 from Jönköping.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Sweden features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

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
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month