Cycling holiday 1952

Open your map and get up on the saddle! The year is 1952, and it’s time for a cycling holiday – perhaps the most popular type of holiday at the time. This summer at Skansen you can meet Gunnel and Ulla, two friends and colleagues in their mid-twenties who have been planning their summer holiday for several months. With their bicycles, backpacks and practical clothing, they have set out on the roads of Skansen – a Sweden in miniature.

  • In collaboration with Cykelfrämjandet

    Gunnel and Ulla will be making their way around the park during their cycling holiday. Stop and talk to them for a while! Find out more about what they’ve brought with them, about setting up camp, the right of public access and industrial holidays. You can also find out how their trip differs from today’s holidays.

    Sometimes they’ll set up camp in beautiful spots. Pass by their campsites and see if they are there and need assistance in pitching their tent!

  • Vacationing in Sweden 1952
    How long:

    Three weeks of statutory holiday since 1951


    Cycling holidays were more common than motoring holidays

    What to experience and do:

    A holiday should be both restorative, active and educational and preferably include both nature and culture

    What to pack:

    A tent, cooking utensils, a map and a camera

    Hit of the summer:

    Flottarkärlek by teen idol Gösta “Snoddas” Nordgren

  • Get to know Ulla and Gunnel

    When Ulla gets a job at the Oscaria shoe factory, she is assigned to the stitching department where the shoe uppers are sewn
    together. Gunnel has been working there for a few years. The young women soon become firm friends, and they share a keen
    interest in photography and cycling. On their days off, they often take their bicycles on day trips in the area around Örebro.

    After staying at the shoe factory’s holiday home, where the factory workers can come and rest, they make plans for a real cycling holiday!

    Planning the route

    The friends spend hours planning their route in Gunnel’s new apartment.

    Having been members of Cykelfrämjandet for several years, they have the organisation’s holiday handbook which is full of useful tips for their big adventure. The plan begins with checking in their bicycles and taking the train down to Motala, after which they will start cycling around areas that are completely new to them. It’s important to experience new things on holiday! They have a tent with them, but they might also consider staying at a hostel if the weather turns particularly bad. But this will also be a more restful option, and will give them the chance to eat a little better.

    The whole route will cover about 500 kilometres. Along the way, they will meet Cykelfrämjandet’s inspectors, who will note down their location and time of arrival on their route cards. If they complete the entire route, they can receive the association’s bronze badge – a real incentive, and proof of a fine sporting achievement!

  • About Cykelfrämjandet

    Cykelfrämjandet was founded in 1934 and is the Swedish national cycling advocacy organisation. They work to improve conditions for all cyclists in Sweden, and to convince more people to choose bicycles for everyday transportation needs, exercise, leisure activities and tourism.

    From the end of the 1940s to the mid-1950s, Cykelfrämjandet’s holiday handbook was published. It contained information on everything from destinations worth visiting, what practical packing should contain and how to dress when moving around in different environments!

  • The right of public access

    The right of public access (allemansrätt) is an old custom that many Swedes know and use by staying in nature according to the motto “don’t disturb, don’t destroy”. It therefore entails both rights, obligations and joint responsibility for being able to stay in most natural areas, even in privately owned forest and land.

    It offers fantastic opportunities to take part in outdoor life and a common perception is that it is unique to Sweden. However, there are similar equivalents in several parts of the world, but Sweden’s right of public access is one of the most permissive regulations.

    • It is not a law of its own, but is surrounded by laws and regulations that regulate what is permitted
    • You can cycle, hike, skate, pick berries and camp almost anywhere you want
    • Different activities, places and times determine what is allowed, such as sensitive environments and areas near private residences

    If you’re interested in learning more, head over to allemansrä

Ulla and Gunnel's campsites