The water from the springs of the River Ems in Hövelhof is fresh and crystal clear; it is just as refreshing as Hövelhof itself; a community comprising approximately 15,800 citizens. Located in the midst of the Senne landscape and woodlands, at the foot of the Teutoburger Forest, this is the most northern of the Senne communities (70.67 square kilometres) in the Paderborner Land.
Hövelhof is easily found on the map; it is located directly next door to the springs of the River Ems. The river has its source in the Moosheide nature protection area and, after a journey of 371 kilometres, the Ems flows into the North Sea. The Moosheide and its characteristic inland sand dunes are true jewels of nature. The alternating dunes and valleys and the open heath-lands and pine forests make this nature protection area an oasis far removed from the hustle and bustle of every day life. The River truly chose a very nice spot for its source! Going for a relaxing walk in this area means experiencing a festival for all the senses, all year round; not only just in August and September, when the heather transforms the land from green into beautiful shades of lilac and purple.
The name “Hövelhof” originates from an ancient farmstead, which dates back to the year 1,000 AD. The “Hövel Yard” was first mentioned in the tax register of 1446 (but it burned down in 1903). In 1661, the Prince Bishop of Paderborn built his hunting lodge next door to the farmhouse and with this laid the foundation of the community as it stands today. The former hunting lodge remains a renowned landmark of Hövelhof.
Hövelhof is still a young community; the catholic parish of Hövelhof was only founded in 1715 and the municipality developed from then on. Napoleon’s brother, Jérôme Bonaparte, gave Hövelhof its political independence in 1807/08, when the French governed the Kingdom of Westphalia.
Far removed from the noise and stress of every day life, Hövelhof is the ideal place for relaxation and recuperation. The varied landscape is ideal for lovely walks and rambling tours. The area is wonderful for bicycle tours, and the topographic characteristics of the Hövelhof-Senne landscape (the elevation profile measures 90 to 160 metres above sea level) will enthuse even the more ambitious cyclists.
Cyclists will find kilometres of flat cycle and rambling routes on well-signposted circular routes of various lengths in and around Hövelhof and, for those who wish to venture further afield, Hövelhof is the starting point of the well-known Ems-Radweg (River Ems Cycling Route), which runs parallel to the River Ems all the way North up to the City of Emden. Hövelhof is also a registered stopping point on the 3,500 kilometre long Europa-Radweg R1 (R1 - European-Cycle Route), which runs from Boulogne-sur-Mer at the French Atlantic coast via Hövelhof and Berlin through to St. Petersburg in Russia.
Many tourist sites in and around Hövelhof are very well suited for day or weekend trips and relaxing holidays. In a nutshell, this is an ideal place for a lovely and relaxing holiday and is an area to fall in love with.
Hövelhof has much to offer its visitors; ranging from country pubs, cosy country B&Bs and lovely self-catering apartments, right through to excellent hotels.