Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen 

As I pass under the graceful brick archway, resplendently lit with rows of yellow light bulbs theatrically announcing ‘Tivoli’, I am greeted by an avenue exploding with colour in a most curious mix of red hanging baskets and tiered street lamps – all fringed with red, orange and yellow lights. 

Balls of colour, Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Welcome to the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen – one of the most magical places on earth!

40 years ago I fell in love with the Tivoli Gardens and in 2019, nothing had changed – it was just like pressing the ‘refresh screen’ button and presto, I was back in that bewitching atmosphere, scattered with amusements, rides, restaurants and surrounded by stunning gardens.

Landscaped with all kinds of wondrous statues, fountains and mythical creatures, many inspired by the fairy tales of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, the Tivoli Gardens teased my imagination with an assortment of mesmerising adventures around every twist and turn. And judging by the number of happy squeals coming from children, I was not alone.

Passing a time-machine ride, a peculiar array of time capsules tumbling around a slanted platform like up-ended dodgem cars, I found myself enticed down a dark and mysterious alleyway adorned by caricature thieves sneaking into the ‘Speak Easy’. Stepping to the beat of the music belting out from the rides, I then passed under a row of carousel horses rearing up in an astonished protest as if they were in a Parisienne chorus line. 

thieves sneaking into the ‘Speak Easy’, Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Totally captivated, I continued to explore, finding miniature hot air balloons in disguise as the ferris wheel only to turn a corner and discover the The Flying Suitcase and its hapless pilot hovering overhead, oblivious to the throng of enchanted visitors milling about below.

After working up an appetite, I headed to one of the many restaurants serving traditional Danish fare – cheese being my favoured dish, appropriately washed down with an icy cold Pilsener. 

After lunch, an afternoon thunderstorm did nothing to dampen my spirits as I sought shelter in Cakenhagen – a boutique cake shop where all the artisan pastries were served with champagne. 

As the last rays of sunlight faded, I made myself comfortable in a striped canvas deck chair, surrounded by rose beds, and settled in to listen to the band playing in the concert shell. 

I could happily turn into a pixie and live in the Tivoli Gardens forever. Maybe I should change my name to Peter Pan.