Living in Skara
People have lived in Skara for more than 1,000 years. Beautiful natural scenery is just around the corner; Vallebygden with six different nature reserves, Lake Hornborga with its rich bird life, Varnhem’s monastery area and many excellent hiking and cycling trails.
Moving to Skara
There are many ways to find your dream home at good prices in the countryside, in town or someplace in between. Skara has great charm and has even been nominated Skaraborg’s most beautiful town by prominent architect Mark Isitt. New residential areas are under construction and more are being planned.
Close to the town center, the Vilan and Petersburg outdoor recreation areas offer a wealth of opportunities for recreation and sporting experiences. The Vilan recreation area is a modern, complete exercise and sports area with excellent training facilities just five minutes from Skara town center. The Petersburg recreation area serves as Skara’s lungs. It has a pump track, MTB trail, padel courts and jogging tracks with activity stations for people who enjoy bigger challenges or are in training for an Action Run.
The towns of Ardala, Axvall, Eggby and Varnhem all have their own character: Ardala with its swimming pool and Axvall with an equestrian center, adult education college, swimming lake and nature reserve just around the corner. And there’s Eggby, right in the center of the kingdom of lakes. And Varnhem, a historic gem set in scenic natural surroundings. All of the towns have municipal services such as a preschool and school, or other services such as grocery stores or pizzerias.
Our location next to the two busiest commuter routes in Skaraborg means commuting to our neighboring towns is easy, as are onward journeys by train to Gothenburg or Stockholm.
Our new comprehensive plan provides greater opportunities for people seeking to live close to the lake.
Working in Skara
We’re proud of Skara’s business community. Green industries, transportation, retail, logistics, manufacturing and entertainment are all important for Skara. It’s home to Jula, IAC, Scan, Dava Foods, AgroVäst, Hushållningssällskapet Västra, SLU, Slöjd-Detaljer, AstroSweden, Werners Gourmetservice and Skara Sommarland, all of which have taken advantage of the strengths Skara has to offer by putting them to use in successful enterprises. International Automotive Components (IAC), Scan, Jula, Skara Sommarland and Skara municipality are the five biggest employers.
Jula Hotell runs two four-star hotels in the town and is proud to display the Blank family’s extensive Zorn and Lerin collections. Naturally, music and green industries form an important part of Skara’s beating heart. We value competence and commitment. If you’re looking for a future in the public sector, there’s a good chance you’ll find your next job in Skara municipality.
Work is currently in progress establishing a green innovation node in Skara for Skaraborg and Västra Götaland, further enhancing Skara’s position in green industries.
Education in Skara
School town Skara
A thousand years of history has made us wise. And curious about the future. We combine many centuries of school tradition with entrepreneurial thinking from early childhood all the way through high school.
The Stureplan youth center has both a music school and a robot workshop. Many people wonder where the name comes from. Our young folk chose the name themselves. STURE is an acronym for the Swedish “Skara’s likable youth saving students” and refers to the student council that existed when the youth center opened. Things usually go very well for Skara in Junior Achievement, bearing testimony to our investment in entrepreneurship and innovation. When the JA Municipality of the Year award was created in Skaraborg, the nomination went immediately to Skara.
There are two junior high schools in Skara. Metis independent school (grades 1–9) in the center of town, and the newly built Viktoria school (grades 7–9) which is close to the town center, flourishing Botan botanical gardens and Vilan’s outdoor recreation area.
There are four high schools; Olin’s high school, Axevalla Equestrian Center, Uddetorp Naturbruk’s school and the municipal Cathedral high school whose roots date back to the 17th century. Cathedral high school offers pupils the meritorious International Baccalaureate (IB), providing our youth with an excellent springboard out into the world. Skara’s student traditions have a long history and are a much-appreciated feature in the town. Skara also has courses such as Skara Stage School, Axevalla adult education college, the Learning Center and the Biological Vocational College (BYS).
SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Science
The SLU Campus in Skara is located on historical land, where Linnaeus’ pupil Peter Hernquist established Sweden’s first veterinary education in 1775.
Today, we pursue studies and research into animals, the environment and rural production issues. Our profile areas in research are animal husbandry, animal welfare, precision farming and consulting. There are two research facilities outside the centrally located SLU Campus in Skara in Götala and Lanna.
Skara is SLU’s fourth largest campus with around 110 employees whose workplace is in Skara, while they may also work at one of SLU’s other locations in Sweden, especially in research and education. Many also work internationally. SLU activities in Skara belong to several of SLU’s faculties, in some cases to an institution in another location.
Things to do in Skara
There’s a special atmosphere at Varnhem that has taken thousands of years to achieve. Experience a unique environment characterized by different ages and explore its exciting history and beautiful countryside.
Cistercian monks settled in Varnhem in 1150, on the western slope of Billingen. The monks built a small monastery town by the magnificent church in the town center, and excavations have revealed such things as an advanced water and sewage system.
The ruins of a 10th-century rural church were also found in the monastery area. You can see the ruins on Kata farm, right next to the monastery church, where you can learn all about the Christian Vikings in Varnhem.
Today, the area has a café, InfoPoint, restaurant and youth hostel, a barbecue area, farm shop and free WiFi.
Four tips on things to experience in Varnhem
- Follow the charming two-kilometer Rosenstigen hiking trail that runs from the entrance square at the parking lot through the monastery area and out onto the beautiful slopes of Billingen. Follow the stream, see the beautiful stone bridge and read about Varnhem’s history.
- Klostersjön. In the Middle Ages, there was a lake behind the monastery church that the monks had dammed. The lake is a natural peat bog, and archaeological test pits have shown that there has been a lake here for many thousands of years. The lake has now been restored, and just as the monks once did, we can look out across the mirrored surface of the lake around which there’s a little hiking trial comprised partly of a hard gravel path ideal for wheelchairs and cycling.
- The ruins of the monastery building that once stood here are a beautiful adornment in Varnhem. There are information signs to follow and you can get an idea of which of the rooms in the monastery were used for what. Grading work is currently underway to make the ruin more accessible to everyone – yay!
- On display in the Monastery Museum are several of the exciting finds made during the first excavations of the monastery ruins back in the 1920s. You can learn all about the monastery’s history here.
Outdoors is the new indoors!
Outdoors is the new indoors! Breathtaking views, calming lakes and flourishing meadows – there’s a great variety of natural experiences in Skara. Take a short trip to a nature reserve filled with beautiful picnic spots, try out action-packed activities like the pump track in the Petersburg open-air recreation area or hike one of our longer trails like the Pilgrim’s Way or Billingeleden for an exciting challenge.
Petersburg is an outdoor recreation area with jogging trails, outdoor gyms, padel courts and MTB trails. You can walk, run, work out or just enjoy the town’s nearby forest with its pleasant rest areas, and no matter how you prefer to spend time outdoors, there are many favorites to choose from.
Valle – like something out of a fairytale
The countryside around Skara is fabulous, inviting and easy to reach for most people. Vallebygden on the northwest slopes of Billingen is a special place. There are no fewer than eight nature reserves of differing characters in which to enjoy a rich outdoor life. There are glittering lakes and beautiful picnic spots, and hiking trails between 2.5 and 57 kilometers long pass by here. The area is characterized by the rolling green hills formed by the continental ice sheet.
Vallebygden is the place to be after a long working day, a great place to show off to visitors or spend a staycation in.
Three favorite haunts in Valle
- Jättadalen-Öglunda Cave – An adventurous, quite arduous climb up Billingen striding edge takes you to a magnificent view across Vallebygden. Pack a lunch bag and treat yourself to something delicious when you get there.
- Höjentorp-Drottningkullen – You’ll be hemmed in by greenery on all sides. Rolling hills with ramsons, dog’s mercury, glittering lakes and a verdant lime tree canopy. There’s also a ruined castle from a bygone era.
- Bockaskedeåsen – A verdant, high ridge with fabulous views. Billingeleden trail runs through the thriving nature reserve, and a hike or picnic here is balm for the soul.
Lake Hornborga – fantastic for people and birds
Lake Hornborga is located between Skara, Skövde and Falköping, and is one of Europe’s foremost bird paradises. Every spring, cranes hold their mating dance on the southern shores of the lake, but the nature reserve has much more to offer even during the rest of the year. Naturum on the east side will help you find your way to hiking trails, bird blinds and barbecue areas. You can also learn more about nature, birds, the history of the lake and everything there is to discover in the area.
The cranes are a fantastic spectacle at Lake Hornborga in March and April. They arrive in their thousands for a short rest before flying on to the breeding grounds in the north. Want a front row seat to watch the cranes? Head for the Crane Dance Information Center at the southern part of the lake. You can also meet guides there who will teach you everything about the magnificent creatures.