Bensheim is a lovely little market town of over 35,000 residents in one of the warmest regions of Germany.

Set on the “Bergstrasse”, Bensheim is a notable wine-growing region situated between Darmstadt (the control centre for the European Space Agency’s satellites) and Heidelberg (one of Germany’s oldest university cities and home to the Max Planck Institute).

The town is just over 50 miles south of Frankfurt. Bensheim averages 1,600 hours of sunshine a year and Spring comes early to the Bergstrasse. The vineyards on the slopes to the east of the town lead into the wooded hills of the Odenwald, which is beautiful walking country. Bensheim has many timbered buildings in the old German style.

These are situated in the centre of the town and carefully restored. There are many bridges spanning the River Lauter and the pedestrian area has fine shops and cafes (one of the cafes serves regular English afternoon tea. Bensheim offers cultural, sporting and social activities including the Bergstrasse Winzerfest (Wine Festival) starting in early September.