Labyrinths have been used throughout the years for something as simple as a relaxing stroll, a right brain activity to enhance creativity and intuition or just as a nice addition to a bland landscape. Below are seven garden mazes located throughout the UK that can challenge both you and your clients’ minds.
1. Marlborough Maze – Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England
The Marlborough Maze at Blenheim Palace is both picturesque and symbolic. The Palace was built to celebrate the Duke of Marlborough’s triumph at the Battle of Blenheim, and a bird’s eye view of the maze reveals a cannon firing a ball, banners, and trumpets, inspired by Grinling Gibbons’s Panoply of Victory carvings on the roof of the main building.
The maze is made up of over 3,000 yew trees covering nearly 2 acres; it takes a team of six people one week to prune the thing once a year. And it’s not just hedges, as a pair of symmetrical bridges provide a piece of the puzzle and a viewing point over the gardens.
2. Castlewellan Peace Maze – Castlewellan, County Down, Northern Ireland
Created by a community of over 5,000 people, mostly children, and formed of over 6,000 yew trees, the Peace Maze was the largest permanent maze in the world until the Pineapple Garden Maze in Hawaii stole the title in 2007.
The Peace Maze is a symbol of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Surrounded by trees, shrubs, mountains, a lake, a castle, and the sea, the area is more than a day out – even if you do navigate your way out of the maze in good time.
And if you make it to the middle, you get to ring a special bell!
3. Heatherton Hedge Maze – Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Heatherton is a good one for kids, since an adult can see above the tops of the trees (at least for now!).
Beech trees and fences divide Heatherton’s 2,880 m2 maze into pathways – and some of the fences contain gates, so that the designers can make the puzzle tougher if too many people are acing it quicker than the suggested 15-minute duration!
The maze was created in 2015 as part of Heatherton’s commitment to ecotourism.
4. Traquair Maze – Innerleithen, Scottish Borders, Scotland
There’s a handy terrace wall overlooking Traquair Maze; concerned parents have been seen atop it guiding their kids out of the labyrinth of Leylandi Cyprus and beech trees down below.
While the maze contains no dead ends, it’s still a puzzler. Visitors have to find four stopping points on the way to the heart.
5. The Cornish Maize Maze – Saltash, Cornwall, England
Another corncob-based maze, like York the Cornish Maize Maze changes up its route every agricultural year. In 2018, they went for a dinosaur-themed ‘Jurassic Jumble.’
Set on a working farm amid the sprawling hills of the Duchy of Cornwall estate, it’s a great place to catch some summer rays and fresh air.
6. Noah’s Ark Maze – Bristol, England
There’s more than one maze at Noah’s Ark Zoo. The beehive maze, for example, is a 3D structure across four levels – perfect, perhaps, for those charmed by the M.C. Escher puzzle at the end of Labyrinth.
Below is the outdoor Mega Monster Maze, which is all the trickier for becoming muddy when it rains. Around 14,000 beech trees line the way, and seven of Noah’s animals can be spotted en route.
Questions and clues along the way support kids (and adults) in solving the maze with their brain, rather than trial-and-error or – as some of may have considered – a chainsaw.
7.York Maze – York, North Yorkshire, England
Britain’s largest maze covers an area greater than the size of eight soccer fields. In case you didn’t think it could get any more amazing – it’s actually made of maize.
And if a maze made out of corn doesn’t already sound fiendish enough, regular visitors will note that the puzzle is completely redesigned every year with the appearance of the new crop.
Previous incarnations have included Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and a Doctor Who maze in celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This list was created by Quid Corner.