The sun is out and so is school - what better time to get lost in a maze? Here are ten of the best British mazes to help you on your way...
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Linked to Blenheim Palace by a narrow gauge railway, Marlborough Maze is the second largest hedge maze in the world. Navigate the paths designed to portray and celebrate the 1st Duke of Marlborough’s victory at Blenheim and have a go at the putting green and giant chess and draughts set.
Somerleyton Hall, Suffolk
Designed and planted by William Nesfield in 1846, Somerleyton Hall has one of the finest yew hedge mazes in Britain. The journey to the centre and back is only 800 yards – but only if you make no mistakes.
Leeds Castle, Kent
With the Maze and Grotto for adults and older children and the Turf Maze for younger children, Leeds Castle gives the entire family a chance to lose themselves. Wind your way through the twisting yew maze to find an underworld grotto complete with mythical beasts. In the Turf Maze, circles of grass lead children to a small wooden castle at the centre.
Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire
Among the 40 acres of woodland gardens, Picton Castle’s maze is a suitable challenge for the whole family. An additional children’s woodland trail will also entertain children as they hunt for clues, solve riddles and perhaps even win a mini prize.
Hampton Court, Surrey
The UK’s oldest and most famous hedge maze has been delighting visitors for more than 300 years. Since 2005 an audio installation, Trace, has entranced visitors with the tantalising fragments of laughter, music and the rustle of fine silk and illicit conversation. Thousands of self-generated sounds mean that no visit to the Maze ever sounds or feels the same.
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Sited in the stunning grounds of Chatsworth House, which is believed to be the inspiration for Pemberley in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this traditional yew maze is an excellent choice for lovers seeking a romantic turn.
Hever Castle, Kent
For the adventurous only, Hever Castle’s water maze might be just the ticket after a long hot day. Try to reach the stone grotto at the centre by crossing the concentric stone walkways over the water – but watch out for tilting stones and hidden water jets. For those who wish to remain dry, a more traditional Yew maze can also be found within the castle grounds.
Stansted Park, Hampshire
Although this 500-yew-trees-maze was planted in 2002, Stansted Park’s maze was only opened in 2011. A new viewing platform gives excellent views across the maze and over the walled gardens towards the house itself.
Traquair House, Scottish Borders
At over half an acre, Scotland's biggest hedge maze is not for the faint-hearted. You will cover at least a quarter of a mile to reach its centre - luckily several vantage points are provided to help friends - and parents - direct lost souls back out.
Staunton Country Park, Hampshire
Ideal for young families, the Golden Jubilee maze was planted in 2002 in the Victorian ornamental farm. Open and locked gates will provide excitement and fun for the whole family.
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