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  • Sally Helm

10 Amazing British Mazes


The Maze at Hampton Court was designed around 1700 and is currently planted with yew. It covers a third of an acre, and is the UK's oldest surviving hedge maze. It is well-known for being confusing and includes twists, turns and dead ends.



photo: the Guardian

The Marlborough maze incorporates cannonballs, trumpets, flags and even a V sign in honour of Winston Churchill. It takes six people with hedge trimmers a week to prune the maze's 2 miles of yew hedge every October. (the Guardian)




The Longleat hedge maze is was built in 1975 and has 1.69 miles of pathways, 6 bridges and multiple twists and dead ends. It's part of an estate that covers 8,000 acres and includes an exquisite stately home, drive through safari park and three other garden mazes. Truly a fine day out.




The Traquair Maze was planted in 1981 and is the largest hedged maze in Scotland covering over half an acre. It is 1/4 mile to reach the centre. the maze has an intriguing layout with no dead ends and the visitor must reach four sub centres before coming to the centre. This one is built with beech trees.




"The maze consists of 2,400 yew trees and when viewed from the centre, part of its plan mirrors a queen’s crown. It is set in a square, and yet, when seen from the mound or the air, the pattern is circular, this is unique to Leeds Castle and adds to the difficulty in solving it. " . Once you reach the middle you can return to the outside through the underground grotto.



The Fox family planted the Glendurgan maze in 1833 with cherry laurel. It's not as high as other hedges and you can can see over the tops. It's sits beautifully on a hillside with palm trees marking the four corners of the puzzle and a thatched summerhouse sits in the middle. The Glendurgan Garden is now a part of the National Trust.




The Cliveden maze, designed in 1894 for Lord Astor and in disrepair by the 1950's was stunningly restored by the National Trust in 2011. Here is a snippet from the Trust website "Don't worry. Although the maze is more complicated than it first looks, most people solve the maze in less than 20 minutes. We also have members of the team on duty nearby who are on hand to help in an emergency."




"Intriguing visitors with their many twists, turns and surprises, Hever Castle boasts three puzzle mazes in its stunning grounds: a historic English Yew Maze, a splashing Water Maze and a fun Tower Maze. These amusing family activities will test your sense of direction and memory as you find your way to the centre or reward"

The water maze - Built on a lake, your goal is to reach the middle without getting wet! Some stepping stones tilt and splash you with an unexpected jet of water.


9 NOAH'S ARK - Somerset


The Longest hedge in the world! or just Europe! Noah's Ark maze was planted in 2003 and is 3.2 km long, 300 m more than Longleat and 53 m more than the Peace maze in Northern Ireland. The educational monster maze is laid out in 15 sections; each path has a letter. Each section has a question, the correct answer leading you to the shortest route towards the next clue. Collect the 15 correct path letters which are an anagram of a creature. Noah's Ark Website


10 Peace Maze, Castlewellan Castle - Northern Ireland

The Peace Maze is one of the world's largest permanent hedge mazes and represents the path to a peaceful future for Northern Ireland. It was planted in 2000 and 2001 with community involvement (4000 children/1000 adults/6000 yew trees). The goal is to solve your way to the peace bell in the centre of the maze and ring it. The maze has 2.18 miles of pathways and was the largest in the world until 2007 when Hawaii's Pineapple Garden Maze was built with 2.46 miles.

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