From traditional English mazes set in manicured grounds to the artistic creation of a farmer with a field to spare, here is our selection of 13 of the most exciting mazes to explore around the UK.
An aerial view of a planet design created at Smeaton Farm / credit: Smeaton Farm
Situated on a working farm on the Duchy of Cornwall estate, this maze in Cornwall changes each year. Previous designs for the maze have included a Mayan jaguar, a dinosaur, and a wizard. What will this year’s theme be? There’s only one way to find out – open from the end of July until late September, it is a beautiful spot to run around and enjoy the Cornish sun.
View across Castlewellan Forest Peace Maze in beautiful County Down / credit: getty
Castlewellan Forest Park is home to the second largest hedge maze in the world. Planted in 2000, the maze commemorates peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. In a stunning location in rural County Down, this maze provides a wonderful day out for the whole family. There is a grand bell at the centre for you to ring in celebration of your achievement. Then all you have to do is find your way out.
An aerial shot of York maze, which was Harry Potter themed one year / credit: getty
Made up of over 1.5 million maize plants, this maze covers an astounding 32 acres of land. Each new season (starting July) is marked by a fresh design that pays homage to a piece of popular culture, which has included Harry Potter (pictured), Dr. Who and last year’s Star Wars style.
The yew hedge maze at Longleat Safari Park was commissioned by Lord Bath and designed by Greg Bright / credit: getty
With six bridges and 1.7 miles of pathways to explore, Longleat Safari Park’s hedge maze is the longest in the world. Meticulously kept with high reaching walls, this is fun attraction children of all ages will enjoy in the park.
The water maze at Hever Castle Gardens which squirts water as you try to reach the centre / credit: Hever Castle and Gardens
Hever Castle boasts two puzzle mazes in its grounds: an Edwardian yew maze and a splashing water maze (pictured). Navigate the stepping stones while trying to not get splashed as you make your way towards the centre.
The minotaur maze in the grounds of Kielder Castle / credit: getty
Inspired by the Greek myth of Minos and the Minotaur, this maze is set entirely in stone and sits inside the luscious grounds of Kielder Castle. This unusual maze rewards your success with a glittering room made from thousands of glass shards.
The Mega Monster Maze at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm / credit: Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
At Noah’s Ark Maze 14,000 beech trees were planted in the shape of Noah’s Ark with seven animals inside. Answer questions along the way to get to the centre, and for the very little ones there is a mini maze next door for practice.
One of the many weird and wonderful features at The Forbidden Corner in Tugpill Park / credit: Elmtree Press
Get lost in a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers in a four acre garden in Tupgill Park. The maze was originally developed in the 1980s for private use, but after enormous curiosity was opened to the public. Bizarre statues and oddities can be found throughout the tangle of pathways.
The traditional and tricky maze in the grounds of Traquair Castle / credit: Traquair
Traquair Castle is home to one of the largest hedge mazes in Scotland. It has an unusual layout; there are no dead ends and visitors must reach four sub-centres before they reach the heart. However, it is certainly worth the journey in this meticulously kept maze, which has been used for numerous film and TV productions.
The winding maze in the subtropical gardens of Glendurgan Gardens / credit: getty
In the beautiful subtropical gardens of Glendurgan, you will find a most mysterious maze. The cherry laurel hedges were planted over 175 years ago, and it is still drawing in visitors from all over.
Children run through Hampton Court Palace maze / credit: getty
We would be foolish to leave out the maze at Hampton Court Palace, which is arguably the most famous maze in the world. Once home to King Henry VIII and his six wives, Hampton Court now offers a spectacular day out of history brought to life, and the maze is certainly not to be missed.
The view from Julian’s Bower Alkborough looking west / credit: getty
For something historical, the last remaining of the enigmatic Julian’s Bower turf mazes can be found in Alkborough, North Lincolnshire. It’s origins are unknown, but there are theories that it was carved by monks in the 13th century.
The stunningly manicured walled gardens of Pitmedden / credit: getty
And finally, for the green-fingered amongst us, Pitmedden Gardens provide the ultimate inspiration. These painstakingly prepared gardens are wonderful to behold, and the traditional maze in their midst is a real treat.
Main image: Getty images