From historic palaces and stately homes to glorious gardens, mazes add an element of fun (and bewilderment) to the grounds of popular attractions across Britain. Here, we take a look at the twists and turns of five mazes around the UK.
Hampton Court Palace maze covers a third of an acre. © Historic Royal Palaces
Designed by George London and Henry Wise and commissioned around 1700 by William III, the maze at Hampton Court is the oldest surviving hedge maze in the UK. Originally planted using hornbeam and later replanted using yew, this trapezoid maze covers a third of an acre and provides plenty of fun for visitors.
The laurel maze, Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall. ©National Trust Images/John Millar
Hidden in a sheltered valley, the centre of this sub-tropical garden near Falmouth is occupied by a snaking maze that has been confusing people for over 180 years. This cherry laurel maze, and the wider garden, was created by the Fox family who devised the maze as a source of entertainment for their children to stop them from wandering off too far while playing in the garden. Today, visitors to the garden find just as much enjoyment in making their way through the maze.
The Water Maze, Hever Castle, Kent
This 13th-century castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and its extensive grounds boasts three very different mazes. Children will love making their way around the Tower Maze in the castle’s adventure playground, while visitors of all ages can enjoy the 100-year-old Yew Maze and the unusual Water Maze, where concentric stepping stones lead over a pool of water while hidden water jets and tilting stepping stones attempt to hamper visitors’ progress even further!
Traquair Maze, Scotland
With a claim to fame as Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, Traquair is also home to one of the largest hedged mazes in Scotland. Planted in 1981, the maze covers over half an acre and although it was designed without any dead ends, there are still plenty of ways to lose your bearings!
Longleat Maze. Image by Jason Hawkes
Make your way to the observation tower at the centre for a great view across this yew maze. There are six elevated bridges dotted throughout the maze, which offer a brief glimpse of the way ahead. After winding your way through almost two miles of pathways why not explore the rest of the grounds at this popular safari park.