Let’s face it, we’ve all dreamed of losing the kids for a few hours! Did you know there are lots of places you can legitimately (and safely) do this, all in the name of a fabulously fun family day out? If mazes are your attraction of choice, then here are a few suggestions for intriguing, fantastical, challenging and beautiful mazes in the UK that will have the whole family lost in wonder!
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Get set for a real adventure that you need to puzzle your way out of! From xx to yy, we’ve got 15 of the best mazes in the UK that will intrigue and entertain the whole family.
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15 Mazes in the UK to Visit
Hampton Court Palace Maze, Surrey
Of course you would expect to include 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.
Created around 1700 for King William III, the Hampton Court Palace Maze in Surrey is the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze. It covers one-third of an acre, is trapezoid in shape and is a puzzle maze – known for confusing and intriguing visitors with its many twists, turns and dead ends.
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Longleat Hedge Maze, Wiltshire
Nestled in Longleat Safari and Adventure Park in Warminster, Wiltshire, Longleat Hedge Maze covers nearly two miles of paths hedged by more than 16,000 English yews, with twists and turns galore. Your mission is to find your way to the observation tower, via six bridges that give tantalising glimpses of the tower.
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. Why not make a day of it and check out all the other amazing attractions at Longleat too?
Prices from: £22.27 for children (under 3s free), £29.70 for adults
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Marlborough Maze, Blenheim Palace, Somerset
Get lost among the two miles of 3,000 yew hedges that make up the Marlborough Maze, a complex network of hedges that cleverly incorporates cannonballs, trumpets and flags. The maze is the world’s second largest symbolic maze, covering 1.8 acres, and is designed to reflect the history of Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. According to the head gardener, it takes six people with hedge trimmers a week to prune the maze’s two miles of hedges every October.
Blenheim Palace provides a great family day out too, with lots to see and do. With 2,000 acres of parkland, there’s plenty to keep little legs busy with buggy tours, a miniature train ride to the Pleasure Gardens, and a play area full of slides, swings and a sand pit. Just don’t miss the butterfly house – it’s filled with gorgeous specimens from all over the world.
TIP: Keep an eye out for special offers which may give you annual membership at a greatly discounted rate – it’s well worth it.
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Chatsworth House Maze, Derbyshire
Chatsworth House Maze is a large, circular, English yew maze which was planted with 1,209 trees in 1962 in the beautiful gardens at Chatsworth House. It includes a long, straight ascent called the Hundred Steps which runs uphill from the maze and is aligned on its centre. Halfway along, the steps are interrupted by a lone monkey puzzle tree, and there is also a human sundial at the north end of the Maze Garden.
Chatsworth House and Farmyard is home to the Duke of Devonshire, as well as all sorts of unexpected treats for a great day out, like zip wires, face painting and Princess Bea the pony! Let the kids loose over 105 acres, with cuddly creatures in the farmyard where there are daily talks and milking demos. They could then take a trailer ride up to the giant rope park for sky high adventures, or zip back down to earth on one humongous slide straight into the sandpit. Enjoy unlimited entry to the house, garden, farmyard and playground for the day, plus a half-price return visit valid for six months.
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Noah’s Ark Maze, Somerset
The longest hedge maze in the world, the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm maze in Wraxall is 3.2km long and features 14,000 beech trees laid out in the shape of Noah’s Ark and seven monster animals inside. It’s laid out mainly in green beech to feed the resident camels and giraffes, with the animal outlines in copper beech.
The educational monster maze is set out in 15 sections – each path has a letter and each section has a question, with the correct answer leading children to the shortest route towards the next clue. The 15 correct path letters are an anagram of a creature. For the very little ones, there is a mini maze next door for practice.
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Traquair Maze, Scotland
The Traquair Maze at Traquair House in Innerleithen, Peeblesshire is one of the largest hedged mazes in Scotland, covering over half an acre. The maze, which is a quarter of a mile to the centre, has an intriguing layout with no dead ends, and the ‘maze runner’ must reach four sub-centres before reaching the real centre. However, it is certainly worth the journey to this meticulously kept maze, which has been used for numerous film and TV productions.
Traquair House and grounds have plenty to offer families too, including woodland and willow tunnels to explore, a mini adventure playground for all ages, plus a separate toddler area, as well as workshops and activity sheets to keep older children occupied. Discover the sculpture in the woods and the rare breed animals too. A mini adventure playground is situated at the back of the house and there is a toddlers play area, swings, and a play house.
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York Maze, Yorkshire
Made up of over 1.5 million maize plants, York 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, Dr. Who and Star Wars. This year they have a brand new attraction with Jurassic Maze, bound to impress all young dinosaur fans – it’s rooaaarsome!!
There are also a number of smaller mazes, if the largest maze in Britain is too much to handle. You won’t believe your eyes in the Maze of Illusions, you’ll be on your knees in the Mineshaft Maze, and who knows what your future holds in the Finger Fortune Maze. With over 20 rides, attractions and shows, York Maze is a fabulous family day out. Get active on the Jumping Pillow, have a giggle on the Crowmania ride, or take your seat for the new Crowbot 5000 show. Whether you want to get lost in the maze, or take it easy in the sand and water play area. You’ll be amazed just how much there is to see and do.
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The Amazing Cornish Maize Maze, Cornwall
Try to find your way around The Amazing Cornish Maize Maze on a working farm on the Duchy of Cornwall estate at Smeaton Farm, Pillaton, Saltash. This maze changes each year, and 2018 sees the arrival of Jurassic Jumble!
While away a day tracking dinosaurs and trying to find your way around three miles of paths. The paths twist and turn through giant maize stalks to two look-out towers, which give a great view over the farm. With so much to see and discover you’ll certainly have an unforgettable day out. Why not visit the cafe or gift shop to round off your day out, or visit farm and rare breed animals, a children’s play area, or have a spot of lunch in the picnic area. Open from the 21st of July until 2nd September, it is a beautiful spot to run around and enjoy the Cornish sun.
Hever Castle and Gardens, Kent
Hever Castle boasts two puzzle mazes in its grounds: an Edwardian yew maze and splashing water maze. The 100-year-old Yew maze is hugely popular with kids of all ages. The hedges are 8-feet high and there is a quarter of a mile of pathways to get lost in. Then cool down in the water maze (don’t forget to bring a towel) where you navigate the stepping stones while trying to not get splashed as you make your way towards the centre. It is great fun and challenges young and old alike. Under 5s must be accompanied by an adult.
Hever Castle itself is a delight to explore with your little ones. Enjoy a trip back in time to a historic castle and gardens that was built all the way back in 1270. Make your way to the Tudor Towers Adventure playground, where you’ll find three slides, and lots of interactive features to keep your family busy.
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Castlewellan Peace Maze, County Down, Northern Ireland
One of the world’s largest and longest permanent mazes, the Peace Maze at Castlewellan Forest Park is made up of 6,000 yew trees, covers 2.2 acres and has a hedge length of more than two miles!Representing the path to a peaceful future for Northern Ireland, visitors to the maze can try to work their way to the peace bell in the centre of the maze and ring it as a celebration of your achievement. Then all you have to do is find your way out! In a stunning location in rural County Down, this maze provides a wonderful day out for the whole family.
A brand new play structure for kids has recently been installed in the forest park; ‘Animal Wood’ is designed for ages 4-11 and is located beside the Peace Maze. Animal Wood provides lots of opportunities for playing on wild woodland animals including a badger and its den, a red squirrel and a giant spider. In addition it boasts a wooden play structure with a tower in the image of The Moorish Tower where children can enjoy the climbing wall, fireman’s pole and rope-bridge over to a hollow tree stump slide and Red Kite nest that are sure to keep the kids entertained!
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The Forbidden Corner, Yorkshire
Get lost in a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers in The Forbidden Corner, a four-acre fantasy garden in Tupgill Park that is unlike anywhere that you have been before, ideal for the adventurers and those young at heart! 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.
Minotaur Maze, Kielder Castle, Northumberland
Inspired by the Greek minotaur myth, this stone maze is set in the grounds of Kielder Castle and has special features, including stairs that take visitors above the walls so they can look for alternative routes. The final goal is a small glittering room formed from rocks of recycled glass where visitors can quietly contemplate their escape routes.
Whilst you are at Kielder castle you can also enjoy a meal at the café, let off steam in the play area, take a walk or bike ride, and keep your eyes peeled for some of the Kielder ‘super 6’ which includes red squirrels, pipistrelle, bats and roe deer.
Wistow Maze, Leicestershire
Wistow Maze is a giant maize maze created out of eight acres of living maize crop. Follow the fun Quiz Trail and collect clues hidden amongst the three miles of paths!
Each year the maze is redesigned using GPS satellite technology so you’ll never do the same trail twice! For 2018, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the NHS, the maze has been designed in the shape of an ambulance and has a First Aid-themed quiz trail.
Watch the little ones explore from the high-level bridges and viewing towers giving you stunning panoramic views of the giant maze and surrounding countryside. Or go explore with them, and make sure you don’t miss the Activity Funyard with a variety of mini mazes, a space hopper track, football shooting game and much more for a great family day out!
After all that excitement, grab a bite to eat at Wistow Rural Centre at the cafe bistro for a great end to a great day.
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Brimstage Maze, Merseyside
Brimstage Maze is a ‘growing puzzle’ that’s waiting to see if you can solve it! Enter the 7-foot-high plants and attempt to find your way through the three miles of pathway to make it out the other side.
The maze changes every year when the crops are harvested, so you can test your skills against a fresh batch of directional challenges!
As well as the maze, there are jumping pillows, karts, laser battles that are great for families to play against each other, and you can practice your commando skills on the assault course!
There’s fun to be had indoors too – Maizy’s Madhouse is a giant indoor barn with four slides, lots of platforms to climb on, cargo nets, twisty tube slides and more.
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Skylark Maize Maze & Funyard, Cambridgeshire
Every summer Skylark Maize Maze has a new design. Delve your way into the huge maze and see if you can find your way to the centre and then out again! Don’t worry about getting lost though – Skylark have dedicated ‘searchers’ to help out if you need them to!
Skylark’s Funyard also features tractor rides, the Pesky Pigeons ride (you might get wet on this one) and even a spot of pig racing! From the maze to the Funyard, you’re spoilt for choice and that doesn’t include the bouncy castles, giant sandpit, petting zoo, go-karts, obstacle course and more!
If all that leaves you thirsty and hungry then try out Skylark’s award-winning cafe for breakfast, lunch, cake, drinks or an ice cream!
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