Ever wanted to get lost somewhere? Well, there are some mazes out there where you can do just that. You go in one side, and it’s down to luck rather than judgement if you ever come out again. Mazes have been a feature of popular culture since the Ancient Greek times and have appeared in works of literature from “Alice in Wonderland” to “Harry Potter”, symbolizing hopelessness and confinement. But which mazes are the most fiendishly complicated or ingeniously designed? Find out in our Top 10 Most Complicated Mazes.
10. Escot Gardens Maze (UK)
Created in 2004, this maze consists of over 4,000 beech trees as well as flying bridges and switch gates that change the route as you go along. It was designed by Adrian Fisher, who has planned over 600 mazes worldwide as well as writing puzzles for British newspapers.
It’s part of the Escot estate in East Devon, which also contains a manor house and a nature reserve. So, as well as getting lost in a maze you can meet wild boar and beavers. As long as you find your way out, that is…
9. Mirror Labyrinth at Glacier Garden (Switzerland)
Also known as Gletschergarten, this labyrinth in Lucerne, Switzerland was modeled after the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, which is famous for its ornate architecture. It contains 90 mirrors and visitors have to walk with their hands in front of them in case they walk into one of them. It was created in 1896 for the National Exhibition in Geneva and it moved to Lucerne 3 years later.
The mirror maze is part of a bigger attraction built around a set of glacial potholes, which used to be the base of a glacier. So, there’s a natural phenomenon to visit as well as the manmade maze of mirrors. And apparently a pen of rabbits as well…
8. Ashcombe Maze (Australia)
Set on the Mornington Penisula, near Melbourne Ashcombe has not one but 3 different mazes – the hedge maze (above), which is the oldest one in the Southern Hemisphere, the lavender labyrinth and the rose maze. The hedge maze was planted in the 1970s, with over 1000 cypress trees and comprises the South Maze, the Centre Garden and the North Maze. Each bit if the maze has a different layout, so it’s easy to get lost. As the website says “any tricks you worked out while making your way through the first part, mean absolutely nothing in the other.”
Then there’s the circular rose maze, with 1200 rose bushes and the lavender labyrinth which has a floating pathway through 4000 lavender plants. It’s a sensory treat to wander through the scented plants and there are woodland gardens to visit too. Worth a visit if you’re ever in Melbourne.
7. Cow in the Field (Germany)
Now, this isn’t particularly complicated as mazes go, but deserves its place for sheer ingenuity. It’s a maze cut into the shape of a cow’s stomach and it appeared in a field in Marienfelde, Germany. It was created by the Federal Institute of Risk Assessment, which studies the risks caused to the environment by chemicals and modern living. It aimed to explain how a cow digests food and raise awareness of healthy eating. I’m not entirely sure how it does that, but it’s certainly an interesting tourist attraction. In case that hasn’t satisfied your appetite for cow-themed mazes, there’s another one cut into a field near Holt in the UK.
6. Hampton Court Maze (UK)
Dating from 1700, this was described as “the most famous Maze in the history of the world, and immeasurably the one most visited” by Ernest Law in 1926. It still remains popular and is a unusual trapezoid shape, with inbuilt speakers projecting 1000 sounds from a sound installation called “Trance”. There are even benches in the center of the maze, which make subtle noises when sat on.
Hampton Court Palace sits near the Thames, on the outskirts of London. It was a favorite of Henry VIII’s but it was a much later king – William III – who commissioned the maze. It was designed by George London and Henry Wise and was originally planted with hornbeam. Some say that Cardinal Wolsey also had a maze on the site, during Henry VIII’s time but there is no trace of this left.