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8 breathtaking garden mazes

By: Matt Hickman on Aug. 20, 2014, 9:22 a.m.
Leeds Castle Maze Underground Grotto

Photo: Karen Roe/flickr

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Leeds Castle

What this newbie on the British garden maze scene lacks in history, it makes up for in difficulty and the treat that awaits visitors at its center.

Opened in 1988 along with a now-shuttered aviary, the Maze at Leeds Castle in Kent, England, is perhaps best known for the underground grotto that dazed maze-goers eventually stumble across at the end of their confusing journeys. Populated by seashell-adorned, rock-carved mythological monsters, the "secret" grotto is attached to a tunnel that also conveniently serves as the exit. That way you don’t have to spend another 30 minutes backtracking your way out. The maze has 2,400 yew trees and is shaped like a queen’s crown and chalice as a nod to the medieval castle’s former royal lady-residents. And once you’ve emerged from the underworld, don’t forget to pay a visit to the, yes, Dog Collar Museum, also at Leeds Castle.