MNN Galleries

8 breathtaking garden mazes

By: Matt Hickman on Aug. 20, 2014, 9:22 a.m.
Longleat Maze

Photo: Jon Candy/flickr

4 of 10

Longleat Maze

Wild beasts normally found on the Serengeti. Check. Elizabethan county manses filled with antiques. Check. Alien spacecraft. Check. The world’s longest hedge maze. Check.

It would appear that Longleat, a sprawling 16th century country estate in Wiltshire, England, truly has it all. It's perhaps best known for being home to the first drive-through safari park outside of Africa and located about 20 miles west of another confounding and quintessentially British tourist attraction, Stonehenge. The Hedge Maze at Longleat is a relatively new addition to the estate having been commissioned in the mid-1970s. It's composed of 1.69 miles of twisting pathways and tended to by stilt-wearing gardeners. The most notable feature of this massive interactive puzzle are the six elevated bridges that help befuddled visitors keep an eye on their goal: the observation tower in the middle of the maze. And contrary to what some publicity shots may lead you to believe, you won’t find safari animals roaming among the maze’s 16,000 yew trees.