The Longleat Hedge Maze is known for being the longest hedge maze in the world, with a total length of more than 2.7 kilometres. The average visitor takes roughly 30 to 90 minutes to complete the maze. There are 6 raised bridges that provide an overhead view, which is helpful when you’re trying to figure out where to go next but don’t want to completely cheat by using your phone’s GPS. There are also numerous signs displaying the words “lift if lost” for maze goers who need a quick hint towards the right direction.
How Long Will It Take YOU to Complete the Maze?
The maze is comprised of more than 16,000 English yew hedges that are meticulously maintained by a team of hedge trimming groundkeepers. There’s more than one way to get to the exit, which is marked by an observation tower, but there are dozens more paths that lead to dead ends. Experts who know the proper path can walk through the maze in just 2 minutes, so if you want to fast track the journey to make room for other activities you could have someone guide you through and eliminate the guesswork. There are also plenty of other activities to have fun with and sights to see on the grounds, so this is an ideal destination for thrill seekers and families alike.
Seeing the Whole Longleat Estate
The Longleat Hedge Maze in Wiltshire is actually one of 4 mazes found on the 8000-acre Longleat estate, which has served as the home of the Marquesses of Bath since 1541. In addition to the main maze, there are also several other smaller mazes to enjoy – Sun Maze, Lunar Labyrinth, Love Labyrinth, and King Arthur’s Maze – the latter of which uses mirrors to create the illusion that the maze is much bigger than it really is. There are also a number of gardens that you can stroll through, and the residence itself is open for touring as well. The estate is located approximately three hours from London between Salisbury and Bath near the A36.
Don’t Forget the Safari and Adventure Park
As if a day full of maze exploration isn’t enough, the estate is also home to the UK’s largest safari park. With more than 500 exotic animals, the safari park consists of 18 separate reserves that contain segregated specimens from around the world. For example, the Lion Country reserve contains two prides of lions from Africa while the Cheetah Kingdom reserve is home to 5 fully mature cheetahs. Then you also have Tiger Territory, Jungle Kingdom, Big Game Park, Monkey Jungle, Flamingo Valley, and many others to choose from. Visitors are driven past each reserve and given the chance to observe the animals in their habitats via the drive thru package, but there are also VIP tours for those who crave a more up close and personal experience.
An Ironically Fitting Name for the World’s Longest Maze
The estate itself has existed since the Longleat Priory was burned in the 1560s, but the Longleat maze itself was built in 1975. With a name like Longleat, one has to wonder whether the maze designers were making a play on words when they decided to construct the world’s longest maze there.