“Look at this picture, Mummy! I wish we could go there again. It was amazing!” James was showing me a photo of the famous maze at the National Trust’s Glendurgan Garden. Normally, when he says something like this, I have to smile sympathetically and explain that the place is just too far away to visit. But since we were actually in Cornwall, it was very easy to make a small boy very happy.
If you’ve ever seen a photo of the maze at Glendurgan, you’ll understand James’s enthusiasm. It is a brilliant maze, planted almost 200 years ago by the Fox family to entertain their twelve children, so there’s something quite satisfying in the knowledge that it continues to delight so many children to this day. It’s genuinely perplexing: full of twists and turns and ‘I’ve been here before’ moments, and so when you eventually gain the thatched hut at its centre, you really do feel quite pleased with yourself.
There’s plenty more to Glendurgan besides the maze. The garden is a delight, with its nooks and crannies and secret passageways, and the exotic plants and flowers make you feel like a jungle explorer. The garden slopes down to the hamlet of Durgan with its compact cottages, beach, and views over the Helford River and the open sea. It’s a great place to skim stones, potter around the rockpools, or just sit and contemplate the view.
There’s also a rotating rope swing known as Giant’s Stride, which is suitable for Daddies as well as for Little Trekkers. Be warned that this activity is very tiring for Daddies, and they will probably need a trip to the excellent tearoom to recover from their exertions!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Hi there! Helen and Ian here from the Oxfordshire-Wiltshire border! We have two boys who love everything in the Great Outdoors (especially sticks), and a border collie who also loves everything in the Great Outdoors (especially tennis balls). We also have a toddler daughter who is fiercely independent and proving to be just as intrepid as her brothers.
Favourite place in the world:
A difficult one... There are so many wonderful places to choose from... But it has to be Sandwood Bay in the far north-west of Scotland which can only be reached by a 4-mile walk. Last time we went it was a full-on winter mountaineering experience (with ice axe and crampons!) just to get there. Wild and windswept, it's totally unspoilt.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Enjoy beaches, woods, and coastal paths; explore waterways in our open canoe; go for a big day out on a small hill; go rock climbing; collect sticks, conkers, and acorns; investigate puddles and rockpools; ride our tandem; fly a kite against a clear blue sky.