We talk about puzzly things all time. We discuss puzzly moments from history, puzzly events happening now, and the many ways puzzles are represented in modern life, both obviously and less so.
But it recently occurred to me that we rarely talk about puzzly places.
There are escape rooms and board game cafes, puzzle hunts that span cities and college campuses, corn mazes lovingly cultivated every year, and geocaches with puzzly elements awaiting intrepid hikers and nature lovers.
If you picture “puzzly place” in your mind, what do you see? The Labyrinth from Greek mythology? The Winchester Mystery House? The Hampton Court Maze?
Oddly enough, the first place that comes to mind for me is a woodland area in England, famed for its strange rock formations, caves, and trees.
It’s known as Puzzlewood.
This 14-acre space, located in the forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire, is one of the most gorgeous and peculiar places in the world. It is full of meandering pathways, old mining areas dating back to the Roman era, and cave systems that breached the surface untold years ago. There are bridges and rock formations, many covered in the moss that has conquered any sign of human intervention there.
It reportedly inspired not just the Forbidden Forest from the Harry Potter series, but several locations in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as well. It has been a filming site for shows like Doctor Who and Merlin as well as franchises like the Star Wars saga.
And it seems like a beautifully peaceful place for some puzzling.
It may not possess the order or intrigue of some of the world’s most famous hedge mazes, but in my estimation, what it lacks in design, it more than makes up for with atmosphere.
Puzzlewood truly lives up to the name.
What are your favorite puzzly places, fellow solvers? Do you have a favorite escape room, maze, or natural spot in which to get lost? Or is your puzzly place right at home with a puzzle book and some cocoa? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.
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