Syndia and I paid a visit to the Ashcombe Maze today.
Visitors to Victoria should definitely add it to their itinerary.
There are two hedge mazes and a single rose maze. The hedge mazes
surround an open garden with a pool and fountain, with the idea being
that you find your way into the area via one maze, and then back out via
the other. Of course, you can cheat and go through the open walkway on
one side, but that's no fun.
According to a sign at the entrance to the gardens, there were ten
garden gnomes hidden throughout the grounds. We only spotted three -
Wandering Walt, Cool Casper and one other whose name I can't remember -
but we weren't really looking. Well, at least, I wasn't really looking.
Syndia wanted to go back to the entrance and pick up one of the game
sheets they gave out to children
The hedge mazes themselves are generally about 7' tall, with some of the
corners and edges being higher again. Syndia had a great time running
through the mazes trying to beat me to the end Once, I jumped out at
her from behind (surprise) a hedge, and was almost beaten to a pulp for
my trouble ;)
After navigating both hedge mazes, which included such features as
pools, ponds, crows' nests (presumably used by the maze guides to find
lost people) and many, many dead ends, we moved onto the rose maze.
The rose maze is a circular maze, with the objective being to get to the
centre. I beat Syndia in this one, and it was hilarious to see the
crestfallen expression on her face when I met her at the centre Then,
of course, we had to navigate ourselves back out of the maze, and she
managed to get stuck again
Lunch was at the small cafe at the gardens. The food wasn't wonderful,
but it was pretty decent, and the staff all seemed cheerful, which is
more than can be said for a lot of places.
After lunch we went for a walk around the rest of the gardens. The
gardens themselves (including the mazes) occupy about 22 hectares, so
there was quite a bit to see. There were heaps of little watercourses,
rock gardens and other features that just made the entire place
absolutely entrancing. Syndia went ga ga again over a bunch of sheep and
lambs that were grazing nearby
I'd definitely recommend the place to anyone who hasn't seen it - the
gardens are beautiful and the mazes are fascinating - and very good fun.