Follow the Maleficent forest trail at Ashridge

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There’s something magical about the Ashridge estate, a beautiful patch of southern English countryside less than an hour from central London.

That’s why Disney chose it as the location for scenes in Maleficent, the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain, from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty.

To celebrate the release of the live-action film we’ve created a Maleficent trail which families can explore from 24 May. We've even got an activity sheet to complete and some scary Maleficent horns that you can build yourself.

Check out our Maleficent activity sheet (9.78MB)

Build your own Maleficent horns (2.38MB)

Ashridge becomes an enchanted forest

The Ashridge woodland with its otherworldly trees and abundance of wildlife provided the real location for the Enchanted Forest, where Maleficent, played by Angelina Jolie lives.

With a little help from computer wizardry and a generous helping of mischievous pixies and magical faery folk, Ashridge has been transformed into a bewitching landscape which can be experienced on the big screen from Wednesday 28 May.

Inspired by the nature-loving faery folk from the Disney film, the Maleficent trail reveals more about the wildlife that calls Ashridge home, including rare butterflies and songbirds, as well as fungi and mini-beasts.

Plenty of outdoor fun

With fun activities and plenty of opportunities to tick off a few of the activities on the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ list, the trail costs £1 per child, with every penny going straight back into managing this special place, and will run until 31 August.

The trail starts near the Visitor Centre which has a great patch of grass in front of it, perfect for picnicking. You’ll also find the towering Bridgewater monument here; its 172 steps give way to stupendous views of seven counties and you can see the Shard in central London on a clear day.

The Wild Wood Den is nearby too, and offers the chance for kids (and adults) to scramble over logs, scale tree trunks and get closer to nature.

Things to make and do

More ideas for families