Adventure: the maze and Giant's Stride rope swing

With many children to entertain the Fox family planted an extensive maze and also installed a rotating rope swing.

Visitors to Glendurgan today are following in the footsteps of the Fox family when they enjoy both of these much-loved parts of Glendurgan. With the Giant's Stride put up in 1915 and the maze planted nearly a hundred years earlier in 1833, family entertainment has always been part of Glendurgan.

The living puzzle

Planted on one side of the valley, this living puzzle is in the heart of the garden. Most people can't wait to reach the middle of the maze, but some enjoy the simple pleasure of sitting opposite and watching others experience confusion, frustration and hopefully celebration.

It's planted with cherry laurel which is vigorous and tough enough to withstand regular trimming and footsteps around its roots. Palm trees mark the four corners of the puzzle and a thatched summerhouse sits in the middle.

Maze Restoration Project  

A major restoration of the maze was required to rehabilitate it back to good health and improve the steps and paths to make it more robust to cope with the 80,000+ visitors who walk its paths each year. 

The 173 steps within the maze were replaced with durable stone alternatives.  The wet Cornish climate and well-trodden paths were causing water to build up and floods in places, these areas of the path were restored to cope with the volume of visitors. 

After 4 years, the Glendurgan maze restoration project is now complete. The fundraising effort for the maze was immense and we would like to thank everyone for their donations to fund this project.  The £80,000 worth of donations has allowed us to future-proof the maze for generations to come.

Although this major restoration is now complete, the work is not finished.  An ongoing programme of pruning and feeding will be carried out to improve the health and look of the hedges over the coming years. 

Solving the maze
Visitors stand among the hedges of the sloping maze at Glendurgan in Cornwall
Solving the maze

Taking giant strides

When you grab hold of the handles of this rotating rope swing and run faster and faster around the central pole, you'll take bigger and bigger strides. The more people striding round, the more fun it provides. Like the maze the Giant's Stride is also good for spectators too and this part of the garden is characterised by the laughter coming from this simple but enjoyable swing.

New for 2022

In March 2020, the Giants Stride, installed in the early 1990s, was condemned due to decay within the wooden pole.  The replacement of the five-metre-tall wooden pole was carried out by the garden team, alongside local tradesmen. A new Douglas Fir square post was shaped into an octagonal cross-section by a local master craftsman.  The pole was hoisted then lowered and set into one tonne of concrete. 

This year, the Giants Stride has reopened to entertain visitors once again. Pearls of laughter will flow through the garden as children and adults play on the rope swing, much like the many children of the Fox family. 

Giant's Stride
A young visitor holds onto a handle attached to a rope at Glendurgan in Cornwall
Giant's Stride
Visitors enjoying the Giant's Stride
People swing from a rotating rope swing in a wooded clearing at Glendurgan near Falmouth in Cornwall
Visitors enjoying the Giant's Stride