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Penshurst Place Maize Maze: take it on this summer

Thanks to some regular downpours and a few welcome bouts of scorching summer heat, the Penshurst Place Maize Maze is standing tall with just a week left before its 2019 run ends.

This year's six-acre maize - in the shape of a hot air balloon representing exploration and discovery - must now be about 7ft tall and has three levels of difficulty this year.

You'll need some gritty determination to tackle the trickiest level, as we had a self-imposed leader who was on it for the middle level, and it still felt like a long and winding half an hour to complete.

The Maize Maze at Penshurst Place is standing tall
The Maize Maze at Penshurst Place is standing tall

But the feeling of immersing yourself in the waving greenery, looking up at the blue sky above, surrounded by the maize with their little red tassels that look like mini pony tails, is worth the effort.

You'll head into the maize armed with a map, which will be your guide, and make sure you tick off the check points inside - the sense of achievement will be great.

The hot air balloon design of the Maize Maze at Penshurst Place Picture: ©Limewood Productions
The hot air balloon design of the Maize Maze at Penshurst Place Picture: ©Limewood Productions

The main Maize Maze is ideal for groups looking to work together, as well as those who prefer to meander at a more leisurely pace. We didn't meander, but we did stop at the halfway point to stand on the lookout point and take in the view. Looking beyond the maize itself, the picture postcard fields around, which include the cows that will chow down on the maize once the season is over, is spectacular.

Explore the gardens while at Penshurst Place too
Explore the gardens while at Penshurst Place too

There's also a Mini Maze which takes around 10 minutes and is ideal for small children. Younger visitors will be set the challenge of matching shapes and colours from the history of balloon travel as they make their way around. The maize is very close to the adventure playground so a visit to Penshurst is a full day out for families.

Take a walk around the gardens too, where you can spend some luxurious time meeting the fish in the pond, who you can feed if you have 50p with you for a bag of pellets, and listen to the fountain splashing around the water lilies - it's a summer's moment to savour.

Meet the fish at Penshurst Place
Meet the fish at Penshurst Place

If you take a selfie around the maze and post it on social media using #PenshurstMaizeMaze you will be entered into a competition to win a family season ticket for 2020 worth £79. The competition closes on Sunday, September 1.

The maze is open until Sunday, September 1, between 11am and 6pm, with last entry at 5pm.

Entry is included in the price of a garden ticket, which for a family of two adults and two children costs £30 for the whole day.

Two children up to five can go free with every paying adult and there are discounts for anyone arriving by bicycle or public transport.

For more details go to penshurstplace.com/whats-on.

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