Peace Maze at Castlewellan Forest Park
Want a challenge for adults and kids alike? Get outdoors and explore what County down has got to offer?
Try out the Peace Maze at Castlewellan Forest Park in County Down, Northern Ireland.
Everybody who takes on this challenge, thinks as follows:
“This will be easy as, we will be through in 10 minutes and bouncing over to the cafe in Castlewellan Park for a cup of tea or munch on our picnic in the car park”
Not so fast…
It is deceptively difficult and frustrating at times (much exaggeration on our part!!! It’s not that bad at all!) but it is extremely good fun especially if you want to entertain the kids for an hour (or 3 if you keep getting lost!)
Getting outdoors and getting the kids and adults off smartphones (you must take your phone with you as you will see later if all else fails) for some time has to be a good thing!
One of the largest Mazes in the World!!!
The Peace Maze in Castlewellan Park is one of the largest hedge Mazes in the world. Your objective is to get to the middle of the maze following 3.5 kilometers of winding pathways.
A quick scan online will provide you with some Houdini like tips to quickly navigate your way through the Maze.
With that in mind, here is our Maze Escaping Tips:
- Putting your right hand on the right wall at the entrance to the Maze. Apparently if you do this all the way through, this will lead you to the exit – we don’t know, we didn’t try this one!
- Trémaux’s Algorithm apparently works so google it- much too complicated for us!
- The good old breadcrumbs method
- Be patient (not so useful when you have went around in circles five times)
- If you are with others, try not and get split up!
- Go to the toilet before you enter the Maze!
- Remember what happened to Jack Nicholson in The Shining!
Read on for the best way out of this maze when all else fails…
There is some impressive greenery on display at the Peace Maze with 6000 trees making up the green walls of the Maze. The design and work that went into creating this local marvel has to be explored by all and applauded as a really unique visitor attraction in the heart of County Down.
You are rewarded with a stunning view of Slieve Donard and The Mountains of Mournes once you finally get to the centrepiece of the Maze.
Check out our video to see the view.
The Peace Maze was created to mark the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Over 5000 members of the local community came together in 2000 and 2001 to plant the trees to form the Maze as a symbol of unity to commemorate the signing of the peace deal.
Coincidentally, 2018 marks the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement which was signed by the political parties on 10 April 1998. Both President Bill Clinton and Senator George Mitchell who chaired the talks that resulted in the agreement will receive the honour of the Freedom of Belfast in recognition of their contribution.
The centre of the maze is your pathway out of the maze but also leads you to a great little play park for young children.
The Maze was designed by Lear Associates based in Oxford, England. Lear Associates specialise in “land art” projects and are experts in trees and shrubs.
Beverley Lear designed the Maze using the creative ideas of children who were asked to create designs of a maze.
The Peace Maze in Castlewellan is a hugely popular visitors destination and has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors since it’s opening.
If you are absolutely stuck and are dying for the loo, needing nourishment quick or have a baby’s nappy that needs changed asap.
Spoiler Alert : Strictly for Emergencies Only!
Find this drone footage of the Maze at Castlewellan Park and pause the video – you get an eagle eyed view of the Maze and can map out your route out.
Castlewellan Park has stunning lakeside walks and panoramic views of the Mourne Mountains.
Castlewellan Park has an admission fee to the park walks and the Peace Maze of £5.
You could always park the car in Castlewellan and walk into the Park free of charge if you wish!
Check out Free Things to do in County Down