Have you ever thought about giving a "Maize Maze" a go? You may have seen signs around, pointing you in
the direction of a maize maze - well, we thought we'd give one a try, and the maize maze we went to was in
Southwold Maize Maze - with the central bridge in the distance
For those who aren't familiar with a maize maze, the maze is cut into crops of maize (or sweetcorn), which means this isn't a year-round activity. Most of
these mazes open around the beginning of July when the crop is high enough, and close at the of August when the maize is
harvested. Southwold Maize Maze opened on the 20th July 2013, and runs until 4th September 2013.
We picked a sunny day at the beginning of August to try the Southwold Maize Maze. A family ticket cost us £15.50 - so
not an expensive way to while away a few hours. You get more than just a maze at Southwold: a large bouncy cushion, climbing frame, sandpit, ride on
tractors for the younger children, and pedal go-carts for the older children are all included. There is also a café serving tea, coffee, snacks and locally produced ice-cream - which
means after the maze extravaganza you can have a sit down with a proper mug of tea or coffee. And the nippers can carry on running around.
But first, the maze.
Getting stuck into Southwold Maize Maze
The layout of Southwold Maize Maze is different each year, with a local landmark being the subject of the maze. This year that landmark
is Orford Castle. You are given a map at the start, and a card with eight stamps to collect. All eight stamps are dotted
around the maze: Martello Tower at Aldeburgh, Southwold lighthouse, Lowestoft wind turbine, Blythburgh Church, Sizewell, Thorpeness' House in the Clouds,
Orford Castle and Snape Maltings all getting a mention. Should you find all eight stamps, a lollypop is
awarded at the end.
Don't think this is an easy task! The maize is about 7ft tall, which means there's no peaking over the top. And after an hour
or so you'll be reaching for the map. The children love running ahead, and checking the various paths for dead ends, or the all-important stamp.
Occasionally one or more might take a few wrong turns and you'll hear that shout of "mum... dad....".
We made it to the centre of Southwold Maize Maze!
At the centre of the maze you'll find a wooden bridge. A superb place to take a breather - benches to take the weight off your feet;
and some great views from the top.
The video below was taken from the bridge, and gives you a panoramic view of fields and the River Blyth in the distance.
One of the best things about Southwold Maize Maze is the peace and quiet! No flashing lights; no array of shops clambering for your
money. Just a good few hours wandering around in the fresh air - while having a laugh with the family.
Southwold Maize Maze is easy to find too, you don't have to meander down countless backroads - you'll
find it straight off the A1095 (off the A12).
If the thought of a villa holiday sounds good - but you've got children in tow, have a look at villa resorts which combine the advantages of having your own villa with the advantages of a resort's facilities.
Find a selection of holiday cottage in Beccles, Suffolk. The cottages of Riverside House, Butterfield House, Northgate Bakery, Honeysuckle Cottage and Burnt Hill House all have a video showing their location in Beccles.
Try a villa holiday in Europe and the Mediterranean during March, April and May. James Villas Spring Holidays is the place to look - and if you get in early enough you could get a bargain in the James Villa Holidays Half Price Sale.
Located next to the beach and surrounded by the Lagoa dos Salgados Lagoon and nature reserve, Vidamar Algarve Resort is a villa resort with holiday villas sleeping between 4 and 8 people. All villas at Vidamar Algarve Resort have their own pool.
A fabulous day out, the Falkirk Wheel links the Union Canal with the Forth and Clyde Canal. You have a variety of attractions at the Falkirk Wheel, including an Archimedes Screw, hire a cycle, paddle boats, or just a nice walk.
See the sights from the top of the Nevis Range in Scotland. Take a gondola up the mountain, and get some views from the Sgurr Finnisg-aig view point. You can always cycle down too - or take the cable car back down again.
How about a family holiday in the sun? The Balearic Islands make a lovely location for a holiday. We were recently fortunate enough to spend a few days at the all-inclusive resort of Marina Parc on Menorca. Close to the beach at Arenal d'en Castell, Marina Parc also comes with its own water park.