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  • Lauren Taylor


I live in the most beautiful of places, and I am so thankful of that. The Cotswolds and Forest of dean have so much to offer, its unreal, and I feel so lucky that I got to grow up here because there is just so much to do. Just a 40 minute drive from my home in the Severn Vale is Puzzlewood, an ancient woodland site and tourist attraction in the Forest of Dean. It is 14 acres of woodland, unlike any other; a maze of pathways winding through deep gulleys of moss covered rocks, twisted roots of ancient Yew and Oak trees and fairytale like wooden bridges, dens, cabins and hideouts.

It's impossible to do it justice with words, so I'll let some pictures do the talking.

These enchanted narrow walkways are evidence of iron ore mining dating from the Roman period, and possibly even earlier. In the early 19th century over a mile of pathways were laid down to provide greater access to the woods. It isn't too expensive to visit, and offers an amazing day out exploring these ancient walkways.

But... It gets better, the place is truly enchanting, especially if you're a film and book geek. Puzzlewood is said to be one of J. R. R. Tolkien's inspirations for Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, and was used by Harry Potter author J.K Rowling who also visited Puzzlewood while writing the Harry Potter series, which inspired the Forbidden Forest. Because of this, Puzzlewood has become a popular filming location. Many episodes of the popular BBC TV show Merlin were filmed in the woodland, as well as, Dr Who, Jack the Giant Killer, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It is a truly magical experience for all the family!