Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean
Rich and I used to have a bit of a joke that whenever we watched “Merlin”, no matter where any of the characters were going, they were always in exactly the same bit of wood. We then watched a couple of episodes of “Atlantis” and the characters in that were in the same bit of wood! I then discovered, that this well-filmed bit of wood was right on our doorstep – Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean. I had to go there.
Puzzlewood is a 14 acre ancient woodland, which is said to have inspired Tolkien when writing about the forests in Middle Earth. It is absolutely stunning. The combination of rock formations and twisting paths through the forest make it a very unique and magical “woodland walk”. I definitely can’t do Puzzlewood justice through words, so hopefully these photos will give you an idea of its beauty.
I was blown away by how breathtakingly beautiful it was. There is something eerie about the scenery – not helped by the fact that the Dr Who Christmas episode with the Weeping Angels was also filmed there – and Freyja and I looked for elves and fairies as we walked through the woods. There is a really calm, tranquil atmosphere here (unless your 3 year old is screaming “Come ON Mommy!!) and it would be so easy to lose track of time as you take in all there is to see.
I would highly recommend a visit here. Pushchairs and wheelchairs are not allowed in the wood, and I am sure you can see why from the photographs. It cost us £6.50 each to get in, and the girls were free. As well as the woods there are also some animals. Here is Freyja trying to make friends with a goat (who wasn’t really that bothered about being friends with a 3yo):
There are also indoor mazes (didn’t give this a go as the weather was so nice) and a toddler racing track with toy ride-in cars, an outdoor playground, picnic area and a café and gift shop. We got lunch from the café – a couple of paninis and a kid’s snack box. There wasn’t a huge choice, but the food was good value and delicious. Just for research purposes, we also had cake which I can report back as being very good!
There was a big sandpit by the picnic area which the girls loved, and it was a hard job getting them out of here.
So all-in-all a great day out. And I look forward to seeing Puzzlewood appear on the TV and big screen (possibly the next Star Wars film!!) again in the future.