Dragonfly Maze – Bourton-on-the-Water, England - Atlas Obscura

Dragonfly Maze

Puzzles within puzzles hide a golden treasure in this hedge maze. 


Located in the idyllic Cotswolds village of Bourton-on-the-Water is a hedge maze that is a puzzle lover’s dream. 

The Dragonfly Maze, unlike the majority of other English hedge mazes, incorporates a series of clues and puzzles throughout the maze that must be deciphered in order to fully complete the game. The concept for the game-within-a-maze was inspired by a 1979 children’s book by author Kit Williams called, Masquerade. William’s book provided readers with obtuse clues and riddles that would lead one lucky winner to the location of a golden hare treasure. Taking this model of riddles and rewards, the builders of the Dragonfly Maze placed their titular golden insect in the middle of the maze. However the dragonfly is contained inside of an elaborate frog automaton which was designed by Kit Williams himself. To liberate the bauble, visitors must not only find their way to the middle of the maze, but also solve all of the clues to get the clockwork frog to give up its dinner.

Unfortunately, even if the puzzles and the maze are solved, the dragonfly is just to look at and cannot be taken. However the real prize in the Dragonfly Maze is the sense of wonder and adventure brought on by going treasure-hunting in a hedge maze.

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