Magic Roundabout - Atlas Obscura

Magic Roundabout

A giant roundabout made up of six smaller roundabouts can befuddle the uninitiated. 


The signs along the road are your first sign that this isn’t your ordinary roundabout. The sight of drivers gripping their steering wheels with confused, anxious looks upon their faces is another hint that it’s quite the adventure, at least for first-time visitors.

The Hemel Hempstead Magic Roundabout (also called the Plough Roundabout) opened in 1973 as a more complicated version of the Swindon Magic Roundabout. It’s a giant roundabout comprised of six little roundabouts, complete with a river that runs through the greenspace at its center.

The unusual roundabout has cars traveling in both directions. When it first opened, it was so chaotic that police officers had to be stationed at each of the mini roundabouts to direct drivers and help them navigate through the confusion.

You’ll spot more than cars and the occasional befuddled tourists passing through. The landscaped center island and its river are home to ducks and other wildlife.



Know Before You Go

Pay attention while navigating the roundabout!

What ever you do, do not rely on your phone or car's satnav when going through the Magic Roundabout, which will lead you astray. For some reason, a nearby Honda dealership is where it seems to like taking you to, no matter what your destination is. Go with the painted road markings and you cannot go wrong.

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November 5, 2018

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