Thistle get you lost! New giant Balmoral maze in the shadow of King Charles’ Scottish residence takes the shape of the country’s national flower

Thistle get you lost! New giant Balmoral maze in the shadow of King Charles’ Scottish residence takes the shape of the country’s national flower

  • The attraction in front of Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire is taking shape
  • In addition to the maze, renovations are also focused on the Queen’s Building

His love of art, gardening and the outdoors have been well documented over the years.

Now King Charles is bringing them together in the most spectacular way, constructing a giant thistle-shaped maze with his Scottish residence forming a stunning backdrop.

The attraction in front of Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, is taking shape and is already shown on maps handed out to visitors.

Trees and shrubs, meanwhile, are being gathered ready for planting. It is hoped the maze will be open to the public by next year.

The King has previous experience to draw upon, having been involved in creating a maze at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, the stately home he helped to save.

The attraction in front of King Charles’ Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire is taking shape¬†

This, in turn, was inspired by fond childhood memories of a similar giant maze at the royal residence of Sandringham, Norfolk.

The new Scottish maze marks the latest development at Balmoral, after it was revealed in April that upgrades are planned to cope with a rise in visitor numbers to the castle and its 50,000-acre grounds.

In addition to the maze, renovations are also focused on the Queen’s Building, which is located between Balmoral Castle and the stables.

Developments disclosed this year include plans for an outdoor terrace and a new entrance.

Balmoral’s gardens were started in the 19th Century under the supervision of Prince Albert and have been expanded and improved by successive members of the Royal Family. They are open to the public between April and the end of July and attract around 70,000 visitors.

In addition to the maze, renovations are also focused on the Queen's Building, which is located between Balmoral Castle and the stables

In addition to the maze, renovations are also focused on the Queen’s Building, which is located between Balmoral Castle and the stables

A notice displayed at Balmoral states: ‘His Majesty the King has plans to develop the gardens. Work has started on the Thistle Maze.

‘A series of herbaceous borders will also encourage pollinators and add seasonal interest for visitors.’

A source added: ‘The maze will be a lovely new addition to the garden and the project is being privately funded by the estate.’

Balmoral reopened to visitors on April 1 and attractions include an exhibition of more than 200 photographs focusing on the late Queen, some of which have not been seen before in public.

A Balmoral Estate spokesman said: ‘The new maze will form part of the visitor route from 2024.’

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