- Anker Wood at Dobbies has reopened and is following UK government advice regarding COVID-19.
- Grab your walking boots and explore the 52-acre landscape.
- Say hi to some furry friends when you meet the farmyard animals.
- Take your pick of mazes to explore at the home of the UK's largest permanent maze collection.
- Enjoy breathtaking views from the Tree Top Trail.
Situated in Atherstone, Warwickshire, Plantasia has joined forces with Mazeworld and has beeen completely rebranded to become the new Anker Wood at Dobbies. There's a massive 52 acres to explore, with everything from farmyard animals and mazes, to the Dobbies Garden Centre, and with plenty of space to enjoy a picnic. Whether you want to explore the permanent mazes, check out the animals that live on site or just relax, you can find it all in Atherstone. If you're after more days out check out these seven National Trust properties that have recently reopened, or discover which London museums have opened their doors to families once more.
Love animals? You'll have plenty of opportunity to meet the furry animals on site. Hang out with the alpacas, watch the Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs roll around in the mud, make friends with goats, guinea pigs and lambs, marvel at the Shetland Ponies and meet the newest animal arrival; a super-cute Kune Kune Pig named Petal. Sadly the animal's handling sessions are not currently happening but you can still watch their antics.
As well as the farmyard animals, there's also so much natural beauty to take in. Have you got a head for heights? Then take the time to explore the Tree Top Trail which will give you a bird's-eye view of the surrounding area. The Woodlands Gallery and Orchard are there for you to get back to nature and explore these natural environments. There's plenty of space for a socially distanced play and runaround for the kids too. If the surroundings have inspired you to be the next Alan Titchmarsh then head to the Dobbies Garden Centre, where you'll be glad to find the Dobbies Garden Shop on site; which means you can stock up on all things green-fingered. It's also home to a large aquatics and pet department, a food hall and a butchers.
If you fancy spending an afternoon getting lost there's no better place than Mazeworld, where you can find the UK's largest collection of permanent mazes. There are mazes of varying size each themed around a different continent, and each one hiding a reward stamp if you can find your way to the middle. Collect all the stamps and your kids can claim a small prize.
The English maze uses a traditional English hedge; the Canadian Hedge Maze is formed in the shape of a maple leaf, while the Australian Wooden Pole Maze is packed with lush eucalyptus plants. The Antarctic Labyrinth Maze is built from white stones - over 600 of them! - while the Japanese Trellis Maze was created from 400 panels and many climbing plants to lead you in. Finally, the African Reed Fence Maze is shaped just like a rhino's horn.
What to know before you go
- Anker Wood and Mazeworld will be implementing strict government guidelines to ensure the safety of all visitors and its staff. Masks are compulsory if entering the café area, there is a reduced admission capacity (enforced by compulsory booking of tickets in advance), and social distancing and regular hand washing are encouraged. Certain areas remain closed.
- The site closes at 5pm Monday to Saturday and at 4pm on Sunday.
- You can bring your dog along as the site is dog-friendly.
- There is an on-site café that sells afternoon tea. You can bring along your own picnic and there's plenty of space to throw down a rug and unpack your picnic hamper.
- A visit to Anker Wood is an outdoor experience, so dress prepared to enjoy the fresh air whatever the weather. We'd recommend covering up with a long-sleeve top and trousers to protect from nettles and insects.
- Anker Wood and Mazeworld are not fully wheelchair accessible. Some paths and trails are muddy which may be difficult for wheelchairs and buggies, while all bridges are accessed by steps.
- Bear in mind there are no baby-changing facilities.
- Dobbies Anker Wood and Mazeworld can be found at Nuneaton Road, Mancetter, Nr. Atherstone, Warwickshire, CV9 1RF.
- It's located just off the A5 between Nuneaton and Atherstone, on the outskirts of eastern Atherstone and there's plenty of free parking.
- By bus, the number 48 from Atherstone to Nuneaton will take you there.
- If you're taking the train to Atherstone, Anker Wood is just over a five-minute drive away.
- Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.