Going round in circles on a corny day out is more fun than it sounds

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The Independent Travel

Over the past month, the strangest shapes have appeared on farmland across the country.

The carving out of maize mazes not only provides families with hours of fun, but also offers an economic boost to agricultural businesses during the summer by attracting significant numbers of visitors for a corny day out.

The Lakeland Maize Maze draws up to 20,000 people between July and October. This year, Graham Wadsworth, of Raines Hall Farm near Kendal, Cumbria (lakelandmaze.co .uk), has marked the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain by cutting a swathe through a maize crop in the form of a Spitfire chasing a Luftwaffe plane.

"It's important that the battle isn't forgotten and that young people get the chance to learn about it in a fun environment," says Graham. "We've got clues and quizzes for them to complete as they walk around the puzzle. If this sparks an interest in this period, that would be great."

The maze, which was planned using GPS and cut with a lawnmower and strimmer, spans three and a half miles. Normally, the maize would only be knee-high at this time of year, but because of the good weather, visitors will have to find their way through a maze that is more than 5ft tall.

Graham will also be running tractor rides to the highest point of his farm so that the design can be admired from above.

Meanwhile, visitors to the Millets Farm Centre, Oxfordshire (millets farmcentre.com), can clown about in its giant maze – 10 acres of maize some 6ft high cut into three to four miles of paths, in the shape of two clown faces. While they chase each other through the maze, your kids can collect 10 clown symbols along the way which will eventually reveal the name of a circus. There are also two smaller mazes to enjoy.

You'll find corn crop mazes up and down the country, from Scotland to the Home Counties. Most of them are on farm sites and are complemented by additional activities such as tractor rides. Check out the nearest to you on the regional locater at maize-maze.com.