During our recent trip to the Forest of Dean we realised that we were staying only a few miles from Puzzlewood. We were already aware that it was a popular film location so we decided to take a look.
We arrived at an unassuming entrance just off the B4228. There was a kids play area, some farm animals and two of the loudest donkeys we’ve ever heard. Our first impressions were that it was just an attraction for young kids however, as soon as we entered the woods it was clear that Puzzlwood had more to offer, much more.
Entering The Woods
As soon as as you enter the 14 acres of woodland you can easily understand why it is reputed that JRR Tolkien took the inspiration for Middle Earth from Puzzlewood. Within yards of entering you are surrounding by strange, moss covered rock formations entwined with the roots of the trees which tower above. As you continue to walk down the paths you are no longer a few 100 yards from the B4228. Instead, kids and adults alike, you have now been transported to somewhere magical, mysterious and enchanted.
The History And Geology Of Puzzlewood
Why is the landscape of Puzzlewood so extraordinary? The technical word for the features is ‘scowles‘. These are formed when the natural underground cave system becomes exposed at the surface due to erosion. These rock formations were exploited by early iron age settlers looking for iron ore, this continued to until Roman times. Three jars containing over 3,000 Roman coins were found on the site in 1848.
A Location For TV And Film
When exploring the myriad of paths in Puzzlewood you can easily understand why it is such a popular location for TV and film, especially in the genre of sci-fi, fantasy and adventure. It makes such a perfect ready made atmospheric set.
It has been used as a film location for major blockbusters such as Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. It also makes a regular spooky appearance in Dr Who, Merlin, Da Vinci’s Demons and Atlantis.
Whether you are a fan or not of any of these films or TV programmes Puzzlewood is definitely worth a visit. The enchanting surroundings will surely carry you away to a mystical world, whatever your age.
Puzzlewood can be found in the Forest of Dean at: Perrygrove Road, Coleford, England, GL16 8QB
Have you been to any famous film or TV location? Which of these do you recommend visiting.