The mysterious Puzzlewood forest, which gave inspiration to Tolkien himselfBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/the-mysterious-puzzlewood-forest-which-gave-inspiration-to-tolkien-himself.html
Every creative person must have a favorite place that gives him special emotions and gives him inspiration. For some, this place is the ocean shore, for others - an ancient castle or an old house covered with legends. For John Ronald Tolkien, the creator of the magnificent Middle-earth, such a place was the amazing forest of Puzzlewood, in the vicinity of the town of Coleford, in the English county of Gloucestershire.
Everyone who enters the Puzzlewood Park for the first time cannot get rid of the obsessive thought that a lot of living creatures are closely watching him. This forest is so unusual that even the most severe realist can admit that it is on its paths that you can meet fairy-tale elves, trolls or dwarves. No wonder its name, Puzzlewood, translates as a Mysterious forest — there is not the slightest exaggeration in this.
Puzzlewood is a praless, which means that it has acquired its modern look over many centuries, without human involvement. Scientists have established that this place has existed since the XVI century, but it is quite possible that the forest in this place grew long before the appearance of man in the British Isles.
However, man constantly interfered with the life of the ancient forest, trying to adapt it to his needs.
In the ancient era, when the territory of modern Great Britain was part of the vast Roman Empire, legionaries organized iron ore mining here. The virgin forest was disfigured by quarries, filled with the cries of slaves and their overseers and streaked with lines of glades and roads.
But as soon as the proud Romans disappeared, Puzzlewood immediately became dense and impassable again, and the stones extracted from the depths by the miners were covered with moss and lichens, taking on a completely natural appearance. It was through the efforts of ancient miners that a picturesque folded landscape appeared in the thicket, not found anywhere else in the world and called "scouls".
For many centuries, no one disturbed the forest, and it was the refuge of wild animals, robbers and fugitives. The idea to make a park out of picturesque thickets first occurred to the owner of the land on which the forest grew at the end of the XIX century. Thanks to the efforts of the landowner, amazing wooden bridges, winding paths and rope rides appeared here.
The forest of Puzzlewood was a favorite vacation spot not only for the author of The Lord of the Rings. J.K. Rowling, who gave us Harry Potter and many other well-known and not-so-famous authors of books in the genre of fairy tales and fantasy, still likes to walk along its alleys. Relatively recently, cinematographers have also chosen the forest - the wilds of Puzzlewood have become the scenery for the TV series "Merlin" and "Doctor Who"
A shot from the TV series "Merlin" (2008)
All conditions for tourists are created in Puzzlewood — guests are offered horse rides on ponies, several types of ecological attractions and lunch in a fabulous cafe. It is impossible to get lost here, thanks to a well-thought-out system of paths and roads, which are equipped with signs and explanations in several languages. As it should be in a fairy tale - the entrance to the forest is completely free, but those who want to contribute to the improvement of the church in the nearest village can drop any amount into the box at the entrance.