The owner of a home we rented in York suggested that we take a day trip to an “amazing place”. It was a two-hour drive on beautiful but narrow farm roads and we got a little lost several times but it was so worth it! It’s hard to describe The Forbidden Corner. It’s really unlike anywhere we’ve been.
The brochure says A labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created in a four-acre garden. But it’s much more fun than that. We got soaked, disoriented, lost, freaked out and laughed the entire time. We ran through mazes, tunnels, and haunted chambers. We entered a giant mouth, marveled at giant tree figures and got stuck in a gate. We climbed up towers, down into dungeons and squeezed into caves. It was a blast.
We even had tea! We saw giant rats eaten by an enormous cat, Roman guards, gravestones, ghosts, Pan, Medusa, skeletons and many more surprises. Walls turned to doors, rooms moved and statues showered us with water.
Developed in the 1980s by Colin Armstrong, the gardens were originally conceived as a private pleasure garden. They were later expanded and opened to the public. They don’t give you a map of the garden, just a brochure with pictures of various sites within the garden, so you just run around and explore. After all that running, they have a nice tea room to enjoy a slice of cake and cup of tea before you make the long journey home. And the usual souvenir shop. It’s all very clean and well-run, and the staff was pleasant.
You must make reservations to enter the Forbidden Corner and do it early, as they take limited bookings per hour to keep the garden somewhat empty and open, which really adds to the mystery and fun. So book early. We had to take their last time slot of the day which only gave us 2 hours to run around.
Tip: There are several areas where you cross under waterfalls and through creeks so be sure to wear water-resistant footwear and jackets. It’s way too much fun to worry about getting wet!
For more information, visit: http://www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk/
£40.00 for 2 adults and 3 children
Tupgill Park Estate, Coverham, Middleham, North Yorkshire