(The Forbidden Corner by Sarah Stoner, Harrogate)
The Forbidden Corner in Leyburn in the north of the Yorkshire Dales – a mysterious place that promotes itself as a garden and features hidden tunnels, chambers and follies.
I’ll admit I was a little doubtful as to whether or not it would entertain my three monsters and I knew that the hubby would grumble about the cost (over £50 for the five of us). They always do don’t they?
Anyway, the troops were rallied and off we went on our family adventure to the The Forbidden Corner in the deepest darkest corner of the Yorkshire Dales.
The views along the way are stunning. Well, Yorkshire is, isn’t it? But, this part of Yorkshire in particular is majestic. Rolling hills. Dry stone walls. Pretty villages and all that jazz. We even passed race horses being exercised in one of the villages we drove through. Trot on!
It wasn’t long before we arrived at The Forbidden Corner. We picked up our tickets and off we headed through the belching mouth of some rather odd castle-turret-cum-giant-brick-built dragon that one has to walk through the insides of and exit through the back end of to get in.
The whole experience was like nothing any of us could ever have imagined. There were secret tunnels, underground rooms with shrieking mice and enormous cats, water-spitting birds and a witch’s house. There were dancing frogs that sprayed the unsuspecting (including us) with water, and revolving rooms with many doors leading to chambers and dungeons and labyrinths – many of which when on to lead to absolutely nowhere.
My son’s highlight was a little stone boy that peed on you when you walked past it. Archie spent half an hour trying to figure out how to run across the path without getting pissed on.
We utterly enjoying every second of being tricked and teased at every turn – there was so much to do. Still, we made some time to head to the café for some lunch – once we’d found it. That in itself could have taken a lot longer than it did.
Lunch was typical of a family attraction (although I wouldn’t have been surprised to see gargoyle strew and snake surprise on the menu). Jacket potatoes, toasties, plus hot food choices featured. It all looked and smelt home-made and the café was clean and spacious. Plenty of room for us to find a table for our gang of five.
There is also the option of taking your own picnic and I saw plenty of families nibbling on a sarnie or three washed down with a flask of tea in strategically placed, pretty picnic areas across the attraction. And if you run out of water you can always fill up at the peeing statue I suppose. Maybe not.
We ate our lunch – I couldn’t resist a caramel shortbread with my cuppa. I never can. Then, we headed back out into the damn right craziness of The Forbidden Corner for another hour or so.
The Forbidden Corner is seriously weird but equally magical.
The hubby quite rightly pointed out that whoever created it must be seriously unhinged. Their vivid and complex imagination must have resulted in some very strange dreams. They absolutely, most definitely must have smoked a lot of waccy-baccy back in their day. Whatever the reasons behind the craziness of The Forbidden Corner, it’s well worth a visit.
The kids were thoroughly entertained for hours. In fact, none of them wanted to leave, even our youngest – Mabel (aged 4) – who was struggling to stand up on her weary little feet by the end of the day, cried when we headed back to the car.
All in all, it was a hugely enjoyable (albeit rather bonkers) day out. A bit pricey, and this did make the hubby twitch. A lot. But, once we were there, he enjoyed it as much, if not more than the rest of us.
Worth the money? Yes, I think so.
Will we go back? Definitely.
Note: We booked in advance. Important: The website said there were no tickets left – I called the number and got booked in no problem.
For more information on The Forbidden Corner CLICK HERE