Looking for something different on your next trip to the Yorkshire Dales? The Forbidden Corner is quirky, fun, and definitely something different.
Ever walked through the mouth of a burping castle wall? Been squirted by a griffin? Or peeped in on a class of mice?
This may sound like it’s only for children, but we assure you, it indulges every adult’s inner child. We are showing our age here, but if you ever dreamed of being in David Bowie’s movie Labyrinth, then you are going to LOVE THIS PLACE!
Table of Contents
What is The Forbidden Corner?
Forbidden Corner is a 4-acre labyrinth. It’s nothing like the run-of-the-mill hedge maze. Elaborate corridors wind into underground tunnels and castle walls. Decisions and surprises await you at every corner.
Grab a check off sheet and start your adventure in the mouth of the castle walls (literally). From there, the path leads in multiple directions.
Statues squirt, horses talk, and mice sing. There’s the temple of the underworld, a giant tree lumberjack, and a pyramid made of glass. Castle walls and towers provide gorgeous views of the surrounding deer fields and Yorkshire Dales.
The detail that has gone into this popular attraction is astounding.
Our favorite section sends you down an Alice-in-Wonderland type tunnel. But, we don’t want to give too much away. Half the fun is not knowing what is around the corner.
You’ll also be pleased to know, they add new attractions all the time. If you went when you were a kid, you’d be surprised just how much it changed.
Story of The Forbidden Corner
Built by Colin Armstrong CMG O.B.E., who was obviously eccentric and wealthy, was also a British Consul.
In 1989, Colin enlisted his good friend and architect, Malcolm Tempest, to help design a private grotto for his future grandchildren. The two clearly went overboard. The vision of their “little grotto” expanded immensely over the years.
It wasn’t until 1993, when a group of Hull University students arranged to tour the unfinished gardens that the idea to open to the public was born. Finally in 1994, The Forbidden Corner opened to the public.
In 2000, the unique attraction almost closed as the Yorkshire Dales National Park realized the gardens did not have planning permission. Concerned with the traffic and pollution the attraction brought to the area, the park denied their retrospective permit.
Loyal visitors started a petition. They sent letters and contacted the council. These actions influenced officials to keep the park open. However, there is now a condition that visitation must be limited. This is why it is very important to book ahead of time online.
How Much is Forbidden Corner?
Tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis. Purchase tickets in advance through Forbidden Corner’s website. Note that they often sell out days in advance.
Senior Citizens: £12.50
Children age 4 to 15: £11.50
Children 3 and under: Free.
Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children): £48.00
Parking is free.
When is Forbidden Corner Open?
Typically, Forbidden Corner is open from April 1 to early November.
After that, the attraction only opens on Sundays until Christmas.
Monday – Saturday 12 noon – 6 pm (until dusk if earlier).
Sundays and Bank Holidays 10 am – 6 pm (until dusk if earlier).
Where is Forbidden Corner?
Located on the far east side of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Forbidden Corner is a ways away from anywhere in particular. Middleham is the largest nearby village, 3 miles away.
Use postcode DL8 4TQ for GPS.
How Long Does Forbidden Corner Take?
Allow 2 – 3 hours to make your way through the labyrinth. We took a little bit longer as we wanted to try every pathway. Plus, we went through the Herb Garden.
What Age is Forbidden Corner Suitable for?
Technically, the attraction is for all ages. We saw a 3-year-old laughing and a 5-year-old crying, so it really depends on the child’s tolerance.
Most kids enjoyed it, but the underground tunnels and pathways can be very scary, especially for younger ones. You can skip these areas, but we feel this would miss out on a lot of the attraction.
Plus, the narrow pathways and stairs make most of the attraction impossible for pushchairs.
If you are with a child that needs a pushchair, scares easily, doesn’t like the dark, or loud noises, you may want to wait until they are a little older.
Where to Eat for Forbidden Corner?
On the grounds is the lovely Corner Café, which serves sandwiches, jacket potatoes, burgers and Yorkshire pies (of course). We found their prices reasonable and the food pretty good.
They also have The Saddle Room Restaurant. We didn’t get a chance to try this, but the reviews are good. They have typical pub food, but also higher end meals.
Where to Stay for Forbidden Corner?
Along with The Saddle Room Restaurant, The Forbidden Corner recently added a bed and breakfast and cottages to the property. The Saddle Room at Tupgill Park makes the perfect place to stay as you can’t get any closer.
We hope you love the Forbidden Corner as much as we do. If you have been, leave us a comment on what you loved the most.