This is the best family day out in Yorkshire

If you read my blog regularly you will probably know I live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and with the weather getting colder and us all heading towards winter my wife and I are constantly looking for ways to keep the kids and ourselves entertained.

So yesterday we took the family out into the Yorkshire Dales to a rather different place called The Forbidden corner which is about 20 miles out of Harrogate in North Yorkshire near Masham.

I don’t write a lot about my days out but this really was rather special as it was unlike anything I have ever been to or seen before. The Forbidden Corner is a private garden based in four acres that was originally created for family and friends by Mr C. R. Armstrong CMG O.B.E and then it was opened to the wider public after lots of public demand.

It really is a difficult place to describe but the official website states:

The Forbidden Corner originally started as small wood of Fir trees initially planted as a wind break to the stables at Tupgill Park, with hundreds of trees being planted in 1979. Ten years later in 1989, Colin Armstrong and his good friend Malcolm Tempest decided that a small bower in the western corner needed to be created to enjoy the view down the Coverdale valley. The first job was to build a high wall to shelter the area from the high winds and to created a walled garden.

The Forbidden Corner is a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created in a four acre garden in the heart of Tupgill Park and the Yorkshire Dales. The temple of the underworld, the eye of the needle, a huge pyramid made of translucent glass, paths and passages that lead nowhere, extraordinary statues – at every turn there are decisions to make and tricks to avoid. This is a day out with a difference which will challenge and delight adults and children of all ages.

If I was to use my own words I would say it was the closest I have ever been to actually having a real life experience similar to that of the film Labyrinth which starred David Bowie in the 1980s. It reminded me of a real life version of a Dali painting. It’s like someone’s own personal dream world with something different around every corner.

The garden is stunning and packed with surprises that either make loud noises at you or drench you with water or just trick you into getting lost again and again. Then when you manage to find your way into the underground caverns your mind is truly blown as each section is like something straight from Alice in Wonderland from visual trickery that make caves appear smaller and smaller to spinning floors to doors that don’t go anywhere. I have never got lost so many times and had so much fun, my little boy Jacob just said it was “brilliant”.

If you are ever over in the Yorkshire area you really have to pay this place a visit as it truly is a one off, it’s like nothing you will have ever experienced before. Here is a quick video that should help give you a better flavour for the place.

I would love to work with the guys that run this place as the opportunities for social media here are endless. Have you been and if so what did you think of it? Let me know as I was genuinely taken aback at how cleverly put together it was.

, ,
9 comments on “This is the best family day out in Yorkshire
  1. Well timed post Chris. I’d been following the family days out discussion in the Yorkshire Mafia LinkedIn group and thinking about giving Forbidden Corner a try. You’ve convinced me. Now just need to find a gap in the diary.

  2. Actually Stuart can you send me a link to that conversation as Lisa is always looking for other places to visit?


  3. Thanks Siobhan, I hope you’re well. I think it’s just because it is so very different to anything they will have ever seen or done before. I really loved the fact you could start to think you knew where you were going and next thing you were somewhere completely different. We are defintely going to go back when our little one is a bit bigger and can walk around himself. I just hope a few people give it a visit off the back of reading stuff like this because I think its like a great little secret.

  4. We took some children from Barnados to Forbidden Corner when I was at Grayling and the children absolutely loved it… Almost as much as I did. I’ve got some amazing video footage of a colleague trying to fit through the tiny gap in the wall that looks massive from the other side!! I would definitely recommend it!

  5. Paul it really is special – I would reccomend you try it. They have some lovely places to stay nearby too, so you could always make a weekend out of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *