The Forbidden Corner

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    The Forbidden Corner

    The Forbidden Corner claims to be The Strangest Place in the World. The attraction is a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises. The Forbidden Corner is located at Tupgill Park in the Yorkshire Dales.



    History of The Forbidden Corner

    The Forbidden Corner was the brainchild of Mr C. R. Armstrong CMG O.B.E. The attraction was originally built as a private folly but due to public demand was subsequently opened to the public.

    Hundreds of trees were planted in 1979 to provide a wind break to the stables at Tupgill Park. 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 create a walled garden.

    Whilst building the wall a grotto was suggested. The idea was that this would be a little cave made of piled rocks. As the idea developed, the proposed little grotto ended up growing into a twenty-five-foot deep hole with soil being carted away in dumper trucks.


    An expensive muddy hole

    Shortly after digging the hole, heavy rain filled it with water, so a channel was dug to drain away the water. Whilst digging the channel huge boulders were found and were saved for future use. Unfortunately, due to the heavy rain and the discovery of underground springs, the sides of the cave kept collapsing leaving Colin Armstrong with an expensive muddy hole.


    New ideas for the Forbidden Corner

    When the weather improved in the summer of 1991, the hole was stabilised and strengthened and the first concrete was poured. The grotto was really taking shape by 1992 and ideas from all over the world were being planned for The Forbidden Corner. The new ideas were planned and put into place.


    The Forbidden Corner Tree Carving
    Discover amazing tree carvings at The Forbidden Corner


    The first public visitors

    After hearing about the grotto, Hull University contacted Malcolm and requested to visit. Malcolm agreed to this request and the first visit to The Forbidden Corner was arranged with a coach load of students arriving in July 1993. Even in its unfinished state, the students really enjoyed themselves.

    Following the student’s visit, the decision to open The Forbidden Corner to the public was made. The gardening started and the hedging for the maze was planted. The Face Tower was built to welcome guests to the attraction.


    Official Opening

    The Forbidden Corner was officially opened to the public on 23rd July 1994. Approximately 100 people attended the opening day. Over time, a building was converted to a ticket office, cafe and gift shop to welcome the excited visitors.

    New features, such as the Green Man and the Fawcett Tower were built in 1998. By now The Forbidden Corner had attracted over 80,000 visitors. The attraction was featured in the media, recommended by television programs and newspapers. Unfortunately, this publicity attracted attention from the planning officers at the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Due to an oversight, no planning permission had been sought. It was suggested that retrospective planning permission was to be applied for.


    Public Support

    The pressure was increasing to close the attraction to the public due to the lack of planning permission along with other factors. Mr Armstrong started addressing each area of concern but he was fighting a losing battle. Loyal visitors started to get involved, sending in over 2,000 letters of support as well as a petition signed by 10,000 people to keep The Forbidden Corner open. With help from some influential people and a lot of campaigning supporting the attraction, in August 2000 the news came that The Forbidden Corner could stay open to the public.


    Entrance to The Forbidden Corner
    Entrance to The Forbidden Corner



    The Forbidden Corner is like a Secret Garden with lots for everyone to discover. You know you are in for an interesting adventure as you enter the garden through the mouth of a head built inside a castle tower. Some of the highlights you will discover include the temple of the underworld, the eye of the needle and a huge pyramid made of translucent glass. There are a wealth of paths and passageways that leading in all directions. There are decisions to make and tricks to avoid at every turn. This is a day out with a difference which will challenge and delight adults and children of all ages.


    Water Features

    Water is used to great effect within the attraction with rivers to navigate, waterfalls to walk under and water sprays to avoid.


    The Forbidden Corner Water Spray
    One of the many water sprays to look out for at The Forbidden Corner


    Additional Information

    Due to the popularity of The Forbidden Corner, you must pre-book your visit. You can either do this online via the official website or by calling 01969 640 638.

    The Forbidden Corner is suitable for all age ranges, from children to adults. Visitors should be aware that some sections of the attraction (particularly those underground) may scare younger children, but these sections can be avoided. The attraction is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

    A visit to The Forbidden Corner takes approximately 2 hours. Once you have collected your tickets you may go in and out of the attraction as many times as you like until closing time.


    Cafe and Accomodation

    The on-site Cafe serves freshly cut sandwiches, cakes and hot and cold drinks. Alternatively, there is a picnic area, which has both seated and grass areas. Also available on the Tupgill Park Estate is both self-catering and bed and breakfast accommodation.

    No dogs except guide dogs allowed in the attraction.


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    The Forbidden Corner was last modified: June 14th, 2017 by Dan

  • The Forbidden Corner, Tupgill Park Estate, Coverham, Leyburn, DL8 4TJ

    Opening Times vary, see website for details
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