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The Forbidden Corner

Hi there! On Monday we entered the strange and mysterious world of 

The Forbidden Corner

. Nestled away in the Yorkshire Dales lies four acres of gardens with chambers, follies and a labyrinth of tunnels. There are paths and pathways that lead nowhere, rooms with doors that have nothing behind them, a haunted mausoleum with coffins opening and closing, a witch's cottage and lots of other seriously spooky details.

We've been before, about five years ago (we can't remember exactly!) but I do know that it was in September and it was gloriously sunny. You have to book your tickets in advance and then keep your fingers crossed that the weather will be nice. They only let a few people in at a time and on the hour. This becomes clear why when you see all the narrow passageways and dark corners you have to enter. There isn't a lot of room to move in certain areas and there are also some pretty steep staircases to descend. We'd planned on going during the summer holidays and knowing that it would be busy we booked quite some time ago. Again, we prayed it would stay dry, and once more we got lucky as it was a scorcher of a day.

After driving through some very idyillic Dales villages we arrived at Tupgill Park, Middleham. We chose to get there a little early as we wanted to have a picnic first. There are lots of spots tucked away in a woodland area and it was lovely sitting in the sunshine, surrounded by little tiny birds peeking out at you from the bushes and trees, willing you to throw them a little of your sandwich.

When you first enter the Forbidden Corner you are faced with a giant face, rolling it's eyes and a wide open mouth. It belches when you pass through it. Once through you are faced with many paths, mazes, hidden doors, underground chambers, optical illusions, fairy tales and even a frog chorus fountain. It is slightly spooky in places and a lot of younger kids were a bit frightened and some crying. Most got over it quickly as there are as many funny laugh out loud parts as there are scary. There are faces and bits of legs in walls. There are windows that turn out to be mirrors. Creepy fairy tale characters  of giant mice and cats trying to catch them. Strange paintings in tunnels with the same faces added in to each portrait. Eerie voices seeping through the walls. Harry loved it five years ago and now at eleven enjoyed it just as much as last time. This time being a bit older we did go into the mausoleum where the coffins open and close and the two skeletons of an old married couple have an argument - one of the highlights for all of us was listening to them moaning and complaining about being dead to one another!

There are twists and turns everywhere. There is a lot of water so you have to prepare to get wet. My husband thought it would be funny to set one of the traps off as I walked through it. I ended up looking like I'd wet myself for half and hour. Divorce was subsequently discussed. Forbidden Corner leaves you bamboozled and perplexed at times as it can be difficult to find your way around but that's part of the fun. It's an incredible day out, a mystery waiting to be solved and something all the family will talk about all the way home. And that's really the secret of Forbidden Corner - it makes everyone young or old feel special. x