A hidden gem in the Yorkshire Dales

A hidden gem in the Yorkshire Dales
Forbidden Corner
Enter if you dare!

A Yorkshire Dales Discovery

Tucked away in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in Tupgill Coverham, Leyburn is a fabulously fun hidden gem for young and young at heart called The Forbidden Corner. On a recent tour of the UK we discovered this very entertaining park. The Forbidden Corner is a 4 acre maze with tunnels, chambers, labyrinth and many hidden surprises designed to thrill its visitors at each twist and turn.

But beware of the many doors that may lead you astray, for no-one can safely say that there’s a way to escape every alley way

Forbidden Corner
Forbidden Corner Entrance
Forbidden Corner
Walk through the mouth!

Enter If You Dare

First, you enter The Forbidden Corner through a tower designed to look like a face with a gaping mouth and when you walk through to the other side there is a loud and exaggerated belch. Yep, that is the start of the surprises that you will encounter when you visit. It was so much fun exploring rustic tunnels built at angles that opened up into underground labyrinths designed like an elegant ancient parlor room which in turn wound deeper into the earth passing large animated rats learning about cats and then opened into a large room lined with doors, most of which went nowhere, some only open one direction, the challenge is to find the door that opens in the direction that you want to go.

The Maze

As we wound our way through the hedge maze we encountered the massive wood cutter with his gargantuan ax, a molten glass pyramid that turned out to be the roof of one of the caves below! We were also surprised by a motion activated waterfall over one of the trails and a Pan fountain that sprayed water at out feet. This might be a good time to mention that if you go, bring a towel, and a change of clothes might be a good idea as well!

Forbidden Corner
Underground tunnel
Forbidden Corner
Axe man
Forbidden Corner
Top view of glass pyramid
Forbidden Corner
underground view of glass pyramid
Forbidden Corner
Cute little Pan sculpture
Forbidden Corner
Not so cute when he catches you by surprise and drenches you!



Originally built as a private folly park for the exclusive enjoyment of friends and family of Mr. C. R. Armstrong CMG, OBE in 1989 through a series of events and evolving ideas The Forbidden Corner began to take shape and evolve into what it is today. First the firs were planted to shield the Tupgill stables, then a tower was built to view the beautiful Coverdale Valley. As the construction of the tower was under way a suggestion was made to build a grotto. During the building of the grotto heavy rains filled the 25′ deep hole, so then a tunnel had to be dug to empty the hole and then to make matters worse an underground spring was discovered. Well, I bet you can guess what all that water did to the dirt walls of the tunnel and grotto, yup, that was one huge mud puddle!

The following year saw the stabilizing of the grotto and the tunnel walls. The building activity and creativity started to take off then with ideas flooding in from all around the world as to what to add to make it what it is today.

In July of 1994 The Forbidden Corner was officially opened to the public with about 100 showing on opening day. Since then, several features have been added to the park, such as the Green Man and the Faucet Tower.

My 2-cents

The Forbidden Corner was so much fun I would highly recommend it as a must see if you are in the Yorkshire Dales! Treat your family to a days adventure of exploring mazes, tunnels and labyrinth and when your little toes are tired and you need to rest your feet take a break in their cafe and have a slice of their very delicious carrot cake with a cup of tea and then meander their gift shop for unique finds and trinkets to take home to remember your day!

How to get there

  • Address: Tupgill Coverham, Leyburn DL8 4TJ
  • Phone: 01969 640638

We are clearly signposted from Middleham and the A684 in Leyburn. The nearest train stations are Northallerton and Darlington and bus services run to Leyburn, roughly 5 miles from The Forbidden Corner.


Opening Times: Everyday 28th March – 31st October then Sundays until Christmas. Monday – Saturday 12 noon – 6 pm (or dusk if earlier). Sundays and bank Holidays 10 am – 6 pm (or dusk if earlier). – See more at: ADMISSION AND HOURS

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About Donna

Helping mid-life empty nesters discover adventurous, authentic experiences in cuisine, cocktails, and countries - from beach bars to five-stars

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