Forbidden Corner

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The Forbidden Corner
The Facetower located at The Forbidden Corner
SloganThe Strangest Place In The World
LocationNorth Yorkshire, England
Coordinates54°16′33″N 1°51′25″W / 54.27583°N 1.85694°W / 54.27583; -1.85694Coordinates: 54°16′33″N 1°51′25″W / 54.27583°N 1.85694°W / 54.27583; -1.85694
OwnerTupgill Park Estate
Operating seasonApril to Christmas
Area4 acres (16,000 m2)
WebsiteForbidden Corner

The Forbidden Corner is a folly garden located in the Tupgill Park Estate, at Coverham in Coverdale, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is open to the public.[1]


It was built in the 1980s by the owner of Tupgill Park, Colin Armstrong, with architect Malcolm Tempest, as a private pleasure garden.[2] The Armstrongs had been living at the estate since the Victorian era.[1] Colin Armstrong is a British Consul based in Guayaquil in South America. It is based in the walled gardens of the 600 hectares (6.0 km2) estate.[3]

The garden was opened to the public in 1997, with a £4.50 entrance fee. However, planning permission for public use of the garden was not obtained at the time.[1]

As of 2000, the gardens were visited by 80,000 people,[1] and employed around 25 people.[3]

Retroactive planning permission for the park was rejected in 2000. The National Park's planners raising concerns about the environmental impact and pollution of the large number of cars entering the Park to visit the garden, and that the garden did not agree with the aims of a national park. A petition to keep the park open was signed by 10,000 people.[1] An enforcement order to remove the structures and close the site to the public was overturned on appeal in 2000, on condition of restricting the number of visitors entering the site to 120 per hour.[3]


The entrance tower

The garden features statues, sculptures, towers, tunnels, a labyrinth (with revolving floor), a 12-foot (3.7 m) conifer dog's head, a 20-foot (6.1 m) oak green man, water fountains,[1] as well as grottoes. It also has a cafe and gift shop.[3] It covers 4 acres (1.6 ha).[4]

It is set out as a maze, and visitors are given a checklist of things to find on their visit. A brass rubbing sheet is also available to complete which 15 plaques hidden around the attraction.

The garden was voted the best European folly of the 20th century by the Folly Fellowship and best children's attraction in Yorkshire.[4] It was rated as one of the top 10 follies by Huffington Post.[5] Admission is by tickets pre-purchased online or pre-booked from an office in Middleham. As of 2018 the price for Adults is £12.50, Seniors £11.50, Children £10.50 and a Family (2 adults and 2 children) £44.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f David Harrison (2 July 2000). "Dales planners to shut garden folly to deter tourists". The Telegraph.
  2. ^ Colin Armstrong (2001). Behind the Forbidden Corner. Forbidden Corner. ISBN 0-9541047-1-4.
  3. ^ a b c d Paul Stokes (16 August 2000). "Objection to garden was folly, says victorious estate owner". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ a b "The Forbidden Corner". Day Out with the Kids. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  5. ^ "The Top 10 Pieces Of Folly Architecture". Huffington Post. 14 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Admission Prices & Opening Hours". The Forbidden Corner. Retrieved 22 May 2016.