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A real life fairy tale land!
Forbidden Corner (Coverham)
Member Name: pootlegirl
Forbidden Corner (Coverham)
Advantages: Like nothing I've ever seen before!
Disadvantages: The tunnels, which some children won't like, are a necessity if you want to see everything
We first visited The Forbidden Corner about 10 years ago with my godsons who were aged about 6 and 8 at the time. This summer (2011) we decided to go again with our 3 year old and 8 month old.
The Forbidden Corner is a truly magical place! We have certainly never come across anything like it. I don't want to give too much away, but think of all the fairy tales you've ever read merged into one with you as the main character and you're half way there! There are tunnels, giants, statues, carvings, stepping stones, a maze....you never know what might be round the corner, through the door or down the tunnel!
Be warned, The Forbidden Corner is NOT pushchair friendly. If you do take a pushchair be prepared to miss out on most of the adventure. The tunnels are very narrow and there's rarely an alternative route, so bypassing the tunnel and meeting the rest of your group at the other end is not an option. I have not listed this as a disadvantage, The Forbidden Corner would not be the same if it was pushchair friendly and it was quite nice not getting stuck in a 'pram jam' like you often do at family attractions! We had our 8 month old in a sling which was perfect - but even then there was one tiny door I daredn't attempt with him on my back.
You are not allowed to picnic in the grounds of The Forbidden Corner, there isn't really anywhere you could picnic. There are various benches dotted about and an ice cream kiosk with a seating area, but the place isn't really designed for putting out a rug and stopping for an hour. There is a designated picnic area by the car park and a cafe (with a very nice gift shop!) at the entrance. We didn't use either of these as we went after lunch and left before tea!
You have to pre-book your tickets. We rang on the morning and booked for 1pm. This was during the school holidays, whether there are times this is not possible I do not know. You get 5% discount for online booking so it's worth trying to book in advance online if you can (this is not possible on they day). Adult tickets are currently £10, children are £9 and under 4's are free. They also do Blue Day tickets where selected days are buy 3 tickets and get the 4th free, check the website for further details of this.
Much as I love The Forbidden Corner, our visit this year was a disaster. My 3 year old daughter was terrified of everything! She didn't like the small, dark tunnels; she didn't like anything that made a noise or squirted her with water; she was scared of a lot of the big statues! You name it, it scared her - apart from the maze! Initially we avoided most of the tunnels, but realised that we were missing out on most of the attractions so had to persuade her to go down some. However, having previously experienced The Forbidden Corner with children who were not terrified of everything I know how much more magical they make it with their desire to discover what else is hidden in this truly magnificent world. I suspect had we taken my daughter last year she would have loved it. Our once fearless child has developed an imagination that has got the better of her! I don't think we will attempt another visit for several years! Despite having a un-willing 3 year old with us we still spent 3 hours at this wonderful place. I think our previous visit, with the 6 and 8 year old had been shorter. Anyone will children that age will understand....it's all about the next thing and never about this thing, so stopping and enjoying isn't an option! You have to enjoy it on the run! That said, you could certainly spend a whole day here if you took a picnic.
Summary: A magical place that even the grown ups will love!
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