Exploring the enchanting and imaginative features of the Forbidden Corner is like stepping into a storybook.

This is especially true if the opening pages of the book have you standing in the mouth of a brick-made belching monkey.

Once inside, winding pathways lead you through a labyrinth of surprises, where each twist and turn unveils a new unexpected discovery.

One of the highlights of this unique and engaging North Yorkshire visitor attraction is the intricate network of tunnels and passages.

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo:

Different doors take you off in various directions, but most paths will inevitably, and infuriatingly, bring you back to the same place.

It really is the most curious of places.

Curiouser and curiouser.

As my family and I found when we visited the whimsical wonderland one wet day over the Easter holidays.

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo:

My son and daughter, who are 11 and 13, loved discovering the quirky sculptures - especially the little boy who wees at you - and secret gardens.

This is a realm where imagination knows no bounds.

Set in the Tupgill Park Estate in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it is the brainchild of Colin Armstrong, now safely back from Ecuador following his kidnapping, and architect Malcolm Tempest.

It started out as a private pleasure garden in the 1980s but opened to the public as a folly in 1997 and has won a clutch of awards including best children's attraction in Yorkshire.

Although be warned; some of the features, such as the mausoleum featuring coffins with moving corpses, and claustrophobia-inducing aspects of the attraction, can be a little bit overwhelming for youngsters.   

As well as statues and sculptures, there are towers and tunnels, a 12-foot conifer dog's head and a 20-foot oak green man, and a maze spread over the four acre site.

Visitors are given a checklist of things to find and there are 15 plaques hidden around the attraction for brass-rubbing enthusiasts.

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo: Get more from The Northern Echo and stay informed with a subscription. Click here to find out more.

You can get maps at the start, not that they are much help as there are no landmarks on as such to help you get your bearings.

Making you feel a bit disorientated is all part of the fun for the people who run the site.

The best advice is to just go with it.

Pacing around the maze for the umpteenth time we passed several other parties who looked equally as bewildered as us.

Some looked like they had been there days.

Maybe they had.

Navigating your way around adds to the enjoyment and you have no clue whatsoever what is around the next corner.

Most read:

The Northern Echo:

Stepping stones through a stream, or a glass dome, maybe a squirt of water in the face.

The sound of laughter rings out and after a thoroughly enjoyable walk like no other there is a good quality café to recharge the batteries and chat about the best bits.

Go with a playful heart and you won’t be disappointed.

Opening times:

12pm-6pm, and from 10am on Sunday 

Ticket prices:

Adult £17.60

Child £15.60

Senior (60+) £16.50

Child (0-3yrs) Free

Disabled £11.60

Pre-booking is required to enter the attraction