So, last Tuesday we set off - leaving our house at 9.30am with Matheea, home-made flap-jack and a carton of juice for the two children nestling in a cool bag along with some fruit for snacking on too. We collected Daniel and left Hull shortly before 10am. I'd bought a small bag of Haribo sweets for them as a treat during the day, too. The two hour and 10 minute journey was mostly a happy one. Daniel and Matheea were playing noughts and crosses and hang-man in the back of the car, we chatted about all sorts of things and were all excited about exploring the venue. Matheea was guessing about the sorts of things we would see - she'd already heard from her Nan that there would be a surprise when you enter the place. Small monkeys were mentioned, I believe!
We were almost at the entrance to the driveway leading up to The Forbidden Corner when all went quiet in the back. I asked Daniel if he was OK, he said he felt a bit sick. I said "do you think you're going to actually be sick, or do you just feel sick?" He said he just felt sick, so I just said to let us know if he thought he was actually going to be sick. We turned the corner into the driveway and then a gushing sound emanated from the rear of the car. Unfortunately, Daniel had not had the time to tell us he was going to be sick before it rushed out of his mouth and onto the seat between his legs. It all happened so quickly and there were several more outbursts before we had chance to pull over. I then realised that a full bag of Haribo sweets had been consumed by them on the way there, along with several pieces of flapjack and most of their cartons of juice. This was evident on the back seat of our car. My immediate thought was "How can such a small child hold such a large amount of liquid?" I managed to get Daniel out of the car and stand him at the verge, then Matheea climbed out of her side of the car and promptly threw up twice on the grass verge. I am usually quite an optimistic person, but even I struggled at this point to see the positive side! Matheea then said "Can we go home now?" which urged me to focus on making the best of the situation and trying to cheer her up into actually enjoying the rest of the day!
I may have been silly in giving the kids a bag of Haribo sweets - not thinking for a second that they would simply eat the whole bag in such a short time - but I was at least slightly prepared for a clean-up operation to some degree. I had taken a full pack of wet wipes with me in case Matheea or Daniel needed to wipe their hands or face during the day. The whole pack was used to mop up the mess on the car seat, from Daniel's coat (which had been on the floor in front of him at that point, so didn't get too badly spoiled) and from the trousers where he'd been sitting in it. All these wipes were then stored in a carrier bag I'd taken to put rubbish in. We couldn't quite get rid of the whole of the sick, and there was no way Daniel could sit back down on the seat of the car where he'd been previously, so we were grateful that we had a sheet of thick polythene in the boot of the car to place on the seat. Once Daniel had put his coat on and Matheea was in a better state of mind, Keith drove up to the car park and us three took a walk in the fresh air to meet him there. First job was to try and get Daniel some more trousers - I'd hoped they would sell them in the gift shop, but no such luck! Tee-shirts, sweat-shirts and hats were the only clothing on offer. We had planned on having some lunch in the cafe before entering the Forbidden Corner itself, but after the sickness episode, nobody felt like it much so we just had a drink - water for the children! I sent Daniel's mum a text message to let her know what had happened, and so that she wasn't too shocked when he turned up at the end of the day with smelly clothes!
I felt sorry for Daniel as he had to spend the rest of the day wearing the trousers, but he was not at all perturbed by this and both him and Matheea thoroughly enjoyed the day. Here are a few photographs to give you an idea of the sort of things we saw.
|Matheea & Daniel at the entrance|
There was a maze, which we explored for what seemed like ages, and along one of the many paths in the gardens we saw a statue of a naked lady with a tattoo on her buttocks - again, the children thought this was extremely funny. I forgot to take a photo of that, but I'm sure we will be visiting again next year, so will try to get more photographs then. The views of the surrounding countryside and of the land at Tupgill Park were stunning. I especially liked looking down at the field of deer - we took a walk down a tree-lined path to get a closer view of them, too:
I thought this glass sculpture was beautiful, and further along the adventure, we even got a view of it from inside and underneath. So much thought has gone into the planning of this place - it has such wide appeal, too. Even if you just wanted to go for an interesting stroll in the gardens, you would enjoy it, I'm sure.
|Matheea & Daniel on a wooden black boar!|
At almost every path, there were engraved notices with rhymes giving you clues as to which direction you should take - although even these were not to be taken seriously, as you often ended up in a dead end and then had to retrace your steps.
I would heartily recommend this place to anyone either with children or not - although I would imagine that it would appeal more to children over the age of 6 perhaps - some of the effects can be a bit scary for younger children, and toddlers could find it difficult to explore without stumbling, I would think. Adults will also enjoy it, as there really is so much to see - I would love to visit the herb garden in the summer, as even though I could still smell a lot of the herbs, it was past its best, really.
You need to book your tickets prior to visiting and you get allocated a time slot so that there are not too many people trying to get into all the different areas at once. Booking can be done online or by telephone - just visit their website for details.