Today I am heading back to Nottingham, but not without a visit to a recommendation from Ethan, Atlas Obscura and (according to Ethan) Michael Portilla. How can I resist something of such universal appeal?
I fortify myself with a fine breakfast of avocado and egg on toast at the Falls Cafe (feeling somewhat more civilised than my last visit when I must have been a little ripe after my walk up Ingleborough). They are clearly gearing up for a busy day at the falls as there are at least 4 people giving directions on where to park in the empty car park.
Suitably satiated, I head off in search of the Forbidden Corner where, I have been led to believe, I will be party to much weirdness and mystic hoodoo. Sadly this turns out to not be the case. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an entertaining place but definitely more theme park than sanctum of the inner mysteries.
It is essentially a modern folly which has gradually expanded following the model of the American obsessive-driven attraction: I have a great idea and absolutely no idea when to stop. Which, of course, I have absolutely no problem with. It’s obviously a great place for families but, even though visiting is at pre-booked time slots, the nature of some of the tunnels and attractions lend themselves very much to logjams.
Still, worth a visit as it was sort of on the way. What I had failed to take into account was the complete lack of phone signal (it is at least suitably situated in the middle of nowhere) with which to navigate away. Even with various offline nav apps it proved quite challenging and lots of getting lost down narrow country lanes. It should be said though that every time I met oncoming traffic, the driver of the other vehicle could not have been more friendly and accommodating. This is in stark contrast to the intransigence and barely disguised menace that I have encountered in other remote locations. Maybe Yorkshire folk are just more friendly - perhaps it comes from the deep-seated knowledge that they are, by their own admission, custodians of God’s own country. Regardless of the reason, the last few days have left me wondering why Yorkshire folk have a reputation for dourness. Nothing could be further from the truth from what I have experienced in the last few days.