Brimham Rocks are situated around 11 miles from Harrogate in the valley of Nidderdale, Yorkshire, and they are one of the most interesting natural landscapes in the north of England.
They provide a unique, interesting and fun day out for every type of visitor. Families, geologists, nature lovers, walkers, rock climbers, boulderers, photographers and more.
Last year my son, Jamie, came to visit and we wanted to have a bit of fun in a new landscape doing some photography with some adrenaline inducing fun so Brimham Rocks was definitely the first place to think of.
History and formation
These rocks and their wondrous formations and shapes began life being formed over 320 million years ago. That is over 100 million years before the first dinosaur! Way back before the continents we see today looked anything like they do now.
The natural miracles that that together formed these unique rocks where from when Millstone which in itself is made up of deposits when this land was on the equator, was washed down a very ancient vast river, being carved away at the same time.
What is now North America crashing into what is now Europe also played a part as well as millions and millions of years of weather, glaciers, wind, rain, frost and much more. For example you can see how the layers of rock change direction as the direction may have changed for the river.
Idol Rock is probably the most famous rock here at Brimham. A lot of the rocks here have the look of an impossible balancing act, a huge rock balancing on a miniature neck or stand.
The best example would be idol rock, and has to be seen to be believed. A huge stone balancing on a tiny stone for thousands of years.
If you have ever seen the Bee Gees video to their 80s hit ‘You Win Again’ you will notice that Idol Rock appears in it a lot. A few other rocks from here appear prominently too.
The area is like a vast playground for young and old. Millstone is very course and thus allows a good grip so is perfect for bouldering and getting on top of a lot of the rocks.
Please be careful with the young ones, some of them get quite high and most of them are at least 30 feet.
Some of the rocks can be seen to have similarities to real objects or beings when seen from certain angles. A great way to get the children involved and interested too. Can they spot them?
For example here below is the Dancing Bear.
Another of the higher rocks that also attracts plenty of rock climbers is Lover’s Leap.
A tall chimney of rock with a smaller stone balancing on top. There is an old folklore story of a couple in love with a parent who forbid the relationship.
The couple ere said to have jumped of here at Brimham Rocks so they could be together for eternity, but miraculously they survived, saved by a witch who lived in the rocks? Or by the druids?
Big Yorkshire Views
One thing is true though is that it is deceptively high and the views when sat on the top are vast. If you find a moment alone in the calm here you can really relax and take the area in.
Speaking of views. Many of the rocks from ground level are amongst the trees, tempting you to climb up. And if you do the rewards are great with views across Brimham Moor and beyond.
I couldn’t keep up with my son though, he was up and down everything! No fear and loving every second. He likes his adventure and sports, good lad.
Druids Writing Desk
Here he is on another of the named rocks, The Druid’s Writing Desk.
If you like to walk there is plenty of that on offer too, not only amongst the rocks so close together but also around the extremities of the moorland too.
Paths long and short that lead to hidden treasures and views not too far away from the main cluster of rocks.
Paths lead in all directions with woodland, open moor and the expansive views. A day here can involve miles of walking or a short walk within the rocks. The day will still be filled with wonder either way.
Plenty of spots too for some great father and son moments. Recollecting memories, collecting our thoughts and enjoying some time in the great outdoors together.
If you want a day out and you are in the vicinity of Harrogate and North Yorkshire then take the time to head to Brimham Rocks. Even more so if you have adventurous children.
Do you have to pay at Brimham Rocks?
Entrance is free too but if you are not a National Trust member then you pay for parking. For cars this is currently £6 for 4 hours or £9 per day.
Is there parking at Brimham Rocks?
Yes there is the pay and display car park that is open from 8 until dusk.
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Fascinating! Thanks Paul.
It really is a wonderful place to explore. Thank you