Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks

The great outdoors

Fancy the great outdoors with some great big (and rather impressively balanced) rocks thrown in for good measure? Brimham Rocks is the northern ‘Stonehenge’, open 365 days a year for your viewing pleasure.

Located 11 miles from Harrogate, on Brimham Moor (near Pateley Bridge) Brimham Rocks are getting on a bit, having been dated at 320 million years old. They’re Millstone Grit Sandstone – made from a combination of grit and sand, mixed with feldspar and quartz.

Brimham Rocks

'Rock on'

They say that these formations, which are scattered across an area of roughly 50 acres, came about from erosion by wind, water and ice. With no plants covering them for protection, the softer layers soon wore down and somehow, magically, formed the arrangements we see today.

With names such as ‘Sphinx’, ‘Watchdog’, ‘Camel’, ‘Turtle’ and the ‘Dancing Bear’ the rocks really have captured our imaginations. Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising is the ‘Idol Rock’ which has several large rocks layered on top of one another, balancing on a tiny rock at the bottom. It seems impossible.

The views are far reaching – on a clear day you can see out as far as York –and the walks are well worth the trip. The Nidderdale Way is a nine-mile circuit which they say will take you roughly four hours.

Brimham Rocks

The land is owned by the National Trust and, though the rocks are free to visit, there is a charge for the car park of £5 for up to four hours and £6 for all day. Accessible between 8am and dusk, there is also a shop, café and visitors centre open 11am to 5pm, but you can check all opening hours before you rock up.

Just pop ‘HG3 4DW’ into your Sat Nav.

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