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Brimham Rocks

©NTPL/Paul Harris

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The first known visitors to Brimham Rocks in the 18th century could not believe that these weird rock formations were not the careful work of an ancient civilisation. Stacked up in weird and wonderful formations this area is quite a surprise, surrounded by the scenic Yorkshire Moors.

Historians first attributed these gritsone stacks to the work of the Druids and gave them appropriate names such as the Druid's Coffin and the Druid's Writing Desk. It was later proven that the creators of these works of art were actually the wind, rain and frost!

The enormous boulders were deposited here by retreating glaciers. Over time, the natural weathering on the cracks and weaknesses of these millstone grit boulders created this magnificent 50-acre
©NTPL/Joe Cornish
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sculpture park. The weirdly shaped rocks are situated on a hill overlooking Lower Nidderdale and Summerbridge in North Yorkshire.

Some of the most significant of these rocks can easily be identified. The Druid's Idol is a massive boulder which weighs over 200 tonnes and balances on top of a tiny 12 inch diameter pedestal. The Druid's Coffin is a deep body-shaped crevice and the Druid's Writing Desk is a massive flat-topped slab.

The rocks are ideal for scrambling up or crawling through the gaps. Rock climbers also can scale some of the larger rocks or abseil down them.

While adults can appreciate these geological wonders and the spectacular views around Brimham Rocks, children can run off their energy in this natural theme park. Children may even want to use their imagination to give the stacks suitable new names such as dragon rock, the gorilla, dog's head or giant mushroom rock.

The National Trust supplies tracker packs for visitors under the age of 11 and offers regular guided walks around the site. At the very top of the hill there is a delightful old stone cottage with great views of the rock fields and fellow-visitors scrambling over them. It certainly deserves its official designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Brimham Rocks has plenty of maintained walking paths in the surrounding countryside which is also a nature reserve covering 400 acres. It is very easy to spend a whole day in the area.

There is a Visitor Centre which sells ice cream, snacks and a range of local Yorkshire products. Guests may want to bring a picnic or seek out the local pubs in Warsill or other villages nearby for full meals.

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By Bus
Harrogate & District 24 Harrogate -Pateley Bridge, alight Summerbridge, 2 miles. Sundays and Bank Holidays May to October 'Nidderdale Rambler' 825 Harrogate-Brimham Rocks circular
By Bike
View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network website
By road
11 miles north west of Harrogate off B6165, 10 miles south west of Ripon, 4 miles east of Pateley Bridge off B6265. Sat Nav: only gives approximate location
On foot
Nidderdale Way passes through

Ordnance survey reference:

Brimham Rocks Postcode for SatNav: HG3 4DW


+44 (0)1423 780 688

North Yorkshire

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