One of the most fantastic collections of natural standing rocks anywhere lies jumbled on Nidderdale’s moorland. Brimham Rocks are just off the B6265, four miles east of Pateley Bridge , and should not be missed. Nowhere will you see a sight quite like them: blocks and boulders of dark millstone grit 20 feet and more in height, weathered simply by natural forces – wind, rain, frost and ice – into strange and surreal shapes. Brimham Rocks have attracted tourists since the 18th century, and over the years some have acquired quirky names, such as the Blacksmith and Anvil, the Indian Turban, the Sphinx, and the Dancing Bear. So odd are these shapes that it is hard to believe they were not created by a team of talented sculptors. One in particular, known as the Idol, is enormous and seems to be improbably balanced on a rock scarcely the size of a dinner plate. There is also a Kissing Chair and the inevitable Lover’s Leap. The car park at the entrance to the site is big, and there’s a choice of several walks through the area, which extends for 387 acres around the rocks themselves. An easy central path leads to Brimham House, converted into an information centre with refreshment facilities and a shop attached. Photo credits: cinema by Suzanne Seed, rock by Abi Jaiyeola.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
Assist dogs allowed
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Facilities: Adapted path steep in places, Braille/large print guide, disabled parking, audio loop
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open daily until dusk
Also in the area
About the area
Discover North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire, with its two National Parks and two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is England’s largest county and one of the most rural. This is prime walking country, from the heather-clad heights of the North York Moors to the limestone country that is so typical of the Yorkshire Dales – a place of contrasts and discoveries, of history and legend.
The coastline offers its own treasures, from the fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood Bay to Scarborough, one time Regency spa and Victorian bathing resort. In the 1890s, the quaint but bustling town of Whitby provided inspiration for Bram Stoker, who set much of his novel, Dracula, in the town. Wizarding enthusiasts head to the village of Goathland, which is the setting for the Hogwarts Express stop at Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.
York is a city of immense historical significance. It was capital of the British province under the Romans in AD 71, a Viking settlement in the 10th century, and in the Middle Ages its prosperity depended on the wool trade. Its city walls date from the 14th century and are among the finest in Europe. However, the gothic Minster, built between 1220 and 1470, is York’s crowning glory.
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