The Brimham rocks are a tourist attraction located just 8 miles (ca. 13 km) of Harrogate. Once known as Brimham Crags, these wonderful rock formations are of special scientific interest. The Brimham rocks were formed over 325 million years ago and have interesting assumed shapes. The site is also home to acidic wet and dry heath habitats which support specialised plant forms.
The natural spectacle you will see with the amazing collection of giant rock formations was created by an immense river even before the first dinosaurs walked the earth. So make sure to add this incredible place to the itinerary, as it really is one of the best places to see in Yorkshire.
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Getting to Brimham rocks
The easiest way to get to Brimham rocks is by car. The address for the sat nav is Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW.
Along the way you will see remarkable English countryside with rolling hills and panoramic views.
There is a car park on site. Visitors are required a pay for the car park at the car park machines. It's a pay and display type of car park. Remember that National trust members park for free. Just show the national trust membership card to a member of staff or scan it at the car park machine to get a free display ticket.
Daily bus 24 from Harrogate to Pateley Bridge passes Summerbridge – 1.5 mile walk to Brimham Rocks.
Alternatively, you can take the summer bus 825 Eastern Dale Bus that runs May to September. This bus runs between Harrogate, Brimham Rocks and Fountains Abbey
You can actually visit this superb location on foot. Take the Nidderdale Way which passes through the Brimham rocks. The Nidderdale Way is a 53 mile (85 km) walk through the wonderful landscape of Nidderdale.
When to visit
The Brimham rocks are surrounded by fantastic countryside and we recommend visiting during every season. They are, after all, in an area of outstanding natural beauty so you can imagine that all seasons look unique and spectacular.
There are some opening times to keep in mind although there is open access to the walk around the rock formations.
- Countryside 09:00 - Dusk
- Kiosk 10:00 - 16:00
- Visitor centre 11:00 - 16:00
The visitor centre is a large eighteenth century house towards the north of the property. There is a refreshment kiosk just in front of it, a small gallery and a second hand book shop.
Few things to know
Brimham Rocks is closed 24 and 25 December so make sure you don't plan to visit during these dates. There are toilets on site which are open 10am - 4pm daily (excluding Christmas eve & Christmas day).
There is an information centre at the entrance of the attraction where you can ask question and learn more about the walks. Please remember that BBQs, gas burners and open fires are not permitted at Brimham Rocks and surrounding 400 acre moorland.
Brimham rocks is open to visitors with dogs but they must be kept on a lead.
While photos are encourages everywhere at Brimham rocks, kindly note that drones are not permitted.
The paths at Brimham rocks are not for cycling so if you're cycling to the rock formations, just lock your bike at the entrance and explore the area on foot.
Climbing on some rocks is fine as long as you don't use any pitons or climbing equipment. Avoid anything that could damage the rocks in any way.
Exploring the Brimham rocks
There are several walks to be enjoyed at the Brimham rocks. Start from the car park and take the short circular walk to enjoy the highlights of the area. The track will take you to the visitors centre and the Brimham house.
Spot the Dancing Bear, the Gorilla, the Eagle, the Mushroom rock, the Turtle rock. With just a little imagination, you can easily see so many weird and wonderful shapes. On the main track you will also spot the Smartie Tube to crawl through or balance on the Rocking stones.
It's definitely a great day out for families.
If you want to enjoy a longer walk, take the Brimham Boundary Walk which is a 3.5 miles (5.6 km) that also starts from the car park. Alternatively, take the Moorland and meadows walk at Brimham Rocks which is 4.7 miles (7.5 km). This walk will take you through heather moorland vegetation and it's fantastic year round.
Special things to do at Brimham rocks
Brimham rocks is currently looked after by the National Trust. Brimham Rocks is one of just over 4,000 sites nation-wide which have been awarded the status Site of Special Scientific Interest’ (SSSI status). The area is home to three rare species of heather.
National Trust is running special events and guided tours around the area. To see all upcoming events make sure to check the official website.
The Brimham rocks is an incredible place to visit and one which is definitely worth your while. We recently moved to North Yorkshire and we're on a mission to explore all the wonderful places around the area. We love the Brimham rocks, and we will continue to come visit to see it during each season.
Want to visit more interesting locations? Check out Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, and the lovely city of Ripon. If you're heading towards the Dales, make sure to visit Malham Cove, Hawes and Hebden Bridge, all breathtaking locations with so much to see and do.