Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks Road off B6265 North Yorkshire HG3 4DW

Yorkshire's very own Canyonlands, the fantastically shaped Brimham Rocks are a most un-English natural phenomenon, more like something you'd find in America's southwest. Sculpted by thousands of years of wind, rain and ice, the sandstone outcrops dominate the high heather moorland above Nidderdale, and with names like 'The Dancing Bea', 'The Turtle' and 'The Gorilla' there's plenty here to fire imaginations, young and old. The views are tremendous, stretching to York Minster and the distant Yorkshire Wolds on a fine day, and there are some excellent local walks, both through the rocks and across the surrounding moors and fields. There's a visitor centre on site, as well as a café-kiosk, and loads of places for a picnic and a lie down. In school holidays, things like climbing and bouldering sessions on the rocks, or nature trails and family activities, are always popular. Be warned, though – it gets really busy here on hot summer days and bank holidays, when even the big car parks can soon fill up. Walking here instead is a nice idea: there's a signposted path, following the Nidderdale Way in large part, which starts from the nearby town of Pateley Bridge, and the whole nine-mile circuit takes around four hours.

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