Brimham Rocks, as the name suggests, is a striking area of weird and wonderful shaped rock formations. Set amongst 387 acres of moorland, it is a popular tourist attraction on Brimham Moor, eleven miles from Harrogate and four miles from Pateley Bridge. Children love these rocks and they have been described as, “nature’s natural playground”. The area is not only popular for walking and scrambling, but also attracts those with the skill and proper equipment for abseiling and rock climbing. This striking landscape is perched on a hill overlooking Summerbridge and Lower Nidderdale. There are far reaching views up Nidderdale and towards the Vale of York. Some of the rocks are thirty metres high, above paths which wind amongst the wonderful shaped millstone grit outcrops.
Brimham Rocks has been popular for generations, particularly in Victorian times, when Harrogate became a fashionable spa resort. The Victorians believed the spectacular rock formations were the work of Druids who sculpted the rock into mysterious shapes, hence the names, Druid’s Writing Desk, Druid’s Castle Rocks and the Idol. In fact, the rocks were sculpted by erosion during the last Ice Age and these formations date back three hundred million years. They were sandblasted by strong winds, which were intensive at ground level, leading to the mushroom shapes of some rocks. The rocks have many descriptive names, such as, Dancing Bear, Eagle and Anvil.
The Rocks have been owned by the National Trust since 1970. In 1987, the pop music group, the Bee Gees, featured Brimham Rocks in their promotional video for the number one single, You Win Again.