Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks are balancing rock formations on Brimham Moor in North Yorkshire. They stand at a height of around 30 metres in an area owned by the National Trust, which is part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are many variations of rock formations, caused by millstone grit being eroded by water, glaciation and wind, some of which have formed amazing shapes. It covers about 400 acres and you could easily spend an entire day there exploring rocks with names like the Dancing Bear, the Eagle and the Gorilla. Not to mention the Smartie Tube and the Rocking Stones.

I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago. The drive from Hawes in Wensleydale took a lot longer than I had planned and I didn’t actually arrive until midday. It was late October and the place was almost empty and I was able to park close to the entrance. It didn’t really matter as the rocks were everywhere and I knew it would be impossible to see everything in just a few hours. The days were getting much shorter too and I wanted to leave in time to make the drive back to the B&B in daylight. I had spotted an interesting bridge on my way up and I had a mind to check it out before it got too dark.

We have some interesting rock formations not far from where we live – not on this scale of course, but I had a vague idea that while many of the rocks would be interesting, only a few would make good subjects to photograph. It turned out I was right and although I enjoyed myself immensely wandering around, there were really only a handful I wanted to see. The next problem was tracking them all down. The image featured at the top here was simple enough to find as it was situated right in the centre by the toilets and picnic benches. The rest weren’t so easy and I nearly missed the incredible Idol Rock, a huge oval-shaped structure perched precariously on a tiny base, looking for all the world like a mini pyramid. The light was all wrong by that time though, so I stood and marvelled for a while before moving on.

My last stop was at a rock known by some as the Anvil Stone. I had seen photographs of it on my photography forum as several of the members lived not far away. It was perched on the edge of a sheer drop and in the distance I could hear the sound of climbers down below. It had turned into a beautiful afternoon and I took my time, watching the light move across the valley in the distance.

Finally I had to pack up and head for the car, but as I left the moor I could see many more formations on either side of the road. It made me realise just how much I had missed. At least I had found the most famous rocks and got the photographs that I wanted. I managed to lose my way on the return journey and I never did find that interesting bridge. Never mind.

Brimham Rocks2

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