Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks: Everything you need to know about the North Yorkshire rock formations

Visiting Brimham Rocks is a must-do if you’re on holiday in North Yorkshire. The huge formations are a really fun place to explore, no matter what your age. When we visited with our little adventurers it really did feel as though we were stepping into another world. 

The weird and wonderfully shaped rocks were created by a huge river running through the area 100 million years before the first dinosaurs walked the earth, which just blows my mind!

One of the things I love most about Brimham Rocks is that the National Trust, which owns the site, allows visitors to climb and explore the rocks however they want. The acknowledgement that people will continue to shape the landscape is very cool. 

Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Where is Brimham Rocks?

Brimham Rocks is located about 10 miles from Ripon and 11 miles from Harrogate. So it’s a perfect spot to include in a holiday in North Yorkshire, as it is something so unique and is pretty much a free day out. 

The 53 mile Nidderdale Way also passes through the area.  

Do you have to pay to visit Brimham Rocks?

Entrance to Brimham Rocks is free, although there is a parking charge if you are not a National Trust member (free for members). It costs £6.50 for four hours or £10 for a day.

Once inside, it’s a great place to explore with children and if you take a picnic you could easily spend the day here, especially in summer.

Can you climb at Brimham Rocks?

Yes! You can climb at Brimham Rocks, which is the best thing about it. Lots of the rocks have different names, including the Dancing Bear, the Eagle and the Turtle so our little adventurers loved ticking them off as they climbed them. The rocks also provide stunning views of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As one would expect, there are some big drops from some of the higher rocks. So keep a close eye on small children and ensure that they know how to climb safely. 

Climbing at Brimham Rocks

When is Brimham Rocks open?

Brimham Rocks is open all year round, usually from 9am until dusk. However, it has reduced opening times in winter, so it is best to check the website in advance if you are planning a trip.

I think the site is one of those places where you will have a totally different experience, depending on what time of year you visit. We visited Brimham Rocks in the winter, when it was quieter and there was even some snow dotted around. (Much to the delight of my little adventurers who insisted on a snowball fight!)

Although it was cold, it was a beautiful sunny day and it was so beautiful to see the site at this time of year. I’d love to return in the summer when, although I’m sure it will be busier, it will be lovely to sit with a picnic blanket and enjoy watching my little adventurers explore. 

Brimham Rocks

How long do you need to spend at Brimham Rocks?

In all honesty it would be easy to spend a day here, especially if you have children who love to climb. However 3-4 hours would be plenty of time to walk around the site if you have less time. 

As we visited in February it was quite cold, so we stayed for around 4 hours. This provided plenty of time to walk around, climb lots of the rocks and clamber to the top of the trig point.

Afterwards we drove to Ripon where we visited the cathedral and enjoyed a lovely Italian dinner before heading home.

Facilities at Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks has a takeaway cafe which sells hot drinks and snacks. There are plenty of picnic tables dotted around and toilet facilities on site. It also has a small visitor centre, with some information about the formation of the rocks upstairs and a secondhand bookshop downstairs. 

Framing the landscape at Brimham Rocks

If you’re looking for more things to do in North Yorkshire, check out this post about the best beaches in North Yorkshire, find out more about visiting Yorkshire Sculpture Park and see my suggestions of things to do in Scarborough with kids.