Pastures and panoramas walk at Brimham Rocks
Brimham Rocks, Summerbridge, Harrogate HG3 4DWRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
This walk takes you through pastures in Nidderdale with beautiful panoramic views across the dale.
- Bus stop
Start: Brimham Rocks car park, grid ref SE206650
From the car park, follow the main track towards the visitor centre. Facing the visitor centre, take the tarmac road to the left and take the path down behind the visitor centre heading towards the rock formation known as the Dancing Bear. Keep following this path but beware of the cliff edge on the left. Other rock formations you will see include the Druids' Writing Desk and the Idol. As the path reaches open moor land, bear left following the path down into a gulley. Follow this grassy path downwards.
Don't forget to visit the exhibition and shop at the start of your walk, and be sure to stop and look to the left for panoramic views across Upper Nidderdale, shortly after passing the Idol.
Drop down to the farm track and turn left. Follow this path and above the tree line there are panoramic views of Brimham Rocks to the left. Bear left through the gate, then follow through a second gate and turn immediately right across the paddock. Follow the yellow way markers over the stile and turn left on to a farm track. Leave the track at the stile on left, cross the pasture diagonally to the stile and wall ladder. Walk along the edge of the next pasture keeping the wall on your left. Cross into the next large pasture and follow the fence line, keeping the fence on your right. Go over the next stile and follow the rutted path across two more pastures still with the fence on your right. At the bottom of the hill go over the bridge across the river.
As you cross Fell Beck stop on the bridge and look back upstream to see the disused mill race and cascade.
Follow the track up the hill. Turn left at the millstone and go over the cattle grid. Shortly after this, leave the track and follow the yellow way markers across the pasture. Climb uphill and through the gap in the wall, crossing the next pasture and keeping the wall on your left. Go through the gate and over the stile following the path to the left hand end of a small row of terraced houses. Once past the houses turn left along the bridleway towards Wilsill.
At the crossroads follow the footpath sign for 'The Raikes' which takes you through the gate and past a bench. Follow the path with the wall on your left and the Raikes rising above you to the right. Bear right when the path joins the farm track. In 220 yards (200m) stop for a break at the bench and enjoy panoramic views to Menwith Hill, Knabbs Edge Wind farm and Guiscliffe.
Why not sit here for a rest and enjoy the views. As you continue your walk with the wall on your left, look out for the bee hives under the shade of silver birch. You will pass alongside Nidderdale Llamas - check our website for dates when the llamas will next be trekking at Brimham Rocks.
Upon reaching the road turn left, after 220 yards (200m) turn left along a narrow way marked footpath. Go over the stile and keep right through the next two pastures. Continue across the next field, through the gate and then cross the next field keeping the wall to your right. Continue through the gate to a gap in the wall next to a green gate. Keep to the wall on the left. In the corner of the field go through the right hand metal gate. Cross the next field to a green gate. Turn right onto the track and continue downhill to the road.
Turn left then immediately right on to the signed 'Low Laithe' public footpath. After 220 yards (200m) climb the steps over the wall on your right. Cross the field to the main road. Cross the road, then cross the meadow to the River Nidd. Turn left along the riverside footpath. Leave the river at the beck. Be sure to look to the right to see a folly (part of an old local church). Cross the footbridge over the beck and take the path up to main road.
Look out for flashes of blue as kingfisher fly past, and brown trout in the river, as you walk along the river path.
Cross the road and follow the tarmac bridleway. In 110 yards (100m) turn right towards Knox Hall. Follow the path along the side of the Hall, past a garage and along the edge of some woodland. When emerging from the wood turn left onto the Old Coach Road. Look out for alpacas and goats in the fields to the right. Continue uphill, turn left on to the road and then right to the footpath signed 'Brimham'.
At the Artists' Retreat turn right, continuing to follow the footpath signed 'Brimham'. In 550 yards (500m) turn left into field and follow wall. Over the stile head straight across the next field, heading for the stone steps over a small waterfall. Follow the path keeping the wall to your left and pass a large pond with bulrushes and dragonflies in summer. Go over the stile still keeping the wall to your left and head for the gate. Once through the gate, turn immediately left over another stile. Walk diagonally across the field passing a green barn to a gate with white arrow. Cross the track then go through the gate and across the field to the far gate. Go through the gate and turn right up the track. Continue through the green gate and up the track.
After passing the farmhouse on your right, turn left on the unmarked path and continue through the silver birch trees back into Brimham Rocks. Continue onwards and upwards between the large rock outcrops and head to the left towards the visitor centre. Reward yourself at the refreshment kiosk (we recommend hot chocolate!) before returning down one of the many paths through the rocks to car park.
End: Brimham Rocks car park, grid ref: SE206650
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 6.3 miles (10km)
- Time: 3 hours to 4 hours
- OS Map: Explorer 298
The route takes you across open farmland and can be muddy in places. Sturdy footwear required. Dogs should be kept under close control at all times and on a lead during nesting and lambing season.
- How to get here:
By bus: Bus daily (except Sundays and Bank Holidays) service 24 from Harrogate and Pateley Bridge to Summerbridge, approx 1.5 miles uphill to Brimham Rocks. For further details, call Traveline on 08712 002233 or see www.dalesbus.org
By car: 10 miles SW of Ripon, off B6265. 11 miles NW of Harrogate, off B6165
- Parking NT members free, non members 4 hours £5, daily £6, minibus £8, coach £15
- Shop, visitor centre and refreshment kiosk (check opening times)
- Cycle racks
- Contact us