Moorland and meadows walk at Brimham Rocks
Take a ramble through moorland and meadows, taking in surrounding countryside adjacent to Brimham Rocks.
You can see for miles on a summers day at Brimham Rocks
See the magnificent long distance views, and if you pick a sunny, clear day you may even see York Minster. Stumble upon fantastic pondlife, tree stumps of all shapes and sizes, cotton growing wild and waist-high bracken in the Yorkshire dales.
Brimham Rocks car park, grid ref SE206650
Leave car park via main entrance. At entrance turn right along private road, sign posted Druids Cave Farm. After 100yd (90m) turn left. Follow grassy pathway to the main road. Cross over the road and follow public footpath signposted to Riva Hill. As you approach the National Trust boundary cross over the stile and follow the path passing Rivia Hill House farm on left. Go through gate, walk 30yd (27m) to rusty gate on right-hand side.
Go through the gate, heading upwards through ferns until you reach the elderflower tree on the crest of the hill. Take a moment to admire the 180 degree vista, south (you can see Menwith Hill, Knabbs Head wind farm and Harrogate town). Follow the path towards the left but heading for the green barns. (Watch out for any livestock in the field - as an alternative route, you can re-trace your steps down the hill and take the bridleway along the Nidderdale Way, rejoining the trail at step 4). You will reach a stone wall with a stile; go over this and through the wooded area and exit almost immediately, going over two wooden stiles into the meadow and follow the path, having the fence on your right.
Cross over stile on to a concrete path and continue to the barn. Turn left at the barn following path through the fields towards the gate and stile ahead. Go over stile following the well trodden path across field keeping the hedgerow on your left. Head for the corner of the field. Cross the wooden stile and turn right along the bridleway (Nidderdale Way). Distant views to the left, on a clear day will provide views of the White Horse and Power Stations. Continue until you reach the road.
Turn left following the Nidderdale Way, signposted Shaw Mills. Meadows on either side. At the end of the track turn left, continue along Nidderdale Way through farmyard passing between two barns. Take the track down the hill, which passes through an avenue of trees. Leave the Nidderdale Way and head towards Park House Warsil Pass through farmstead.
Avenue of trees
Even in winter, the trees stretch over the path at step 4, forming an evergreen canopy of branches and foliage.
After about 200yd (180m), take the gate on the right-hand side through a meadow going through the gate at the other side. To the right you will see ponds in the meadow. Follow the slim path to the metal gate. Pass through this and another. Beckside Farm on left-hand side. Continue on cinder track bearing right at the end on to farm driveway. Bear left following the blue waymarker arrow upwards towards houses, passing between them until you reach the bridleway.
Ponds in the pasture
Look to your right at step 5 for the interestingly shaped ponds. In spring time you can see lambs enjoying the fresh air in the surrounding pasture.
Turn left along this until you reach the cattle grid, crossing this grid and stream. Head up the concrete drive. Turn right through woodland and follow the path for about 300yd (270m) until you reach a stream. Cross the stream via stepping stones (with care). There is now a steady climb onwards and upwards until you reach a wooden gate which leads you into a meadow. Follow the footpath on the left side.
Interesting tree shapes
As you approach the wooded area at step 5 look out for the unusual tree branches.
Bear left through a wooden gate passing through Summer Wood House along its driveway and over the cattle grid. Cross another cattle grid which at the same time passes over the National Trust boundary. Continue up the drive to the main road.
Wild growing cotton grass
In summer months, the fields at step 7 are abundant with wild growing cotton grass. They make for a great landscape shot with the giant balls of Menwith Hill in the background.
Cross over the main road on to the National Trust moorland. Bracken clad paths lead towards rocky outcrops beyond. Continue on through to top. Take path to right. The path then meanders this way and that across the heather and bracken moor passing rocky outcrops.
Green summer bracken
During the summer at step 9, search for the hidden path amongst the lush green bracken, which can reach waist height.
Head towards the very large rocks and bear left along ridge. Head right from moor towards large outcrop of rocks then bearing left then right. Beware of cliff edges and follow the undulating path taking in the magnificent views over Nidderdale stop and be amazed by Idol Rock.
You will approach a wooded area and emerge to redeem Brimham Rocks in all its wonderful splendour. You can now return down one of the many paths that meander through the rock formations to the car park at your leisure.
Brimham Rocks Visitor Centre
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