Moorland and Meadows

Brimham Rocks Summerbridge Harrogate North Yorkshire HG3 4DW

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
You can see for miles on a summer day at Brimham Rocks. © Lloyd Gregory

You can see for miles on a summer day at Brimham Rocks.

Take a wintry stroll down this avenue of trees in the Yorkshire dales. © Jess Brown

Take a wintry stroll down this avenue of trees in the Yorkshire dales.

Stumble upon fantastic pondlife in the Yorkshire dales. © Lloyd Gregory

Stumble upon fantastic pondlife in the Yorkshire dales.

Discover tree stumps of all shapes and sizes in the Yorkshire dales. © Lloyd Gregory

Discover tree stumps of all shapes and sizes in the Yorkshire dales.

Discover cotton growing wild whilst walking in the Yorkshire dales. © Lloyd Gregory

Discover cotton growing wild whilst walking in the Yorkshire dales.

Bracken grows waist-high in the summer around Brimham Rocks. © Lloyd Gregory

Bracken grows waist-high in the summer around Brimham Rocks.

You can see for miles on a summer day at Brimham Rocks. © Lloyd Gregory

You can see for miles on a summer day at Brimham Rocks.

Route overview

Take a ramble through moorland and meadows, taking in surrounding countryside adjacent to Brimham Rocks. See the magnificent long distance views. Pick a sunny clear day and can you see York Minster?

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

trail map
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Brimham Rocks Car Park

  1. Leave car park via main entrance. At entrance turn right along private road, sign posted Druids Cave Farm. After 100yards 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 30 yards to rusty gate on right hand side.

    You can see for miles on a summer day at Brimham Rocks. © Lloyd Gregory
  2. 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.

  3. Cross over stile on to concrete path and continue to 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 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.

  4. Turn left following the Nidderdale Way, signposted Shaw Mills. Meadows on either side. At end of 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.

    Show/HideAvenue of trees

    Even in winter, the trees stretch over the path at step 4, forming an evergreen canopy of branches and foliage.

    Take a wintry stroll down this avenue of trees in the Yorkshire dales. © Jess Brown
  5. After about 200 yards, take gate on right hand side through meadow going through gate at 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 blue way marker arrow upwards towards houses passing between them until you reach the bridleway.

    Show/HidePonds 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.

    Stumble upon fantastic pondlife in the Yorkshire dales. © Lloyd Gregory
  6. 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 300 yards 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.

    Show/HideInteresting tree shapes.

    As you approach the wooded area at step 5 for the unusual tree branches.

    Discover tree stumps of all shapes and sizes in the Yorkshire dales. © Lloyd Gregory
  7. Bear left through wooden gate passing through Summer Wood House along it's 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.

    Show/HideWild 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.

    Discover cotton growing wild whilst walking in the Yorkshire dales. © Lloyd Gregory
  8. 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.

    Show/HideGreen summer bracken

    During the summer at step 9, search for the hidden path amongst the lush green bracken, which can reach waist height.

    Bracken grows waist-high in the summer around Brimham Rocks. © Lloyd Gregory
  9. 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 can see for miles on a summer day at Brimham Rocks. © Lloyd Gregory
  10. 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.

End: Brimham Rocks Visitor Centre

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 5 miles (8km)
  • Time: allow 3 hours
  • OS Map: Explorer 26 Nidderdale
  • Terrain:

    The route is a mix of grassy paths, uneven gravel tracks and a short section of tarmac driveway. Some paths can get muddy during prolonged wet weather and a small stream has to be crossed. The route is unsuitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Dogs are most welcome under close supervision.

  • How to get here:

    By car: off B6165, 11 miles from Harrogate: off B6265, 4 miles from Pateley Bridge.
    By foot: on the Nidderdale Way: OS grid ref: 99 206650.
    By bus: Nidderdale Rambler runs Sundays from Harrogate to Brimham Rocks, April to October (plus selected winter Sundays). Other services from Harrogate to Pateley Bridge alight Summerbridge, 2 miles.
    By cycle: Sustran's Way of the Roses passes the main entrance.

  • Facilities:

    • Parking NT members free. Non-members 4 hours £5, daily £6, minibus £8, coach £15.
    • Shop, visitor centre and refreshment kiosk (check opening times).
    • Toilets (550 metres from the car park).
    • Cycle racks.

  • Contact us