Skip to content
A view of farmland, with pastures and trees, and Nidderdale, taken from high on Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire, with rocky outcrops in the foreground
The view from Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire | © J Shepherd

Pastures and panoramas walk at Brimham Rocks

Pass through pastures in Nidderdale with panoramic views across the dale and beyond, on this circular walk. As you walk along the river path, you might see flashes of blue as kingfishers fly past, or brown trout in the river.

Total steps: 9

Total steps: 9

Start point

Brimham Rocks car park, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 4DW. Grid ref: SE208645.

Step 1

Follow the main track towards the visitor centre. Take the tarmac road to the left and take the path around and behind the visitor centre heading towards the rock formation known as the Dancing Bear. Keep following this path with the Dancing Bear on your right. After 100m or so, forward and to your left you'll see the rock formation known as the Druids' Writing Desk, and then to your right, a few metres off the path, the Idol with its extraordinary balancing act. Shortly after passing the Idol, stop and look to the left for the beautiful panoramic views across Upper Nidderdale. As the path reaches open moorland, bear left following the path down into a gully. Follow the gully path down to a farm track and turn left.

In the foreground rocky outcrops with heather in between, with panoramic views across Nidderdale, at Brimham Rocks, N Yorks
Take in panoramic views across Nidderdale | © National Trust/Malcolm Secrett

Step 2

Follow the farm track, and when you get to the gate straight ahead pass through it, then 50m further on at a second gate take the footpath to the right across a pasture. Over the stile, turn left and continue for about 60m. Just before the track curves to the right, take the footpath through the gate into the pasture on your left. Cross the pasture diagonally to the wall ladder near the corner. Once over the wall, walk along the edge of the pasture near to the wall on your left. Go through a gate into another pasture and follow the path down through the next few pastures, never far from the field boundaries on your right. At the bottom of the hill and over a stile, cross Fell Beck using the bridge.

Step 3

After the bridge over Fell Beck and in about 20 paces, follow the track to the right and uphill. In less than 100m turn left at the millstone and go over the cattle grid. After about 25 paces leave the track bearing right through a gate and follow the yellow waymarkers through the pastures. Once you're walking between walls left and right, continue straight on, staying near to the wall on your left to reach the left-hand end of a small row of terraced houses. Past the houses, turn left along the bridleway towards Wilsill until you reach a crossroad of tracks.

A wooden bridge with a handrail crosses a stream, called Fell Beck, in woodland at Brimham Rocks, N Yorks
Cross Fell Beck at Brimham Rocks, N Yorks | © National Trust/Malcolm Secrett

Step 4

At the crossroad of tracks bear slightly right to take the footpath just past a bench signposted to The Raikes. Follow it for about 500m, where it joins a farm track and head on for another 300m to reach a road.

Step 5

At the road turn left. After about 200m and immediately before the last house on the left, turn left along a narrow waymarked footpath on the left of a private driveway. Go over the stile and keep to your right through the next two pastures. Continue into the next field and just before the gate ahead climb the wall on your right over the stone steps. Continue across the next two fields, passing through first a metal and then a wooden gate. Through the last gate turn right and follow the track close past a house on your right and continue downhill to reach the road, then turn left.

Step 6

A short way along the road and just past a field gate, take the public footpath forking to the right signed Low Laithe. After about 200m climb the steps over the wall on your right. Cross the field to the road heading for the bus stops that can be seen. Cross the road, through the meadow to the River Nidd, then take the path to the left with the river on your right. Continue beside the river to where the path bears left at Fell Beck, then a short way up the path cross the beck on the small footbridge and follow the path up to the road.

A signpost points left in a dry-stone wall near a metal gate, with woods and grassland beyond, at Brimham Rocks, N Yorks
Follow the sign | © National Trust /Malcolm Secrett

Step 7

Cross the road and follow the tarmac road called Low Laithe. In about 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 Old Coach Road. Look out for alpacas and goats in the fields to the right. Continue uphill, and on reaching a road turn left, and then after 50m or so on the right you'll see a public bridleway signed Brimham.

Step 8

Walk up the bridleway for about 200m, then immediately after the tiny cottage called Artists' Re-treat turn right onto the bridleway and continue straight on through the gate. In about 450m turn left into the field and follow the wall to your right. Over the next stile head straight across the field to a stile in a wire fence. Once over that stile go forward and to the left about 25 paces, heading for the corner of the fencing, and a few yards to the right of the corner there are rough stepping stones over a small stream with stone steps up the bank. Then immediately cross the next small stream and follow the path, keeping the wall to your left and passing a pond on your right. 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 a faint white arrow. Cross the track then go through the gate and follow the right-hand of the two waymarkers across the field to the far gate that you can see. Go through the gate and turn right up the track. Shortly afterwards there's a green gate to pass through, although usually it's left open.

Step 9

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. Return down one of the many paths through the rocks to the car park.

End point

Brimham Rocks car park, Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 4DW. Grid ref: SE208645.

Trail map

Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire, pastures and panoramas trail map
Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire, pastures and panoramas trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

Stacked rock formation at Brimham Rocks, with blue sky above

Circular walk at Brimham Rocks 

This short walk will show you the highlights of Brimham from the dramatic rock formations, to the heather moorland.

DistanceMiles: 1.3 (km: 2.08)
Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire

Moorland and meadows walk at Brimham Rocks 

Explore the diverse landscapes around Brimham Rocks, home to a wide range of pondlife, plus wild cotton and waist-high bracken.

DistanceMiles: 4.7 (km: 7.52)
A wide view across the surrounding countryside from Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire

Brimham Rocks boundary walk 

Enjoy a circular walk around the boundary of Brimham Rocks and discover panoramic views of the Yorkshire countryside.

DistanceMiles: 3.5 (km: 5.6)

Get in touch

Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

Young girl abseiling one of the taller rocks

Outdoor activities at Brimham Rocks 

There are plenty of ways to explore Brimham Rocks, from walking and cycling, to orienteering and geocaching. Discover the outdoor activities on offer.

Family with dog walk on Marsden Moor in the summer

Walking in Yorkshire 

Discover some of the best walks in Yorkshire, from rugged Pennine beauty spots, views over the coast to parkland and meadows perfect for a family stroll. Most are dog friendly and many can be enjoyed as part of your day out to the nearest National Trust property.

A group of hikers exploring a hilly landscape on a sunny winters day.


This National Walking Month, explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.