Yesterday, we took advantage of the nice weather and went to Brimham Rocks, near Harrogate. The site is owned by the National Trust and features large millstone grit rock formations that visitors are free to climb on. It’s free to visit, but those who are not members of the National Trust have to pay £6 to use the car park.
I’ve been many times over the years. My parents have been National Trust members for as long as I can remember and have taken me there several times, but I also seem to remember going with my primary school class at one point in the 1990s, when marbles were the playground craze of the time. The last time was in 2007, with the university hiking club and as part of an unwieldy-sized group of 19 mixed-ability hikers. This time was with a smaller group of 10 – myself, Christine, and 8 other former members of the hiking club and plus-ones.
Christine isn’t so confident with walking so whilst most of the group did a nine mile walk around the wider Nidderdale area, we just did a stroll around the edge of the site and took photos. Some of the rocks are really impressive, rising up to 30 metres in height, and many have been given names. The Blacksmith looks like an anvil, and the Druid’s Writing Table looks like… well, a table. There’s also The Smartie Tube which has a tunnel that small people can fit through – I’m not sure if Nestlé has authorised the use of its trademark though.
Unfortunately I was an idiot and didn’t check the settings on my camera before taking the photos, so everything was taken at 1600 ISO. Thankfully I shoot in RAW so I was able to improve the photos somewhat, but they do look like they’ve been taken on a much older camera. An inadvertent retro filter, if you will. A small selection of these images are available to view on Flickr.
I doubt this will be the last time we go to Brimham Rocks. It’s a great place to bring kids – provided that you keep them under observation, they will love being able to climb the rocks. I’m sure we’ll be back when we have children of our own. And, if we pick a day like yesterday, we’ll be in plenty of company – by the time we left in the mid-afternoon, both carparks were full.